As a renter, you expect your landlord to maintain your residence and keep it safe for you and your family. If you are a resident in Austin, TX, you have rights.
These rights include asking the landlord to repair any hazards or conditions that affect your safety. When landlords neglect their tenants’ requests and concerns, catastrophes happen, including roof and ceiling collapses.
Contact a roof and ceiling collapse lawyer in Austin if you suffered harm due to a collapse.
Renters and Roof and Ceiling Premises Liability
Property owners and landlords are responsible for ensuring their properties are safe for tenants and visitors. That means they need to inspect the residence and make any necessary repairs.
In a premises liability claim, such as a roof or ceiling collapse, you must prove the owner or manager is responsible before you can collect any reimbursement from them.
Landlord Knew or Should Have Known About the Risk
You need to be able to show that your Austin landlord knew or should have known about the hazard or dangerous condition. An example of actual knowledge is when a maintenance person brings up concerns about a tenant’s ceiling.
If the tenant reported the problem multiple times, the landlord would also have actual knowledge because they were put on notice.
Even if the landlord did not have actual knowledge of the problem, they can be liable if they should have known about the problem by exercising regular diligence.
If the dangerous condition had been in place for a long time, it may have been unreasonable for the landlord not to have discovered the risk of collapse sooner through regular inspections of their property.
Sometimes, the landlord might be responsible for creating hazardous conditions. Perhaps they used defective materials when conducting other repairs, leading to the collapse.
The Hazard Must Pose an Unreasonable Risk of Harm
You have to show that the danger presented by the hazardous condition presented an unreasonable risk of harm. The danger of collapse posed by an unstable roof or ceiling typically meets this requirement.
However, a danger may be considered reasonable if it was so obvious that the accident victim should have been able to avoid it. For example, if you noticed the ceiling buckling for months and said nothing, you might be barred from recovery.
Failure to Act
Your landlord must not have taken action or acted reasonably to reduce or eliminate the risk. Landlords who fail to conduct regular inspections can qualify here.
The Failure to Act Led to Your Damages
Even if the landlord did not conduct regular inspections, you must link the failure to act to your damages. If a hidden condition that could not have been uncovered by an inspection caused the ceiling to collapse, you might not prevail in court.
Proving a premises liability case in Austin requires the assistance of a skilled legal advocate, such as a ceiling collapse lawyer.
Negligence in Austin Roof and Ceiling Premises Liability Cases
Let’s discuss negligence in Austin roof and ceiling premises liability. Proving negligence can be easier when it is linked to a specific event as opposed to a defect in the roof’s structure.
For example, if a maintenance worker on the roof dropped something that tears a hole in the roof and leads part of the ceiling to collapse, determining the cause of the collapse is a relatively straightforward analysis.
Structural defects, on the other hand, require significant investigation, including hiring industry experts who can research whether the structure violates any building codes and associated regulations.
Why Hire an Austin Roof and Ceiling Collapse Lawyer
Although Texas law does not mandate hiring a lawyer, it is wise to do so anyway. Roof and ceiling collapse claims typically involve complex legal and factual issues.
The insurance adjuster for the landlord’s policy is not going to offer you any money without a thorough investigation. Even then, it is common for adjusters to undervalue your claim and offer you significantly less than what it is worth.
When you hire Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP, we will be there for you every step of the way. We will gather all documentation, speak to any witnesses, and hire necessary experts.
Your attorney will also be the one responsible for handling all communication with the landlord’s insurance company. That includes all potential settlement negotiations.
The insurance adjuster will not be able to lowball you when you have an Austin lawyer on your side.
Should your claim not resolve through negotiations, we are prepared to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Filing a lawsuit does not automatically mean your case will be tied up for years in the Texas legal system or go to trial.
We will do our best to resolve your claim as quickly as possible without compromising your potential compensation.
You typically have two years in Texas to file an injury-related premises liability case. This means that even if negotiations are ongoing, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit anyway to avoid missing the filing deadline.
Contact a Ceiling Collapse Lawyer in Austin
When you have suffered damages due to a roof or ceiling collapse, let our experienced ceiling collapse lawyer help. We have successfully represented numerous Austin tenants for their legal disputes and know what it takes to build a solid case.
Do not hesitate to contact Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP today. We offer free, no-obligation initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with us.