At the end of a long day, most of us want to relax and enjoy a little Netflix or a good book in the warmth and safety of our own home. If you live in an apartment or condo, you probably assume that the building owners are taking proper precautions and paying for necessary maintenance to ensure you’re safe where you live. But sometimes, a ceiling, wall, or debris can come crashing down onto you and your loved ones – especially in New York’s older housing complexes.
Other times, a building can collapse during construction or demolition, causing serious property damage and harm to others.
Invariably, it seems that in the aftermath of these kinds of catastrophes, one or more parties had neglected their duty to keep others safe in the name of saving money. The destruction and devastation that occur because of such negligence is difficult to imagine. An experienced NY ceiling collapse lawyer is absolutely essential afterward to ensure the rights of those harmed are protected, and that they get full compensation for their losses.
Why Buildings Come Down
There are numerous reasons why a building can collapse. Collapses are most often due to neglect or improper maintenance or repairs by the owner of the building. This is often done to save money; maintaining buildings can be expensive, and the larger the building, the higher the costs become. Building owners assume the costs of maintenance and repairs on a building when they purchase it, and are expected to keep it safe and properly maintained for all its occupants. Whenever a renter in a building reports an issue with the building’s condition or safety concerns, steps must be taken right away to ensure such issues do not pose a danger to people within the structure. Failing to do so can be considered an act of negligence by the property owner.
Construction and demolition can also be involved when a building collapses, either intentionally or unintentionally. During construction, poor planning can result in an area being too weak and collapsing before the building is complete. The purpose of demolition is to bring a building down, but it must be done in a way that is safe for the crew working on it, people nearby, and other structures around it. Safe practices need to be employed during all construction and demolition to protect everyone.
Many times, different companies bid on a construction or demolition job, and it is often given to whoever will get it done at the cheapest price. This means that poorly trained and inexperienced workers, often not part of a union, end up on a jobsite without knowing how to do their jobs safely. Serious injuries and deaths often occur because workers do not know about laws and regulations regarding how they are supposed to work, and employers choose to skip safety training and fail to provide protective equipment.
Proving liability for something like a building collapse might seem simple, but it can quickly become very complicated. Imagine a scenario in which demolition charges are set off too soon and workers are not given sufficient time to exit the building before collapse. The person who set off the charges might be to blame, but there could also be other issues at play.
Investigations could show that the charges were not set properly or were not wired correctly to help prevent such an accident. The company running the demolition might not have performed background checks on employees or skipped essential safety training that employees needed. And the building’s owner could have known about potential safety issues and never relayed those concerns to the company or its workers.
Cause and effect after a serious disaster is rarely a straight line, but rather a complicated spider web of negligence and consequences.
This is why an experienced and knowledgeable NYC building collapse attorney is so important after something like this happens. Wealthy property owners and large construction companies, along with their insurance providers, have lawyers to fight for them. An experienced attorney is essential to ensuring that everyone injured in a collapse receives the compensation they are owed. If that’s you, please give our office a call at (212) 986-7353 for a free consultation with the top New York personal injury lawyers at WRSH.