Question: I was in my apartment and the ceiling fell in on me after a hard rain. Now I have injuries and want to know if the apartment complex and management is liable for my medical bills and pain and suffering.
Answer: I get many questions like this. What you are describing is a case of premises liability. That means that a property owner is liable if they negligently fail to maintain their premises and allow an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist on the property. The focus here is “negligence.” A property owner is not automatically liable just because an accident happened on their property. You have to show that the owner or management had notice of the problem and failed to properly address and fix the issue. This is where many injured people have difficulty proving their case.
If you have proof that there had been an ongoing problem or leak in the ceiling causing it to weaken and fall, then you can hold the apartment owners or management liable. Proving this is not an easy task. You cannot count on the property owner giving you the proof you need. Therefore, you must have some proof going forward into the suit and then hope that you find more evidence during the litigation process.