If the ceiling in our rental fell on my children causing them injury, who can we sue?

We contacted the landlord week to inform them that the roof was leaking water. It started to crack but he sent no one so we decided to leave. When walking down

the hall, the roof caved in and fell on 2 of my children causing injury to their arms, waist and neck. I had to take them to the emergency room.

Asked on September 4, 2016 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the landlord had notice that there were roof leaks--which means he had notice that there was water infiltration which could damage the ceiling's integrity--as there evidently was, since you write that you contactd the landlord to inform him of the problem--and he did not take reasonable action (e.g. having workers seal the leak, repair any ceiling damage), then the landlord is most likely liable. You can potentially recover from him, such as by suing, your out-of-pocket medical costs; pain and suffering, if you children suffer long-lasting impairment or disability, some amount for "pain and suffering"; lost wages, if this caused you to miss work; property damage (e.g. any belongings damaged by water); compensation for not being able to live in your home for some period of time due to structural damage, flooding, and/or mold (typically, either the cost of a hotel or rent credit for the days you can't live there). Based on what you write, you may have a significant claim and also may need held or assistance in getting the landlord to correct the problems--or in breaking the lease, due to lack of habitability, if he doesn't. You would be well advised to speak with a landlord-tenant attorney.


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