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Danger from above: when the ceiling collapses

Subways are such a regular part of NYC life that you may not think of how hazardous they are, especially when in poor condition. Dangers you have probably heard of are train derailments, slips or trips on the stairs and falls onto the platform. While these may be more common, another danger you have to worry about is the ceiling collapsing.

In June, this happened at the Borough Hall station one afternoon. One area of the ceiling collapsed, raining down debris and causing a light fixture to hang loose. A large piece of plaster hit a woman waiting for the train, resulting in her suffering a concussion. The station’s disrepair was no secret, but the extreme renovations of the road above have prevented making safety improvements down below. However, waiting any longer can result in further, more severe accidents.

Common injuries from a collapse

A concussion is not the only thing you can sustain in the event of a ceiling collapse; you can also incur lacerations and broken bones. Naturally, the head and neck are most susceptible to receiving harm, and back injuries can result in paralysis or lifelong pain. Any of these can temporarily or permanently affect your ability to work and lead to major medical expenses.

Where a collapse can happen

Collapses not only happen in subway stations, but also anywhere there is a ceiling. It can fall from your home, office building or favorite store. Time, weather and poor maintenance are usually responsible for the structure’s deterioration.

What to do

If a ceiling collapses on you, the first thing to do is get to a hospital for treatment or an assessment. If you are able, take photos of the scene and talk to any eyewitnesses of the incident. While the aforementioned woman did not choose to sue, that option is available to you, so taking these actions is necessary to obtain evidence in your favor.

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