If you live out of the country, you definitely need an attorney here locally in order to represent you. Claims should be filed with the tenant in the upstairs apartment and with any other individual that has insurance to determine liability.
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice. Mr. Leroi answers questions on Avvo because he strongly believes in public service from his years as a judge, magistrate, and prosecutor. If you need to ask any follow up questions because my answer did not fully address your question, feel free to call Chris or post an additional question. Thank you.
You do need local counsel and you do need to act right away as there are time limits with such claims. Look for someone that deals with premises liability cases and homeowners matters.
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
I agree with my colleagues. Fault lies with whoever caused the damage.
Actively practicing law in Texas. Inactive licenses in Arizona and Georgia. All answers are general in nature and no attorney/client relationship exists in this forum.