Two elevator accidents in New York in one week provided a jolting reminder of elevators as potential sources of injuries and deaths. The elevator accidents affected both people who work on or near elevators, and those who are passengers.
“Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of elevator shaft falls and accidents is that in most cases, the injuries and fatalities can be prevented,” said Perecman. “If some guidelines were properly followed, elevator shaft falls and other elevator accidents may be avoided.”
In one New York elevator accident, an elevator technician in New York City fell 10 stories to his death while working on a broken elevator in a 17-story Midtown office building on 38th and Seventh.
According to the New York Daily News, the 44-year-old worker lost his balance and plunged down the shaft. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he died.
In the second accident, an elevator in New York’s Paramount Building in Times Square tumbled down three stories, injuring one passenger and trapping others, reported the Gothamist.
The causes of both accidents are under investigation.
For the safety of elevator workers and installers, contractors are required to appropriate fall protection equipment to all workers who may be exposed to a fall hazard, conduct safety inspections and/or properly train employees. If these guidelines are not followed, then they can be held liable if a work injury occurs.
“Proper fall protection must always be used if there is a fall hazard in New York,” Perecman said.
Determining who is liable for an elevator accident depends on the nature of the accident.
If the cause of the elevator accident is due to the construction of the elevator or a because of defects on its components, then the manufacturer may be responsible for any elevator accident injuries sustained. Many of the manufacturers also install their own elevators. This makes them responsible for any installation problems.
Building managers and owners can also be held liable for elevator accident injury or death. Owners and managers must keep their elevators to code, invest in the right safety devices and equipment, and have a comprehensive emergency plan in place in case the elevator must be evacuated. Inadequate maintenance of an elevator can also be a cause of elevator accident injuries. If an owner or manager neglects to do any of this and/or is found to be careless and an elevator accident injury or death occurs, they can be held liable.
In an elevator accident lawsuit, a critical factor in determining liability is whether or not a defendant acted with negligence or below the standard of what a reasonable person would do under the same conditions in order to avoid the elevator accident.
According to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, accidents involving elevators and escalators kill approximately 30 people each year in the United States and seriously injure another 17,000 other individuals.
New York elevator accident lawyers at The Perecman Firm have extensive experience evaluating and litigating cases involving elevator injuries. All efforts are made on behalf of New York elevator accident victims. Cases may involve accident reconstruction, a visit to the scene and meticulous investigation in order to determine exactly what caused the accident and whether the building owner, manufacturer, contractor, and/or other party is to blame for the elevator accident.
If you are a victim of an elevator accident, contact us today!