New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
What to Know About Elevator Accidents
Posted on Jun 3, 2014 in Elevator Accidents
On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP
An employer cannot always be held liable for an elevator accident. Injuries at work lead to workers’ compensation claims, but there are times that faulty construction or improper safety checks lead to elevator accidents. Injuries caused from elevator accidents cause for a third-party claim who a personal injury lawyer can help you file.
Who is at risk?
People who are usually at risk of becoming victims of elevator accidents are electrical power installers, ironworkers, roofers, and construction laborers. But, anyone who works on or near an elevator is likely to be injured in the event that the machine wasn’t installed in a careful manner or that it was not up to safety standards.
Types of Elevator Accidents
Falls into elevator shafts are some of the most common work injuries that are related to elevator accidents. A person could fall into a shaft due to many reasons – a platform gave way, a door opened unexpectedly, there was no cover for a hole, there were no warning signs or barriers, or there was no personal fall protection equipment present.
A worker can also suffer from an elevator accident if they become trapped or caught in moving parts. In a worst case scenario, parts of their body such as their limbs could be crushed or even severed. Workers could also be injured if they are struck by a counterweight, elevator, or some other type of material which falls. Severe head injuries such as brain damage, or fractures may be caused.
Liability for an Elevator Accident
The property owner, elevator installer / repairer or an independent contractor may be held responsible for elevator accidents. Elevator accidents may be caused by a failure to maintain, install or repair, depending on who is responsible.
These accidents could also result from failure to practice safety standards, poor training, and the use of untrained elevator installers or repairers. It can be quite challenging to determine liability. That is why hiring a personal injury lawyer is essential. A manufacturer might be liable if there were defects in certain parts or equipment of an elevator. There are times that more than one party is named in a claim.
What to Know about Filing a Third-Party Personal Injury Claim
When a claim is filed against someone other than the employer, it is known as a third-party claim. The party/parties who are potentially liable for the injuries that have been sustained need to be established. After these parties have been identified, the type
of damages that could be recovered is determined. In a third party claim, the compensation that is received, is usually much higher than what would be received through workers’ compensation. If the injuries are disabling, severe or life-threatening, this becomes crucial. This is especially the case in an elevator accident.
The long term cost would be substantial, if a traumatic brain injury has been suffered by a worker, which could be the result of an elevator accident. This increases if the injured person is unable to work after the accident.