New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Elevator Accidents and Personal Injury Lawsuits
According to data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, incidents that involve elevators and escalators cause roughly 30 deaths and about 17,000 serious injuries each year in the United States. 90% of the deaths and 60% of the serious injuries are caused by elevators.
Almost 40% (14) of the annual deaths involve people who work on or near elevators, including those who repair, install, and maintain elevators and work in or neat elevator shafts.
Elevator accidents are not common, but when they do occur, they usually cause serious and at times fatal injuries. Elevators are complex machines and everything needs to work properly together, including cables, pulleys, shaft, car, brakes, electrical system, and safety stops.
Few of the most common causes of elevator accidents include:
- Faulty wiring
- Unsafe design
- Inadequate maintenance
- Electronic eye malfunction
- Pulley system malfunction
Many things can go wrong even if just one part of an elevator system, including:
- Sudden acceleration or deceleration
- A sudden drop
- Free fall of elevator car down the shaft
- Doors do not close
- Doors get stuck
- Doors close when they should not
- Doors open into an empty shaft
- Elevator does not level properly with floor
- Elevator begins to move when it should not
When elevator malfunctions occur, they can cause accidents like:
- Falling down an empty shaft
- Doors closing on a person
- Tripping due to failure to level
- Becoming trapped between the side wall and the elevator car
- Becoming trapped inside an elevator car for several hours and days
Injuries Caused by Elevator Accidents
As mentioned, elevator accidents can cause a number of serious injuries and in some cases, even death. Some of the injuries that are caused by elevator accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Nerve and tendon lacerations
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries
Who is responsible for elevator accidents?
In most cases, elevator accidents fall under the legal category of premises liability. Business and property owners have a responsibility to ensure that elevators are maintained properly and that out-of-code or out-of-date elevators are replaced.
Typically, property or business owners hire a professional service to maintain and repair elevators. Maintenance and service companies are responsible for inadequate work including:
- Faulty repairs
- Failure to perform routine maintenance for which the company has been hired
- Failure to maintain proper maintenance records
Defective elevators can also cause accidents and injuries. This falls under product liability including:
- Defective parts
- Design flaws
- Failure to test or inspect
- Inadequate warnings
A Law Firm that Knows How to Win
If you or somebody you know been injured in an elevator accident, you must seek the counsel and help of one of the many experienced and reputed personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff,& Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
We know how to win cases. We do all the time. We have won millions of dollars for past clients. You too can be on this coveted list. You need to call us though. What is your side of the story? What really happened? Is your viable? Who said you cannot make your cake and eat it too?