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Elevator Accident Lawyer

premises liability - elevator accidentsRecent reports of escalator and elevator accidents in New York City speak of the inherent risks posed by poorly maintained or defective equipment that millions of residents and visitors rely upon daily. Roughly 60,000 elevators operate in the greater Manhattan area, and in 2011 more than 54 accidents were reported – three of them fatal.

If you or someone you care about has suffered harm or death in an elevator or escalator accident, legal assistance is available to you. Edelman, Krasin and Jaye are seasoned NYC & Long Island premises liability lawyers who will evaluate your claim free of charge to ensure your best interests and legal rights are protected.

Lawsuits arising from elevator or escalator injuries are premises liability claims in which several parties may be found liable, depending on context of the accident. Our Long Island injury lawyers can establish the responsible parties by conducting a detailed investigation and deposition, and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Causes of NYC elevator & escalator accidents

Commonly found in office buildings, hospitals, shopping malls, hotels, apartments and construction sites, elevators should be a safe mode of transport for those who use them. Unfortunately, when building owners, repair companies and manufacturers are negligent in their duties, countless people suffer needless injury.

Escalator and elevator accidents in New York are frequently the result of lax maintenance, though other factors can contribute to serious injury or wrongful death:

  • Improper installation
  • Failure to follow NYC building codes
  • Insufficient or improper maintenance
  • Failure to conduct regular inspections
  • Operating over capacity
  • Design defects in the equipment
  • Missing or loose parts
  • Faulty regulators or controllers
  • Sudden stops or falls
  • Defective components on elevator doors
  • Side entrapment from shoes
  • Failure to warn that the escalator/elevator is out of order
  • Failure to follow city regulations

Liability in elevator accident injuries

New York State building regulations outline specific requirements in regards to the installation, inspection, and maintenance of all elevators and escalators. More often than not, building owners or managing operators will hire a maintenance company to maintain elevators and make repairs as needed. Accidents that can be attributed to the negligence of the building owner or elevator repair company are often grounds for pursuing a premises liability lawsuit in New York state.

For instance, if the repairmen fixed a safety panel in the elevator door, but failed to ensure it closed properly and an injury resulted, the company may be held responsible for the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and other related damages.

Likewise, a building owner must exercise due diligence in the regular inspection and maintenance of its elevators and escalators, always following the manufacturer’s guidelines for scheduled maintenance. If the owner fails to take an obviously broken or defective elevator or escalator out of service, he or she could be sued on the basis of negligence. If an investigation discovers that the manufacturer sold an elevator or escalator with a faulty design or defective parts that were made incorrectly, this company can also be sued for appropriate damages.

Before retaining legal counsel, it’s imperative to select an attorney who has the requisite knowledge and track record to litigate complex premises liability cases, and who has the resources to gather evidence in elevator injury cases. This could include repair and maintenance logs, contracts between the building owner and repair company, inspection and load testing reports, as well as communications from the municipality where the elevator or escalator is located.

Common injuries sustained

Catastrophic injury is not uncommon in elevator or escalator accidents, and sadly, statistics show that young children are at greater risk for such harm.

Common injuries in elevator accidents include:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Back and spinal cord trauma
  • Paralysis
  • Damage to delicate joints such as knees, wrists and ankles

One particularly tragic accident claimed the life of 41-year-old Suzanne Hart, when in 2011 she stepped into an old elevator in a Midtown office building, just as she had done for four years. After placing one foot inside the car it suddenly jolted up, pinning Hart between the elevator door and wall. She was declared dead on arrival at the scene. Later inspections from NYC’s Department of Buildings revealed 14 open violations involving the Madison Avenue building elevators, though no pressing safety issues were found prior to the accident.

City investigators later reported that a crucial elevator safety mechanism was turned off at the time of Hart’s accident. A mechanic had turned off the system that keeps the elevator from moving when the door is open and had forgotten to turn it back on.

“These workers and their supervisors failed to follow the most basic safety procedures, and their carelessness cost a woman her life,” Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said in a statement to Huffington Post.

Compensation available to victims

Advocating on behalf of New Yorkers since 1952, the attorneys at Edelman, Krasin and Jaye promise to aggressively pursue monetary damages to account for elevator or escalator injuries that result in:

  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Hospital and doctor expenses
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Loss of spousal consortium
  • Death of a loved one

Free case evaluation with premises liability attorneys on Long Island

At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, our attorneys firmly believe that your success is our success. Our goal is to provide each client with compassion and individualized attention as we litigate your claim.

Please contact our offices today for a free legal consultation with a highly credentialed personal injury lawyer who can ensure you secure the compensation to which you are entitled. Call 1-800-469-7429 to arrange your no-obligation case review today.

  1. NBC New York, Man Who Fell to Death in New York Mall Slipped Off Escalator: Police http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Palisades-Center-Mall-Man-Fall-Death-NY-Westchester-Escalator-281075912.html
  2. Huff Post, Suzanne Hart's Midtown Elevator Death Due To Disabled Safety Device http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/suzanne-harts-midtown-ele_n_1304521.html
  3. NY Daily News, Tattoo artist, 20, crushed to death in elevator shaft at Bronx public housing building http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/man-crushed-death-elevator-shaft-bronx-public-housing-building-article-1.1882404
  4. New York Times, Elevator Accident Kills Woman in Midtown Building http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/nyregion/elevator-accident-kills-a-woman-in-a-madison-avenue-building.html?_r=0