If I Am Injured After an Elevator Malfunction, Can I Sue the Building?
New York City is filled with buildings equipped with elevators, and millions of New Yorkers use them on an almost daily basis. In today’s world, most people don’t think twice about using an elevator or the potential dangers that they pose. However, elevator accidents do happen, and they often cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, crush injuries, head injuries, back and neck injuries, and even death.
Common Elevator Accidents in New York City
The most common elevator malfunctions that end in injury include:
● Snapping cable that sends the elevator car dropping
● Elevator doors opening before the elevator reaches the floor
● Jammed elevator doors
● Unexpected acceleration or deceleration
● Wet handrails, walls, or floors that cause you to slip and fall
● Electrical malfunctions
● Falling down an elevator shaft
If you or a loved one are a victim of an elevator accident in New York City, you are likely facing unexpected medical expenses, lost wages, permanent disability, loss of quality of life, or worse. New York City elevators are subject to an abundant amount of laws and regulations, which is why you should hire a New York City personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in an elevator accident.
Who Is Liable for Your Injuries in an Elevator Accident in New York City?
Determining who is responsible for your injuries in an elevator accident may be complicated. Liability could rest with the owner of the building, the company that installed the elevator, the manufacturer of the elevator, and/or the maintenance contractor.
The owner of a building that holds elevators is responsible for ensuring that the elevators are properly maintained and in a safe condition. However, sometimes that responsibility is given to an elevator maintenance company. If the elevator was improperly installed you may also have a claim against the manufacturer of the elevator, a premises liability claim against the owner of the building, and a workers’ compensation claim if you were working in the building where your New York City elevator accident occurred.
When elevator accidents happen in New York City, the elevator should be taken out of service while your accident is being investigated. An investigation by the building owner’s insurance company, OSHA, the police, and perhaps state regulatory officials should be able to establish who is responsible for your injuries.
The truth is most building owners and property managers don’t want to take the elevator out of service for an extended period, nor do they want the finger pointed at them when it comes to fault, so they usually only conduct the most cursory investigations. Additionally, many New York City elevator accidents aren’t even reported to the proper government officials.
In most cases, the owner of the building is responsible for the maintenance of the elevators in their building. Elevators must be inspected each year by a licensed elevator inspector to ensure they are in a reasonably safe condition.
When elevator accidents happen, the building owner often attempts to blame the elevator maintenance company for your accident. However, property owners whose buildings contain elevators should carry out an analysis in which they evaluate if their monthly maintenance program is effective in preventing New York City elevator accidents.
The bottom line is, you have a right to expect that New York City elevators are not only properly designed and installed, but are appropriately maintained. These types of elevator accidents should never happen, but unfortunately, they still do.
Obtaining Experienced Legal Counsel After an Elevator Accident
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an elevator accident in New York City, then you need the help of an experienced team of legal professionals who will guarantee that the investigation is thorough and the at-fault party is correctly identified.
The team at Greenberg & Stein has decades of experience in personal injury cases throughout New York City, including those involving elevator accidents and injuries. Each case is different, but our firm is devoted to client satisfaction and offers personalized service, no matter how big or small the case.
If you’ve been injured in an elevator accident in New York City, speak to one of our personal injury attorneys here at Greenberg & Stein to discuss whether your case might qualify for additional compensation. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.