New York Defective Elevator Door Accident Injury Attorneys
New York City is the home of large, imperial skyscrapers. It has huge corporate offices and countless high-rise apartment buildings. Some estimates indicate that New York City has more than 76,000 elevators.
How grateful we are to elevators. They allow us to move quickly and with ease from one floor to the next. There is no need for us to become exhausted or hurt ourselves by climbing an untold number of stairs to reach the floor we need. Nonetheless, a person can still get hurt while using an elevator.
If you have been injured by an elevator door, The New York personal injury attorneys at Hill & Moin LLP can help you. We understand how New York law relates to defective elevator door injuries.
When you have a lawyer with our law firm on your side, you will see that it is “like having a lawyer in the family.” Call (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Why Elevator Doors Are a Primary Cause of Elevator Injuries?
Every day, many thousands of people throughout New York use an elevator. Most do so without concern for their safety. Yet, elevator injuries can and do occur.
Accidents often happen because an elevator is poorly maintained or another passenger is careless or inattentive. Whether because of poor maintenance or an otherwise negligent person, an elevator door could close on a passenger as he or she goes in or out of the elevator.
The majority of modern elevators are equipped with sensors that determine when a passenger is entering or exiting the elevator. These sensors can identify not only people but also objects or even just limbs.
Modern elevators are designed in a way to close slowly. This slow closure can reduce the amount of pressure that is put on someone if the door hits him or her.
Yet, if these elevator sensors malfunction or do not properly work because of poor upkeep or disrepair, they can fail to detect a person who is entering or exiting the elevator. A person could be hit and injured by the closing doors. A limb, such as a foot or a hand, could get trapped, even smashed, by the closing doors.
It is conceivable that the system which operates the sensors and identifies objects within the doors could fail entirely. In such a dangerous situation, a trapped person could be pulled, dragged, or lifted as an elevator begins to ascend or descend.
Additional Causes of Elevator-Related Injuries
Elevator doors are not the only reason passengers and other people near an elevator can become injured. Elevators are large, heavy, powerful machines. Suppose these machines are not properly maintained, or people behave irresponsibly or negligently around them. In such cases, people can become injured for a variety of reasons.
A property owner could fail to maintain the elevator properly. Elevators can lose power and suddenly plummet. It could malfunction and trap the passengers within it for a considerable amount of time. A construction worker could become injured in the installation or maintenance of an elevator.
Additional causes of elevator-related injuries are:
- A sudden and rapid increase or decrease in the elevator speed
- The elevator inaccurately lined up with the building floor (known as misleveling)
- Falling down an open elevator shaft
- Being trapped in the main elevator compartment
- Being crushed between the elevator wall and the car
- Safety device failures
- Wet floors, causing slip-and-fall accidents
Frequently at the root of an elevator accident is inadequate maintenance. This means that an owner or other responsible party neglected to correct operating defects or to replace safety devices when necessary.
Skilled elevator accident lawyers can assist you in knowing your rights and receiving fair compensation. An attorney can help you determine and implement the best legal actions available to you.
What Are the Laws Connected to Elevator Maintenance in New York City?
Elevator door accidents can result in serious injury. Therefore, in order to avoid accidents, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) enforces many regulations that buildings with elevators must implement. This department’s goal is to promote “safety on construction sites and in the City’s nearly 1.1 million buildings.”
Who is required to apply these rules and regulations? The following are individuals who must implement and adhere to the guidelines of the DOB:
- Property and building owners
- Building maintenance groups
- Contractors on construction sites
In addition, within New York City, all elevators must receive an inspection two times each year. These inspections are done by a contracted inspection agency. Usually, these inspections occur without a prior warning being issued.
Additionally, building owners need to have a current maintenance contract with an approved elevator agency. This approved elevator agency will handle maintenance for their elevators. The contracted agency must care for the repairs, replacement, and maintenance of the elevators.
These contracts can be complex because the New York City construction code requires these contracts to have a Maintenance Control Program. This Maintenance Control Program needs to be in accordance with the specifications of the elevator manufacturer. Thus, the building owners must maintain accurate and up-to-date maintenance logs. The logs must identify the details of the maintenance conducted on their elevators.
The laws for elevator maintenance outside of New York City can be different than those within the five boroughs. However, the regulations and legal requirements are similar. As a result of New York State having complex laws connected to elevator maintenance, it is best for you to get help from an elevator door accident injury attorney right away.
An attorney with experience with New York elevator maintenance laws can help you understand how best to proceed with your personal injury case. A lawyer can make sure nothing gets missed in the evaluation of your case in combination with the many intricate elevator rules and regulations in New York.
Who Can Be Found Accountable for an Elevator Accident?
Of course, elevators are machines with no brain or personality. Elevators in themselves do not act negligently or maliciously. They are designed to operate with little input or interaction from their passengers.
Therefore, when a person is hurt by an elevator, the accident and injury is commonly found to be the fault of a property owner who has been negligent in some way. Accidents can also result from the use of defective elevator parts or negligence on the part of an elevator serviceman. At times, another elevator passenger or person near the elevator may act in an irresponsible way or careless manner that causes the elevator to injure someone.
Suppose it is proved that one of the above parties caused your injuries. In that case, that party could be considered accountable for your injuries. The culpable person would then be legally responsible for providing you with compensation.
Frequent Elevator Door Injuries
Elevators are useful means of quick transportation that can, unfortunately, injure their riders if something goes wrong. Passengers of an elevator can experience a variety of injuries.
Some of the most common injuries from elevator door accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic head injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Lost Limbs
The above list does not cover every type of injury that can qualify you to receive financial restitution. Compensation is available for medical bills and other damages if your elevator door accident was connected to some sort of negligence. You may even be entitled to receive additional damages for pain and suffering.
What Compensation is Available After an Elevator Door Accident?
An accident caused by an elevator door can create serious and painful injuries. These injuries could include such conditions as concussions, broken bones, and in extreme cases, even death. The financial cost of such experiences can be immense.
However, you can receive financial recovery for the expenses incurred from an elevator door accident. Compensation can be obtained for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Do not wait to consult a New York City elevator accident lawyer. The sooner you speak with a personal injury attorney, the sooner you can be relieved of your financial worries. With the assistance of an attorney, you can get the help you need to obtain compensation for the damage that the elevator door accident has caused you.
The financial recovery of our clients is our priority at Hill & Moin LLP.
Don’t Wait to Get Help After Your Injury Caused by an Elevator Door
Elevator accidents are increasing in New York. The causes of these accidents and injuries vary. Yet, rarely is the person who was injured by the elevator to blame.
Regardless of the reason for your injuries, you will want to retain a lawyer who understands you and your case. With an attorney’s help, you can obtain compensation for the medical costs after your accident. Your lawyer can assist you in receiving the most restitution available for your injuries and the consequences.
Hill & Moin LLP’s personal injury lawyers are thoroughly familiar with cases related to elevator doors and can advise you about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ. Contact a personal injury attorney at (212) 668-6000 to schedule your initial free consultation.
Don’t wonder about your rights!