Elevator Accident Attorney in New York
There are almost 75,000 elevators and escalators in New York City, servicing thousands of residential, commercial and industrial buildings, with over 4 million rides per day. You might not give them much thought, because they are generally a very safe mode of transportation. When something does go wrong, the injuries can be catastrophic with serious physical and financial consequences.
The O’Connor Law Firm can help you get the answers you want and the compensation you need. I have spent more than 20 years litigating difficult cases in the courtroom. As member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, you can trust that I have the skills and experience to handle your case effectively. As a solo attorney who handles his own caseload, I am able to give you the attention you deserve.
Why Do Elevator And Escalator Accidents Happen?
Elevators and escalators can be poorly designed or contain manufacturing defects, which could cause accidents. Most injuries fall under the category of premises liability because the equipment was not properly maintained or replaced. The majority of elevator and escalator accidents are caused by improper installation, servicing and inspection of equipment. When an elevator malfunctions, it can lead to accidents involving:
- Sudden stops with sudden acceleration or deceleration, causing passengers to be violently thrown to the ground
- Mis-leveling can cause trip and fall accidents when the elevator does not stop flush with the floor
- Hoist cables that break and cause cars to free fall down the shaft
- Open shafts causing falling hazards in buildings and construction sites
- Defective and broken doors can cause crushing injuries due to force or because people become trapped halfway in the elevator while it continues to move between levels
- Doors that fail to close when the elevator moves up or down
- Faulty electrical wiring can cause an elevator to malfunction
- Malfunctions that can trap people inside the elevator for dangerous periods of time, leading to injuries such as severe heat exhaustion
- Inadequate maintenance and servicing
Escalator accident may also be caused by:
- Misaligned handrails that are out-of-sync with the stairs, either moving too slowly or too fast
- Broken or slippery entry mats that can cause slip and fall or trip and fall accidents
- Improper spacing or gaps in the comb plate of the stairs
- Improper speed of the escalator stairs
- Mis-leveling of the stairs
Proving Liability in an Elevator Accident
All elevators and escalators in New York City must be properly manufactured, installed, maintained and inspected. The New York City Department of Buildings Elevator Division inspects all City elevators and escalators to ensure their safe and proper use. Elevators and escalators must pass installation inspections as well as periodic inspections by the Department of Buildings to be legally operated.
If you are injured in an elevator accident, there may be several responsible parties, including:
- Building owners
- Property managers
- Maintenance companies
- Construction site owners and general contractors
- Elevator and escalator manufacturers
- Government agencies
In order to establish that a building owner, maintenance company or other potential party should be held liable for your elevator or escalator accident, you must prove the defendant (1) had a duty to operate, maintain or inspect the equipment in a reasonably safe manner; and (2) knew or should have known that the equipment was dangerous or not working properly and failed to timely fix the equipment (actual and constructive notice); and (3) you sustained injuries caused by the defendant’s failure to fix the dangerous equipment.
If you’ve been injured in an elevator or escalator accident you need an experienced NYC elevator accident attorney in your corner with the resources to properly investigate the cause of your elevator or escalator accident. We often retain experts who are experienced at inspecting elevators after an accident to determine the cause of an accident and identify any responsible parties. Call The O’Connor Law Firm today at 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500 and let us help you prove your case. We offer free case evaluations and are available 7 days a week.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
Whether you may have fallen down an open shaft at a construction site or got stuck in between malfunctioning doors in your apartment building or office, elevator accidents can cause serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries. These injuries can include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Head injuries
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Wrongful death
At The O’Connor Law Firm, we are dedicated to getting your life back on track and getting you the compensation you deserve for all your injuries, including pain and suffering and any economic loss.
According to the NYC Department of Buildings, all elevator passengers are advised to:
- Look down and make sure the elevator is level with the floor while entering and exiting.
- Do not exit the elevator if it stops more than 9 inches from the landing
- Press the door open button to hold closing elevator doors instead of using any part of your body.
- Never lean on elevator doors.
- Keep clothing items like ties and scarves clear of closing elevator doors.
- Be patient and don’t crowd the elevator. Too many people crowded into elevators can cause it to get stuck.
- Avoid jumping which can make an elevator uneven with the floor. You can also get stuck.
- Use the stairs in case fire
Three Rules if you get stuck in an elevator:
- Call for help by using the alarm button or making a phone call.
- Stay calm and relax.
- Wait for help to arrive and do not try to pry open the doors.
Many elevator injuries occur because a passenger decides to jump from a stalled elevator instead of waiting for help to arrive. Call for help. Stay calm. Wait for assistance.
The NYC Department of Buildings provides the following safety tips to all elevator riders:
- Step on and off carefully
- Hold the handrail
- Help young children and seniors
- Always face forward
- Don’t touch the sides below the handrail
- Never ride with an open stroller
- Make sure your shoelaces are tied
Let Us Help You Get The Compensation You Deserve
If you or a loved one have been injured in a NYC elevator or escalator accident due to the negligence of a building owner, maintenance company or other responsible party, you are entitled to full and fair compensation. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve, including:
- Lost earnings
- Medical expenses
- Future healthcare costs
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotion distress
We offer free consultations with no obligation. As a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, you can trust that I have the skills and experience to handle your case effectively and will provide you exceptional service to ensure you get the representation you deserve.
Call The O’Connor Law Firm For A Free Consultation Today
You may not know what to do next if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an elevator or escalator accident. When you become my client, I will deal with the insurance company and handle the legal details. You can focus on your recovery.
Call our law office in Manhattan at 212-566-4868 or Staten Island at 718-948-3500 or send me an email to schedule your free consultation. If you cannot travel to one of our offices, we can travel to you.