New York City has more than 63,000 passenger elevators making more than 35 million passenger trips daily, according to a 2017 Department of Buildings study. People living and working in high-rise structures ride up and down an average of four times each day, and most take for granted that they are safe. Given the number of trips, the percentage of accidents is quite low. Still, about 15,300 people in the United States are seriously injured each year in accidents and about 18 are killed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. At our offices in Brooklyn and Garden City, The Licatesi Law Group, LLP’s attorneys work to attain fair compensation for injuries or deaths suffered in such incidents.
Elevators incorporate counterweights, an electric motor, a braking system, a metal cable and pulley system, safety systems and electronic control systems. Any one of these systems could malfunction or suffer from poor maintenance or improper installation, resulting in these types of accidents:
Deaths and injuries can also be caused by passenger recklessness, such as climbing out of a stuck elevator, or by bad luck, such as getting a garment caught in a closing door.
Most injuries are suffered by workers that install, repair or maintain elevators. They account for nearly half of the annual deaths.
The New York Department of Buildings mandates that elevators throughout the five boroughs be inspected and tested twice each year and undergo an in-depth inspection that includes load tests every five years. Building owners must submit proof of testing and of corrective action being taken if a defect was identified. In 2017, 4,816 violations were issued in the city and involved less than 7 percent of buildings with elevators.
At The Licatesi Law Group, LLP, our skilled personal injury attorneys investigate to help determine the cause of an accident and who can be held accountable for the medical expenses, lost wages and emotional distress that result from an elevator injury. In most cases, the building owner is responsible for the elevator and is subject to a premises liability claim. The maintenance company is responsible for the work it performs and may be sued for failure to properly maintain it. In some instances, the mechanism was improperly designed or made, and we can file a claim against the manufacturer.
To learn how Licatesi Law Group, LLP can help with your elevator accident, take advantage of a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced attorney. Call us at 516-227-2662 or contact our Garden City or Brooklyn office online.
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