Five people were injured in two elevator accidents in Brooklyn and Manhattan on July 5. According to a report in the New York Post, four Con Edison workers were hurt at the company’s Vinegar Hill facility when their elevator came crashing down about 200 feet the morning of July 5. The elevator came to rest in an underground shaft. Firefighters worked for hours to free the victims. They were transported to an area hospital. The men were headed down to an underground utility tunnel that runs under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan, Con Edison officials said.
In Manhattan, an elevator mechanic suffered critical injuries when a lift crashed down on him in a building on Lafayette Street in the East Village, also the morning of July 5. The mechanic was working to repair an elevator in the basement when he was crushed, officials said. It took emergency workers nearly an hour to extricate him. He was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of these injured workers and we wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Elevator Accidents Involving Workers
U.S. elevators make about 18 billion passenger trips a year, which result in about 27 fatalities and 10,200 injuries each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Elevator mechanics and repairmen are most at risk when it comes to injuries and fatalities involving elevators. A recent BLS report showed that during a 10-year period, fatal elevator accidents involving workers occurred mostly when they were installing or repairing elevators, when they were working in an elevator shaft or car or when they were doing work near an elevator.
Types of Injuries Involving Workers
A 2009 report in Occupational Health and Safety notes that individuals who install and maintain elevators may become injured in a variety of ways including falls, electrical shocks, muscle strains and getting crushed by the elevator. Falls were responsible for more than over 25 percent of the deaths of workers installing or repairing elevators. “Caught in” deaths included being caught in elevator machinery such as counterweights or between two cars or between the elevator shaft or the doorway and a car.
Falling into elevator shafts is one of the most common injury incidents involving workers. Falling into a shaft may happen with a door opening unexpectedly, a weak platform giving way, lack of barriers or warning signs, or due to the lack of personal fall protection equipment, etc. Elevator accident injuries can also occur when the worker becomes trapped or caught in moving parts. Limbs and other parts of the body may be crushed or even severed. In addition, workers may sustain injuries when they are struck by an elevator, counterweight or other falling material. This type of an incident may cause broken bones or even traumatic brain injuries.
Compensation for Injured Workers
Depending on the nature and circumstances of the elevator accident, a number of parties may be held liable for the incident and damages caused. For example, if an elevator accident occurred in an apartment building, the landlord or property manager or elevator maintenance company may be held accountable if unsafe conditions existed at the time of the accident.
If a worker was injured or killed while servicing or repairing the elevator, he or his family may seek workers’ compensation benefits through his employer. Injured victims of elevator accidents can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. An experienced New York City elevator accident lawyer can evaluate each case and help injured victims or families of deceased victims pursue fair compensation for their losses.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident or if you have lost a loved one in an elevator accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Our law firm recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft.
In an interview by the Canadian television station Global News after a fatal escalator accident in Montreal, Mr. Kenneth A. Wilhelm stated that the installation of emergency stop buttons that are easily located and run the entire length of the escalator stairs could go a long way in preventing escalator accident injuries and fatalities.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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