How Faulty or Inadequate Maintenance Can Lead to Devastating Elevator Accidents

Elevators are an integral part of urban living, facilitating the movement of people and goods in high-rise buildings and complexes. While elevators are expected to be safe and reliable, accidents can occur due to various factors, including mechanical failures, electrical issues, and human error. One of the most often cited factors of elevator accidents is the failure on the part of property owners, managers and their agents to properly maintain elevators. Neglecting regular maintenance, inspections, and repairs can lead to malfunctions, mechanical failures, and safety hazards, putting passengers at risk of serious injuries or even fatalities.

Why Regular Elevator Maintenance is Crucial

elevator accidentRegular maintenance of elevators is crucial for ensuring their safe and efficient operation. Proper maintenance helps identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems or elevator accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries or even deaths.

  • Preventing mechanical failures: Regular inspections and maintenance help detect and rectify wear and tear, faulty components, or malfunctioning parts, reducing the risk of sudden stops, free falls, or entrapment.
  • Ensuring electrical safety: Electrical systems, wiring, and controls in elevators need to be inspected and maintained to prevent power surges, outages, or faulty connections that can disrupt the elevator’s operation and pose serious safety hazards.
  • Maintaining safety features: Elevators are equipped with various safety features, such as brakes, emergency stop buttons, and door sensors. Regular maintenance ensures these safety features are functional and effective in preventing accidents and protecting passengers.
  • Compliance with regulations: Regulatory authorities, such as the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), mandate regular inspections and maintenance of elevators to ensure compliance with local and national safety standards. Failure to comply can result in penalties, fines, or legal consequences for building owners and maintenance providers.

Common Types of Negligence (Carelessness)

Failure to maintain elevators can manifest in various ways, jeopardizing their safety and reliability, including:

Infrequent inspections: Neglecting to conduct regular inspections or extending the intervals between inspections can result in overlooked issues, undetected problems, or delayed repairs, increasing the risk of accidents.

  • Poor quality repairs: Cutting corners, using substandard parts, or performing inadequate repairs can compromise the integrity and functionality of the elevator, leading to malfunctions and safety hazards.
  • Lack of documentation: Proper documentation of maintenance activities, inspections, and repairs is essential for tracking the condition of elevators, identifying recurring issues, and ensuring accountability. Neglecting to maintain accurate records can result in oversight, neglect, or mismanagement of maintenance tasks.
  • Inadequate training: Maintenance personnel responsible for servicing elevators should receive comprehensive training on proper maintenance procedures, safety protocols, and compliance with regulatory standards. Inadequate or insufficient training can lead to errors, oversights, or carelessness in maintaining elevators.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator/escalator accident or suffered injuries as a result of negligence (carelessness) on the part of property owners and/or property managers, elevator maintenance companies, etc., 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. For over 52 years, our skilled attorneys have established a proven track record of assisting injured victims.

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 may go a long way in preventing escalator accident injuries and fatalities. Our law firm helped a client secure $1,750,000 in a case where she suffered an ankle injury requiring surgery when the elevator she was in fell four floors due to negligence (carelessness) on the part of the elevator maintenance company. In addition, we got the workers’ compensation insurance company to pay a $150,000 lump sum for future medical benefits. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

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, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, 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.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: