A woman was trapped in a Manhattan building elevator over the weekend before firefighters eventually rescued her on the morning of Jan. 28. According to an NBC New York news report, the woman was an employee of the building owners of the Upper East Side townhouse building on East 65th Street near Madison Avenue, a block away from Central Park. Firefighters rescued the woman and officials are still trying to determine exactly when the victim got stuck.
The woman was transported to a local hospital and further information regarding her condition was not immediately available. It is also not clear if she had a cell phone or some other communication device with her at the time. City records show that the elevator was inspected in July and no violations were filed. Our thoughts and prayers are with this victim and we wish her a speedy and complete recovery.
The Problem of Unsafe Elevators
The New York City Department of Buildings estimates that since 2010 citywide at least 22 people have been killed in passenger elevators and from falling into elevator shafts. Also, since 2010, there have been nearly 500 elevator accidents reported, of which 48 have led to serious injuries. While nearly half of these involved passengers, a majority of those who suffered fatal injuries were elevator mechanics. New York City has more elevators than Los Angeles and Chicago combined. However, the city does not legally require training and licensing for elevator mechanics.
A recent investigation by The Real Deal found that lack of training for elevator mechanics combined with city inspectors’ failure to identify dangerous elevators and/or falsifying inspection records have significantly affected elevator safety in New York City. Landlords and property managers who hire mechanics often do not face penalties for neglecting safety. This gives them little incentive to practice safety measures and places elevator users in serious danger of injury or death.
What Are Your Rights?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident, please understand that you do have legal rights. Building owners, managing agents and elevator maintenance companies have a responsibility to ensure that their elevators are properly installed and that they are maintained in good working condition. Elevator maintenance companies have a duty to ensure that elevators are properly serviced.
Injured victims of elevator accidents can file what is known as a premises liability lawsuit against at-fault property owners and/or managing agents, etc. Victims 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. Those who have lost loved ones in elevator accidents may be able to file wrongful death lawsuits against the negligent (careless) parties seeking compensation for their losses as well.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
An experienced NYC elevator accident lawyer will be able to identify the parties involved in the manufacturing, installing and maintaining of the elevator in question. It is crucial that you retain the services of a lawyer who has a thorough understanding of how to investigate these types of accident cases and determine who was at fault. In some cases, an elevator manufacturer may be held responsible, particularly if any of the components had failed due to defective manufacturing or faulty design.
If incorrect installation was an issue, the installer may be held responsible. The building owner and property manager may be held accountable if they had failed to maintain the elevator or if they did not make timely repairs. If an elevator maintenance company did not perform the repairs correctly, they may be held responsible for the injuries and damages caused as well.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident or suffered injuries as a result of negligence on the part of property owners and/or property managers 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.
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 and medical malpractice 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: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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