As New York residents gradually return to their office buildings, the chance of a workplace accident increases. This includes elevator accidents, which are more common than you may think, and carry a risk of serious injury or even death.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that elevator and escalator accidents account for approximately 30 deaths and 17,000 injuries each year. Of those figures, elevators cause approximately 90% of the deaths and 60% of the injuries.
How do elevator accidents happen?
There are many ways that elevator accidents can occur. You may fall into the elevator shaft after an elevator platform collapses. An elevator’s sensor may not work properly, causing you to become crushed in between the elevator and the door if the doors close too fast. Improperly maintained elevators may go too fast, causing passengers to fall, crash into each other or smash into a wall.
Employers have a legal duty to make sure elevators are properly maintained and safe for the workers in their buildings, as well as elevator maintenance workers. An elevator inspection and maintenance program should be in place, and only individuals qualified in elevator maintenance and repair should work on elevator issues. Fall protection should be available for maintenance workers.
Holding your employer responsible
Injuries from an elevator accident can be severe, requiring you to take time off work to heal and recuperate. You may lose out on income and find yourself receiving high medical bills for the cost of treating your injuries. You may even experience mental distress and be afraid to set foot on an elevator ever again.
Your employer may be responsible for paying you compensation if your injuries were caused by their negligence. Since every situation is different, an experienced personal injury attorney can provide valuable advice on your chance of recovering damages through a premises liability claim after an elevator accident.