Elevators are modern marvels of engineering. They help us quickly ascend or descend many floors in the Big Apple’s tallest buildings. They also help construction workers get around worksites quickly and safely. However, while New York City has the largest number of elevators of any city, and safety is usually taken seriously, elevator-related accidents still occur.
Inherently dangerous, elevator accidents can result in major injuries and/or wrongful deaths. Construction workers in particular are at risk with regard to elevator accidents, since they frequently use elevators that may not be as well-inspected or maintained as those for completed or inhabited buildings.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers has extensive experience assisting elevator accident victims. We’ve represented many clients and helped secure settlements for medical expenses and other costs, including one case that resulted in a $5 million payout. To learn more or receive a free case evaluation, contact us today at 1-800-966-4999.
What Are Elevator Accidents?
Elevator accidents are any accidents that occur in or around elevators or elevator shafts. Elevator accidents can include:
- An elevator tether or cable system breaking, causing the elevator to plummet to the ground
- A construction worker or anyone else falling into an elevator shaft
- An elevator falling on someone’s limb
Elevators are incredibly heavy machines. In order to maintain maximum capacity and safety, most elevators weigh anywhere between 2,100 pounds and 6,000 pounds. However, even construction site elevators — which frequently carry only basic guardrails — can still weigh many hundreds of pounds and prove dangerous if they fall or break.
Because of the weight of elevators, elevator accidents may cause serious injuries among construction workers, elevator occupants, and others. Possible injuries include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Strains, sprains, and ligaments tears
- Head injuries like concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- External lacerations and/or internal bleeding
- Lost limbs
Additionally, falling from elevators or into elevator shafts may lead to the above or similar injuries. Regardless, these injuries often result in very high medical bills for X-rays, surgery, physical therapy, and more.
If you or a loved one were involved in an elevator accident, you might wonder how you can pay for all these costs. If someone else, such as an organization or site supervisor, was responsible for the accident, you may be able to sue them and recover damages.
To speak with one of our elevator accident experts, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 1-800-966-4999.
How Do Elevator Accidents Occur?
Elevator accidents can occur at any time for a variety of reasons. Construction site accidents with elevators may be caused due to site supervisor or employee negligence. Potential causes include:
- Mechanical or electrical issues, such as bad wiring or power outages.
- Outdated elevators or machinery. For example, if a site supervisor does not replace a broken-down elevator for workers, and the elevator then causes injuries, they could be held liable for damages.
- Falling objects, which can fall down unprotected elevator shafts and land on construction workers.
- Falls into empty elevator shafts, which can occur due to improper maintenance of safety guardrails and/or a failure to adhere to all other necessary protocols and precautions.
- Failure to provide warning signs. An out-of-order or under construction elevator is required to have adequate signage to prevent people from entering the elevator shaft.
Some of these causes could be due to negligence: a distinct legal concept that may hold one party or another liable for injuries caused.
Although elevator safety is taken quite seriously, elevator accidents still occur at an alarmingly high rate. According to certain statistics:
- About 27 people die in elevator accidents each year.
- Elevator accident injuries affect approximately 10,200 people every year. Most of these occur due to elevator door malfunctions and passenger safety vulnerabilities.
- More than half of elevator-related fatalities occurred to construction, maintenance, and/or repair workers who service elevators.
Can You Sue for Elevator Accident Injuries?
Sometimes. It depends on whether you can prove negligence on behalf of another party. Negligence means that someone, such as a construction site supervisor or an organization, was responsible for your safety but deliberately or recklessly ignored that responsibility.
For example, all construction site supervisors and general contractors are required to provide their employees with safety gear and adequate warning about site hazards. Say a construction worker does not know that an elevator shaft door is flimsy and it opens without warning. If they fall down the shaft as a result, their supervisor or employment company could be found responsible for the accident and any injuries.
Depending on the circumstances of your elevator accident, you may be able to sue:
- Your direct supervisor
- Your employing organization, like a contracting company
- The manufacturer of an elevator, if the accident occurred because of faulty elevator parts
- Elevator maintenance or inspection staff
Still, it can be difficult to know who you should sue and whether a lawsuit is advisable. Experienced elevator accident attorneys like Schwartzapfel Lawyers can provide advice on this point and help you determine who may ultimately be at fault for your injuries.
How Schwartzapfel Lawyers Help
At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, our attorneys possess more than 150 years of legal experience between them, and we’re ready to assist with your elevator accident lawsuit as soon as you give us a call; dial 1-800-966-4999 and allow Schwartzapfel Lawyers the honor and privilege of fighting – and winning – for you!
Past Experience and Case Settlements
As experienced elevator accident attorneys, our team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers knows what to expect from your upcoming case and how to make sure you get the damages you need to cover your medical expenses.
For example, we recently secured a $5 million settlement in a slip and fall case for a union elevator constructor. Our client slipped and fell on a New York City construction site, injuring his back as a result. The accident only occurred because of the negligence of their contracting company, so we were able to secure damages after a legal fight. We supported this client throughout the lawsuit process, and we will do the same to you if you hire us for your case.
This is just one example of how we can fight for you like we’ve fought for all of our past clients, whom we view as family and treat accordingly; thus, each new case we take on becomes the most important task for our team.
Other elevator accident settlements we’ve secured for our clients include:
- A $3.25 million settlement for an elevator constructor. This client was struck by an object that fell through an elevator shaft, which injured his neck and head.
- A $3 million settlement for an elevator constructor who fell on a construction site, injuring himself and requiring surgery.
- A $2.5 million settlement for an elevator constructor who fell at a New York City construction site and who injured his back and ankle.
- A $2.2 million settlement for an elevator constructor who suffered a fall injury, injuring his knee at a New York City construction site.
All of this past experience can be used to work for your case and guarantee you get the damages you need for a full recovery – physically, mentally, and financially.
We also understand the difficulty of paying for legal assistance when you are already struggling to cover mounting medical debts. That’s why we don’t charge our clients a dime unless we first secure their damages through a successful lawsuit or arbitration process.
This contingency fee basis means you won’t ever have to worry about paying for our help unless we win. As such, when you hire Schwartzapfel Lawyers for your elevator accident case, we don’t win unless you do as well!
Dedication To All Clients
We fight for each of our clients with unending dedication and commitment to their needs. From the beginning of your lawsuit all the way through its successful resolution, we’ll have your back and be in your corner to provide legal counsel, help you understand the lawsuit process, and handle any other work that needs doing.
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers
Elevator accidents are tough enough to recover from physically. Don’t add to your worries by filing a lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim alone. Instead, get the legal assistance you deserve by contacting Schwartzapfel Lawyers.
We’ve helped construction workers like you recover workers’ compensation payouts and win lawsuits after being injured in an elevator accident. We’ve also helped countless New Yorkers recover compensation for negligence that led to their elevator accident injuries.
No matter the circumstances or details of your case, we’re sure we can help. And it all begins with a free case evaluation, so call us now at 1-800-966-4999 or contact us online to get started.
What are you waiting for? Act now and protect your financial future. Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers without delay; because you’re worth it, and, no matter your situation, you deserve the best.