Elevators and escalators are a common sight in subways, malls and multi-storied buildings throughout the entire country. They are very common in office buildings as well. According to the National Elevator Industry, Inc., 900,000 elevators and 35,000 escalators are in operation currently in the United States, transporting billions of passengers each year.
But if an elevator or escalator malfunctions, those using it at the time may be injured, sometimes seriously. If at work while injured on an elevator or escalator, workers may pursue workers’ compensation as well as third-party liability claims, in some cases. The elevator and escalator accident attorneys in New York from Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help you take whichever legal action is most appropriate.
How do elevator and escalator accidents occur?
A July 2006 report published by the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights posits that accidents involving escalators and elevators seriously injure 17,000 people per year, and lead to approximately 30 deaths. And the mention of elevator or escalator accidents may conjure up images of a drop down a massive shaft or a runaway escalator ferrying passengers up or down at blazing speeds. In reality, however, accidents on escalators and elevators can occur in a variety of ways.
A passenger may sustain injuries on an elevator if liquid on the floor causes a slip and fall; if the doors close too quickly and cause injury; if the car speeds up too quickly, causing a fall or other injury; or if any other defects lead to injury or death.
Escalator accidents may also occur due to missing or defective railings, quick stops, or loose teeth that cause clothing or other items to become caught or tangled. Those working around escalator or elevators or who repair them also might suffer injuries.
Who is liable for the elevator or escalator accident?
Elevator and escalator accidents can lead to devastating injuries. An accident on an escalator or elevator may cause broken bones or fractures, lacerations and abrasions, muscle strains and sprains, head and neck injuries, impalement, or traumatic brain injuries. All of these injuries may result in extensive medical bills, time missed from work and possibly even long-term disabilities.
In order to recover compensation for these damages, an injured worker may pursue a workers’ compensation claim. Such claims cover medical expenses and partial lost wages regardless of fault, as long as the injured worker was engaged in workplace tasks at the time of injury.
But the worker also may have a valid third-party claim against another party, such as the elevator manufacturer or the party responsible for maintaining the escalator. A building owner might be liable for injuries, too. An owner may be negligent by failing to have the elevator or escalator inspected as required by law. Similarly, an inspector may be negligent if he or she failed to perform the inspection correctly. In some instances, the accident may have been the result of negligence on the behalf of more than one party. In this case, it is in the best interest of the injured party to seek help from escalator and elevator accident lawyers in New York who are familiar with these cases.
Contact Our Elevator and Escalator Accident Attorneys in New York
You must inform your employer of your injury after the accident within 30 days and meet any filing deadlines to recover workers’ compensation benefits. The statute of limitations is two years from the time you became injured. Meanwhile, you must pursue a third-party liability claim within three years from the date of the accident.
Don’t wait any longer to find professional help. The elevator and escalator accident attorneys in New York from Gacovino Lake & Associates, P.C. will guide you through the process to acquire the compensation you deserve. You can reach us today by calling 800-550-0000.