In a recent tragedy in Brooklyn, a 25-year-old building worker fell five stories from a trapped elevator and died. The accident occurred in the Brooklyn Navy Yards when the power went out suddenly. The worker attempted to escape the elevator but reportedly slipped and fell down the elevator shaft. The man was pronounced dead at Brooklyn Hospital.
Establishing Liability in a Fall Accident
Accidents that occur at work may allow workers or their families to collect under workers’ compensation programs. However, depending on the accident circumstances, third-party liability claims may be pursued as well if another party other than the employer was found to have acted negligently to cause or contribute to the accident.
Property owners, for example, may be liable in some cases, as could product manufacturers, other contractors, and other parties who may have contributed to or caused the accident.
The actions of the injured person will be considered. Let’s say someone is walking across flooring that has just been waxed, slips and hits his/her head. Although it might initially appear to be the owner’s fault, it could be that a warning sign had been posted but the injured person didn’t see it because he/she was walking while texting.
Generally, to prove a property owner was liable it would need to be established that a known hazard existed or the owner should have known about the condition. If a product is faulty, the victim must establish that there was a defect in the product that caused the accident.
If it’s believed that a slip and fall accident was caused by negligence, it can be beneficial to seek legal counsel. Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help injured workers and their families explore their options to recover under workers’ compensation or through a third-party claim or lawsuit against a party other than the employer.