Many people in New York City use elevators everyday without thinking about the potential risks. If an elevator is poorly maintained, occupants could be exposed to hazards that could lead to injury and death. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27 people die in elevator accidents every year while 10,200 people suffer from nonfatal elevator injuries.

An elevator accident may happen because of a number of different problems. For example, a malfunctioning pulley system or another defect could cause an elevator to suddenly drop to the bottom of the shaft. Faulty doors on an elevator could also pose a risk to elevator passengers by exposing them to falls through an open shaft. There are also cases where faulty wiring could make elevator occupants vulnerable to electrocution. Trip-and-fall accidents can occur if the elevator does not line up properly with each floor.

Statistics gathered by the U.S. Labor Department’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries has shown that half of the fatal elevator accidents that take place each year involve elevator maintenance workers and workers who use elevators at their jobs. Half of those fatal accidents involved the victim falling into the elevator shaft.

A person who has been injured while using an elevator might have a case for filing a premises liability claim. To present a strong claim, the plaintiff might need to gather evidence that suggests that the property owner was negligent in their responsibility to maintain a safe elevator. Many plaintiffs in this type of case choose to seek help from an attorney.

Source: Consumer Watch, “Elevators“, January 08, 2010

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