Since New York City is an urban area with thousands of tall buildings, most New Yorkers rely upon elevators at their home or office to get to and from work or school. Elevator accidents resulting in serious injuries are relatively uncommon, but if an elevator is defective the results can be catastrophic. In New York, there are strict laws which govern the construction, installation, inspection and maintenance of elevators, hoists and escalators. Since this is an area requiring special knowledge, the companies that are responsible for the installation and maintenance of elevators, hoists and escalators are expected to be fully aware of, and comply with, applicable codes, statutes and industry safety standards.
In many large buildings throughout New York City, the property owner or management company retains an independent contractor to inspect and maintain the elevator to ensure it is in a safe condition. However, when there is a failure to conduct routine inspections and/or properly maintain the elevators in a safe condition, an accident can occur. In cases involving elevator accidents, it is very important that the attorney you retain conduct a prompt investigation to establish liability on the responsible party. This investigation should include obtaining the following:
- Any surveillance video which depicts the elevator, hoist or escalator prior to the accident
- Any surveillance video which depicts the accident itself
- Any accident or incident reports
- Any safety or work logs for the relevant time prior to the incident
- Any records regarding inspections, maintenance, alterations or repairs to the subject elevator, hoist or escalator
- Any contract between the building owner and company responsible to inspect, service and/or maintain the device
- The identity of any individuals who inspected or maintained the elevator, hoist or escalator in the relevant period prior to the incident
- Any reports or invoices for inspection, maintenance or repairs to the subject device
Occasionally there are construction accident settlements involving personnel or material hoists. The Labor Law and Industrial Code provide laws which were enacted to protect construction workers who are involved in erecting these hoists, as well as the construction workers who rely upon the hoists to access the floor where he or she is performing their work. If you were injured in an accident involving a hoist at a construction site, you should be sure that your attorney obtains an expert who has the required knowledge and expertise in this area.
We handle elevator and hoist accidents involving the following:
- Sudden Acceleration/Deceleration
- Door Entrapment
- Improper Hoist Erection and Maintenance
- Electrical Malfunction
- Equipment and/or Safety Device Failure
Similarly, millions of people rely upon escalators to transport them inside commercial establishments, train stations and other places of public assembly every year. The rules regarding the inspection and maintenance of escalators are not much different than the rules which apply to elevators. The company that is retained to inspect, service or maintain the escalator is responsible to ensure that it is operated in a safe manner and free of any defects that may pose a danger to escalator passengers.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an elevator, hoist or escalator accident, please contact us to discuss your case.