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Man crushed to death by elevator in New York City apartment building

On Thursday, August 22, 2019, a man was crushed to death by an elevator. The incident occurred at a New York high-rise (located on the East Side on Manhattan on Third Avenue) as the 30-year-old man attempted to exit the elevator on the first-floor of the building. As the elevator doors opened on the first floor of the building, one person was able to exit the elevator. The victim tried to exit the elevator when the elevator car suddenly began descending – with the doors still open. Video footage of the incident shows the victim trying to hang onto something as the elevator began moving. Because he was in the process of exiting the elevator (his body was both in and out of the elevator cart), his body was crushed as the elevator kept descending. The victim was found pinned by the elevator cart between the first floor and the basement. The man was pronounced dead on the scene. Five other people (who were in the elevator while this incident was occurring) were later rescued, unharmed. Man crushed to death by elevator in New York City apartment building Inspectors from the Department of Buildings make a statement that they were investigating the incident and would “take all appropriate enforcement actions.” The Department of Buildings is “determined to find out what went wrong at [the] building and seek was to prevent [similar] incidents .. in the future.” Inspectors were on the scene of the incident.

Elevator Accidents Can Be Prevented

Elevators are generally safe and convenient means to go between floors; elevators are essential in multi-story buildings, like those so common in big cities like New York. Elevators need routine maintenance, specialized repairs, and inspections. Although elevators are safe, they can become unsafe if they are neglected and not repaired, inspected, or maintained. Property owners have a duty to ensure that every part of their property is safe; this includes elevators. They have the duty to ensure that their elevators are completely safe to be used as intended. By failing to identify and address hazards present on their elevators, property owners are putting innocent parties at risk. Although the incident is still being investigated and the reason for the elevator malfunction in the incident described above is still to be determined, it is safe to claim that someone failed to identify and address a safety hazard with the elevator – resulting in the incident.

Common Elevator Incidents

Although elevator incidents are not too common, it is important to be familiar with the different ways in which elevators – something that so many of us use on a daily basis – can cause harm. Consider the following incidents that could cause harm:
  • Elevator cables snapping (elevator freefalls down the elevator shaft and crashes below)
  • Elevator doors opening without the elevator cart (people can fall into empty elevator shafts)
  • Elevator doors are defecting (sliding closed suddenly while people are exiting/entering the elevator)
  • Elevator leveling (unleveled elevators can cause people to trip while entering/exiting elevator)
Freight Elevator | Service Elevator Accident AttorneyElevator Accident Attorney: Elevator Injury ClaimCambridge Elevating Issues Recall for Home ElevatorsElevator accident liability and common carrier liabilityEscalator Accident Attorney | Slip and Fall Shopping Mall0 Without a doubt, elevators have the potential to be very dangerous. Unsuspecting victims could suffer a number of injuries and even lose their lives as a result of elevator incidents.

Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.

Some Parties that Could Be Liable for Elevator Incidents

Man Crushed to Death by Elevator in Manhattan Promenade Building - Elevator Accident Attorneys Besides understanding the different incidents that could result in significant harm to unsuspecting victims, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the different parties who could be held accountable for incidents with elevators. As mentioned above, property owners can be held liable for the harm resulting from elevators (because property owners have a duty to ensure that their property is safe and free of hazards). When property owners fail to identify and address any hazards present on their property, they are creating a risk of harm to their guests. When any harm is directly caused by their breached duty of care, they could be held liable for the harm suffered. Likewise, elevator repair companies have a duty of care to ensure that their crew is trained properly in terms of safety and skill with regard to elevators. When elevator repair companies fail to provide their screw with safety training, their crew could find themselves in dangerous situations. A failure to ensure that their crew is skilled in elevator repair can result in the “repair” crew failing to identify issues and even creating new issues with elevators. When elevator repair companies allow untrained crew to repair elevators, they could be liable for the harm that their crew suffered and for the harm suffered by any other parties that use the elevator. Elevator companies – the companies that manufacture and make elevators available to consumers – can also be held liable for the harm resulting elevators. Elevator companies sometimes make defective elevators available for consumers. These companies have a duty to ensure that their products are safe to be used as intended. When these companies fail to identify and address hazards that eventually lead to harm, they could be held liable for the harm suffered.

Injured Victims and Surviving Family Members Can Sue

Whether you suffered injuries or a member of your family lost his or her life in an elevator incident, you likely have the right to sue. Injured victims and surviving family members have the right to pursue claims based on negligence – specifically, based on the fact that the negligence of a party. Negligence consists of four elements: duty, breach, cause, and harm. A party or entity (property owner, repair crew, elevator company, etc.) owes you a duty of care. By breaching their duty of care towards you, they are creating the risk of causing an accident – which could result in harm. When harm is directly associated with a breached duty of care, these parties/entities could be held liable. Whether you are pursuing an injury claim or a wrongful death claim (for the death of a member of your family), you will have to prove that the harm suffered was a direct result of a party or entity’s breached duty of care and negligent actions. With the guidance of an experienced attorney, you could effectively hold the liable parties accountable for their actions and recover the compensation that you deserve.

You Could Be Compensated

Recovering monetary compensation, whether you suffered injuries or a member of your family lost his or her life, will not reverse the harm suffered. Recovering compensation, however, can help you and your family start moving forward from such a traumatic experience. You could be compensated for all medical expenses, lost income, pain/suffering, loss of consortium, and funeral/burial costs directly resulting from an elevator incident. Depending on the details of your claim, you might even be eligible to recover punitive damages (awarded as a form of punishment towards the defendant). How much compensation could you receive? What type of compensation could you be eligible to recover? It is normal to have these questions and want information surrounding the monetary compensation that you might be eligible to receive. Because the compensation available for injury claims and wrongful death claims always depends on the specific details of the claim, speaking with an expert is essential. Only an experienced elevator accident attorney could evaluate your claim and provide you with case-specific information regarding the compensation that you could receive. For information about the potential value of your claim and your right to recover compensation, do not hesitate to contact our law firm as soon as possible.

You Must Seek Legal Assistance

If you or a member of your family were involved in an elevator accident that resulted in injuries or fatalities, it is important that you seek legal assistance. Although you might have grounds to pursue a claim and fight for your right to receive compensation, you could lose your right to pursue a claim if you fail to act within the appropriate length of time (deadline established by a statute of limitations). If you are in need of legal assistance to gain a better understanding of the deadline that you have to sue as well as your right to take legal action after an elevator accident, you could trust the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group to provide you with all the information that you need. Downtown L.A. Law Group is a personal injury law firm with many years of experience handling personal injury claims and representing victims and their families. Throughout the years, we have helped victims and their families recover millions of dollars in compensation. If you would like to discuss your claim with our elevator accident experts, you must contact us immediately. We offer a variety of legal services, which include free consultations and free second opinions, to ensure all parties have access to legal services. During these free legal services, our lawyers will give you all the information that you need to begin or continue your elevator accident claim. Our firm offers a Zero-Fee guarantee that ensures that our clients never have to worry about paying any upfront fees for any of our legal services. Because of our contingency structure, our clients will also never have to worry about paying legal fees until after (and only if) their claims reach successful outcomes. If you are ready to benefit from discussing your claim with our knowledgeable elevator accident attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us today.

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