Elevator Shaft Injuries
When somebody is injured in an elevator shaft, the injuries resulting are typically life-threatening or even fatal, as the ensuing fall is often from a great height, and may involve other dangerous elements within the shaft as well, such as electrical wiring or sharp components along the walls. If you or somebody you love has been harmed in an incident related to an elevator shaft, contact the personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP today to figure out what your options are.
Not all elevator shaft injuries involve falls. They can involve a worker being crushed by a lowering elevator car or a rising elevator car that begins to move while the worker is performing maintenance on the top of the car. They can also involve the elevator car suddenly lurching downward or moving upwards, causing elevator riders to fall when stepping into the elevator or potentially become caught in between the car and the shaft.
While elevators must be inspected regularly and elevator companies must adhere to strict safety regulations, this does not always prevent an injury from occurring. A construction worker just fell down an elevator shaft at the building site for the new Wynn Boston Harbor Casino in Everett, Massachusetts at the beginning of the New Year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has records of 491 elevator-related accidents in its database (dating back to 1984), meaning the occurrence is more common than some might think.Was the elevator company or a third party to blame?
In certain cases, elevator-related injuries could have been prevented by proper inspections, had they occurred as mandated by local, state and federal laws. In these instances, the elevator company is 100 percent liable for any injury that occurs due to the elevator malfunctioning. If somebody is killed due to the elevator malfunction, that company would also be open to a wrongful death lawsuit on the behalf of the victim’s family or loved ones.
In other cases, a general lack of awareness or gross negligence may have contributed to the elevator-related injury or fatality. If maintenance was scheduled for an elevator, but the property manager failed to properly shut down the elevator knowing that there would be workers in the shaft, and one of those workers is crushed or otherwise injured when somebody unknowingly uses the elevator, that property manager could be liable for the injury or fatality.
Other third parties may be responsible in an elevator shaft injury as well, such as a construction harness company which a worker relied on to hold them in the midst of an elevator shaft, should the harness malfunction and cause the worker to fall. Similarly, various tools used in elevator shaft maintenance may malfunction, causing the worker to lose balance and fall or otherwise come into harm.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys have over 50 years of experience fighting on behalf of our clients who are injured in a variety of ways, and we can assist you in the event of being harmed in an elevator-related incident as well. We will take the time to listen to your particular case and craft a legal strategy most likely to result in a successful outcome.
Our lawyers are local and based around Massachusetts – from Boston and Cambridge to Salem on the North Shore – and we have the knowledge to help you apply for workers’ compensation, collect insurance payments or even litigate against a negligible third party, property owner or company. We will provide an honest, straightforward and helpful legal presence to assist you through your most difficult times.
Call us for a free consultation today at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We are available 24/7.