Imagine being in an elevator that stops abruptly, seems to go down, but then goes back up again while emitting a strange noise. And it's not exactly The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at MGM Disney, but a common elevator in a construction camp. Although, the story in this case is also one of terror. Being trapped in an enclosed space, and when you turn to look at the emergency button, you realize that no one is answering. What to do?
We know you've already asked yourself this question if you've been using elevators for a long time. Elevators can lead to many places. It would be impossible to imagine Las Vegas or New York without elevators connecting the spaces inside giant buildings. However, like any human creation, they can sometimes fail.
Although it is not good to live with the feeling of anxiety that it is something that could happen to you or to stop using it for fear of it happening, it is possible to take into account some recommendations to make these types of events more bearable.
Elevators should be alternatives to be completely omitted in situations such as earthquakes, seismic movements, or any natural disaster. Even in thunderstorms, they should also be avoided. If any of these unforeseen events occur, and you are on a high floor, you should never think of using an elevator. You should then locate an emergency stairway.
Not all people experience these facts in the same way. Some are victims of a degree of claustrophobia. Others experience feelings of suffocation, while others can tolerate the moment by letting help arrive on the way.
While not all such events are of the same nature, there may be some of much greater severity, such as elevator falls from high altitudes due to problems in the system that help you hover in the air as you ascend and descend.
In those cases, the prognosis is not very positive because of the speed of the impact of the fall. However, in situations such as traffic jams or minor door problems, it can sometimes be minutes before they come to your aid or the system returns to normal. If something like this happens, never try to force the doors by yourself; if not, locate the emergency button and see if the elevator returns to normal.
Why do you need an elevator accident attorney if you have suffered or been involved in such an incident? Because a lawyer from our team will be able to determine if the harmful consequences you experienced post-accident would involve compensation to help repair the damages.
Are you seeking compensation after going through a situation like the one described above? This can be a comprehensive process. To reach that outcome, justice determines legal responsibilities and reparations to the injured parties. But every long process requires a first step. To start if the necessary variables exist and to opt for the most efficient legal path.
Our Brooklyn elevator accident lawyers will be able to evaluate your case free of charge and offer you a diagnosis. We have 30 years of experience in the field; in addition to being a link to the immigrant community in New York, we never deny access to a case evaluation because of language or origin.
The doors of our offices are open to all, and helping the immigrant community is part of our essence, as many of them are members of our team.
Would you like to find out more details about elevator accidents? Would you like to check if some of the details of this type of event match what happened to you? Follow our post carefully so that we can explore these events together, as well as receive valuable information from us in terms of prevention, regulation, and identification of the most important elements that influence the occurrence of these events.
Our elevator accident attorneys in Brooklyn are constantly receiving letters from our readers thanking us for our work in disseminating valuable information to our community, which helps to raise awareness and make Brooklyn a safer and more just community for all.
Common causes of elevator accidents
The variables that trigger this type of event can range from technical aspects that were not taken into account, human error, and physical fatigue in the operators, to negligence related to authorizing a construction project to operate in the midst of severe weather conditions or that could generate a dangerous context for the correct operation of the project or construction camp.
There are climatic conditions in which it is not advisable to operate certain equipment. Failure to do so could lead to unfortunate events. Other aspects may also be linked to misuse of equipment, failures in electrical systems, software, or factory errors, in addition to exceeding the weight that the elevator can carry.
No single cause can be determined for all cases. However, it is possible to identify a scheme of common situations in which a group of causes are identified. It is through this identification that a prevention plan can be generated.
However, there will always be a margin of possibility for these events to occur, since we work with machines that are not perfect, although they can be constantly subjected to technical revisions.
To summarize a list of the most frequent possible causes, our team took a vote based on events that they have observed during their many years of experience in the field and were able to highlight the following:
• Maintenance Negligence: Elevator accidents can occur due to negligence in performing regular maintenance. Without routine inspections and repairs, potential issues may go unnoticed, increasing the risk of accidents.
• Mechanical Failures: Elevators rely on various mechanical components to operate safely. If any of these parts are defective or have worn out over time, it can lead to accidents, endangering passengers.
• Electrical Issues: Problems with the elevator's electrical system, such as faulty wiring or sensor malfunctions, can result in sudden stops or drops, putting passengers at risk.
• Overloading: Elevators are equipped with weight limits for a reason. Exceeding these limits can put excessive strain on the system, potentially causing accidents or malfunctions.
• Door Malfunctions: Elevator doors must have proper sensors and mechanisms to prevent closing when obstructed. Door-related accidents can occur when these safety features fail.
• Sudden Stops: Abrupt stops due to electrical or mechanical issues can be jarring for passengers, leading to trips, falls, or other injuries.
• Free-Falling: Catastrophic failures in the elevator's mechanical system may cause it to drop uncontrollably, resulting in severe accidents.
• Cable Snaps: Elevator cables play a crucial role in ensuring safe rides. When these cables break, it can lead to a dangerous and rapid descent.
• Power Outages: Elevators may become stuck between floors during power failures, potentially trapping passengers inside.
• Incorrect Leveling: Proper alignment between the elevator car and the floor is crucial for safe entry and exit. Incorrect leveling can lead to tripping accidents.
• Misleveling: Elevators that do not align with the floor upon arrival pose a tripping hazard to passengers, especially those with mobility challenges.
• Entrapment: Passengers can get trapped if the elevator stalls between floors, requiring rescue and potentially causing distress.
• Safety System Failures: Elevators rely on safety systems, such as emergency brakes, to prevent accidents. Failures in these systems can lead to dangerous situations.
• Improper Inspections: Elevator safety hinges on regular and thorough inspections. Inadequate or infrequent inspections may miss potential hazards, increasing the risk of accidents.
• Old Equipment: Aging elevator systems may be more prone to accidents if not properly maintained or updated with modern safety features. It is crucial to address these concerns to ensure passenger safety.
Immediate Actions After an Elevator Accident
Despair is the last thing you should do when these events occur. If you are trapped abruptly in the elevator, stay calm, take a deep breath, and, as mentioned above, find the emergency button.
If you do not receive any attention, see if it is possible to open the door easily. See if you can get a signal on your cell phone in case there is an option to communicate with someone outside.
We know you are asking yourself a lot of questions, will there be a contingency plan in the company for how to deal with these events? Could I suffocate if I don't get help in the next few hours? Aren't the chances that I have a signal on my cell phone very slim?
For these and many other questions, our law firm has worked on "the quick guide to the ten steps to follow if you are trapped in an elevator or suffer an elevator accident in which you are still conscious". Our experts recommend the following in most cases:
• Check for Injuries: First and foremost, check yourself and others for injuries. Attend to any immediate medical needs.
• Call for Help: If you still have a mobile connection, use your phone to call 911 or emergency services to report the accident and request medical assistance.
• Stay Calm: Encourage everyone to stay calm and avoid panicking. Panic can exacerbate injuries and hinder the response effort.
• Do Not Force the Doors: If the elevator doors are stuck, do not attempt to force them open. Wait for professional assistance.
• Use the Alarm Button: Elevators are equipped with emergency alarms. Press the alarm button to alert building personnel to the situation.
• Provide Details: When speaking with emergency responders, provide details about the accident's location, any injuries, and the number of people involved.
• Wait Patiently: After contacting emergency services, wait patiently for trained personnel to arrive. Follow their instructions.
• Assist Injured Individuals: If you are trained in first aid, and it's safe to do so, provide basic assistance to injured individuals while waiting for medical professionals.
• Document the Incident: If possible, use your phone or a camera to document the scene. Take photos or videos that may help with any future investigations.
• Seek Legal Counsel: After receiving medical attention, consider seeking legal advice if the accident resulted from negligence or safety violations. An elevator accident lawyer can guide you through potential legal actions.
Pursuing compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
We know that other doubts that arise when you research or read about these topics are about the types of compensation you could aspire to after a judicial process.
In reality, these will depend on the characteristics of the case you are experiencing. Each case can aspire to totally different types of compensation. In some, compensation for medical expenses may be a priority, as in others, compensation for deceased family members and families that were left in a state of abandonment due to the death of the breadwinner in one of these unfortunate events.
Although each case aspires to different things in legal terms, there are principles that are maintained transversally, such as the constant search for justice and the most common types of compensation, such as those that seek to repair pain, suffering, and loss of profits, among other categories.
You don't need to get dizzy with so many categories, just have notions about what you can aspire to. Even that 1/4-million-dollar check is possible if your case meets the necessary characteristics.
To give you better examples, our team has put together the following list of most typical compensations:
• Medical Expenses: Reimbursement for all medical bills related to injuries sustained in the elevator accident, including doctor's visits, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
• Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to time off work during recovery from injuries sustained in the elevator accident.
• Pain and Suffering: Damages awarded to account for physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident and injuries.
• Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological suffering, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by the elevator accident.
• Disability Benefits: Financial support for individuals who have suffered long-term or permanent disabilities due to the accident.
• Property Damage: Reimbursement for any personal property or belongings that were damaged or lost in the elevator accident.
• Rehabilitation Costs: Coverage for the costs associated with rehabilitation and physical therapy necessary for recovery.
• Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the impact of the accident on personal relationships, including loss of companionship and intimacy.
• Future Medical Expenses: Coverage for anticipated medical costs related to ongoing treatment or future surgeries resulting from elevator accident injuries.
• Wrongful Death Benefits: Compensation for surviving family members in the event of a fatal elevator accident.
• Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or misconduct, punitive damages may be sought as a form of punishment for the responsible party.
• Legal Fees: Coverage of legal expenses incurred while pursuing compensation, including attorney fees and court costs.
• Travel Expenses: Reimbursement for costs associated with traveling for medical treatment or legal proceedings related to the accident.
• Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Compensation for miscellaneous expenses directly related to the elevator accident, such as transportation costs or home modifications.
• Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Damages awarded to account for the reduction in the quality of life experienced as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident.
Contact The Ward to schedule a free case evaluation!
You see, elevators on construction sites connect the various construction workers when working properly and enable the development of huge real estate projects. But, when they do not work well, if not, on the contrary, they incur failures, the consequences are not so positive, and someone must experience possible negligence through dangerous events.
If you can no longer prevent it because one of these events crossed your path, you should not be without a lawyer from our team at your side. He needs his best allies to understand what just happened, from the legal to the emotional. We will be there to give you the precise advice.