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When Elevator Accidents Cause Work Injuries

Posted by attorney Edward Lake

Elevator accidents are not always the fault of someone’s employer. Work injuries call for workers’ compensation claims, but sometimes elevator accidents result from improper safety checks or faulty construction. Work injuries from an elevator accident call for a third-party claim and a Long Island, New York, personal injury lawyer. Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help the injured party track down exactly who is responsible.

Those who work in the construction industry are especially at risk of becoming victims, such as ironworkers, electrical power installers, construction laborers and roofers. However, anyone who works on or near an elevator can be injured if the machine is not up to safety standards or was installed in a negligent manner.

Types of Elevator Accidents

When considering work injuries in relation to elevator accidents, falls into elevator shafts are the most common. Falling into a shaft could happen with a door opening unexpectedly, a platform giving way, a lack of barriers or warning signs, missing cover over a hole, or lack of personal fall protection equipment.

Injuries can also occur when the worker becomes trapped or caught in moving parts. Limbs and other parts of the body could be crushed or even severed.

Workers could sustain an injury when struck by an elevator, counterweight or some other type of material that falls. This can cause fractures, or even severe head injuries, such as brain damage.

Liability for an Elevator Accident

Responsible parties for an elevator accident on a construction site could include the property owner, an independent contractor, or an elevator repairer/installer. Depending on who is responsible, an elevator accident can be caused by a failure to properly install, maintain or repair. Or, an accident could be the result of poor training, failure to practice safety standards, and use of unqualified elevator repairers or installers.

Determining liability can sometimes be a challenge. If there were defects in the equipment or parts of an elevator, then a manufacturer may be liable. In some cases, it’s possible that more than one party could be named in a claim. Injured workers in New York City do not have the time to track down the various people that could be at fault for their accidents at the workplace; they have to heal!

Gacovino, Lake & Associates is a firm where a worker can find a Long Island, New York, personal injury lawyer that will fight for his or her rights while he or she focuses on getting better.

Filing a Third-Party Personal Injury Claim

A third-party claim is filed against someone other than the employer. It will need to be established which party (or parties) is/are potentially liable for the injuries sustained. Then, a determination needs to be made as to the types of damages that could be recovered.

The good thing about a third-party claim is that compensation tends to be much more than what would be received through workers’ compensation. This is especially important if the injuries are severe, disabling or life-threatening, which a pretty good chance is when the accident involves an elevator.

If a worker suffers a traumatic brain injury, which could have been sustained after a fall in an elevator shaft, the long-term costs could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more. And, if the injured person can no longer work, this only increases the financial burden.

In a third party claim, not only could the person recover damages for the medical expenses and lost earnings, but they may be compensated for pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish and more.

To learn more about the legal options that may be available, an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates should be contacted. Our attorneys will carefully review the details to determine who is potentially liable for work injuries sustained during an elevator accident.

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