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Who is Liable in an Elevator Accident?

Building Owner

An owner of a building that has tenants or visitors on the premises has a duty to maintain the elevators in a safe condition. Because elevators are usually used by invitees, the owner owes the highest degree of care. The building owner may give some of this responsibility to a maintenance company or building management company. However, building owners are liable if they fail to hire a competent company and instead hire a company with many open violations in the Department of Buildings. The management company must take the elevator out of service, warn people not to use it if it is not working correctly, proceed with necessary repairs, and arrange for all the required inspections. If they fail to do so, and an elevator drops suddenly, or has a door that doesn't work properly, they can be liable for the head, back, neck, and other injuries sustained by the invitees.

Maintenance Company

Often, maintenance workers' negligence is the cause of an elevator malfunctioning. Usually building owners hire a special maintenance company to maintain the building's elevators in safe conditions. If a maintenance company fails to do its job to maintain elevators in a safe operating mode, fails to post a warning that work is being performed,or fails to report any upgrade work to the Buildings Department in order to get an inspection, the maintenance company is liable for any and all injuries. Failure to follow these basic safety procedures may cost people their lives.

Manufacturer

Oftentimes, when an accident takes place, it is the fault of the manufacturer or the service vendors. The elevator could have a defective part and was negligently maintained. These accidents may cause serious injuries, permanent disability and death. If you or a loved one has been injured, give us a call today to see how we can help. Our attorneys have access to the best experts in Pennsylvania. While each case is different, our experienced personal injury attorneys know how important it is to act fast in these types of cases to make sure evidence is preserved.

At the Lassen Law Firm, we understand the enormous impact that a serious accident can have on victims and their families. Our dedicated team of civil litigation attorneys will work with you throughout the entire process in order to help you recover the highest compensation available to you under the law. We have recovered millions in jury awards, claims and settlements on behalf of our injured clients. Call the Lassen Law Firm to see how we can help you.

Personal Injury Lawyer Pennsylvania

A big city may have as many as 60,000 elevators and, on average, there are more than 50 elevator accidents per city in any given year. Anyone can get injured in an elevator accident. No matter what degree of care riders exercise, when an elevator collapses, injuries and even death are unavoidable. Office building workers, construction site employees, mall shoppers, hospital patients and airport passengers all rely on elevators to quickly get to their destination. We have all heard from someone we know a story about being stranded in a disabled elevator. No one, however, expects to get injured while stepping into an elevator. The most shocking recent fatal accidents are described below:

  • In June 2012, a worker died in a fall down an elevator shaft on a cargo ship. He was trapped between the elevator and a wall before someone was lowered down to free him. He died on his way to the hospital.
  • In December 2011, Suzanne Hart, an advertising executive, was killed in an elevator accident. When she stepped into the elevator with one foot, the elevator lurched up and dragged her until she was pinned between the elevator and the wall, between the first and second floors. She was declared dead at the scene. The accident was caused by maintenance workers' failure to enable a door safety circuit on an elevator moments before Suzanne stepped into it. If the circuit had been working properly, it would have prevented the elevator from making an abrupt move and killing Suzanne.

When an accident happens, an investigation begins. The investigation is focused on determining the cause of the accident. In almost all cases, the malfunction of the elevator is the primary cause. A city's Department of Buildings has data on violations involving a building's elevators and whether there have been violations for hazardous conditions. It is important to contact an attorney soon after the accident in order to start private investigation into the cause of the elevator accident. The Lassen Law Firm is here to help.

The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a low 29% contingency fee, not the standard 40-45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.