In March of 2014 a 12-year old girl was seriously injured in an elevator-related accident in Soho. She had fallen 25 feet from the first floor to the sub-basement below. The elevator had been out of service. This youngster is very lucky that the elevator was not operating when she fell into the shaft. Many others are not so lucky. Elevators accidents can result in severed limbs, broken bones, head and spinal cord injuries and other devastating and life-changing injuries.
Elevators in all types of buildings are required to be inspected and maintained to keep them in good working order. Building owners have a responsibility to tenants in an apartment or office building in ensuring that the premises are safe and free of instruments or malfunctions that could cause injury or death. New Yorkers encounter elevators on a daily basis, and there are some safety measures that can be taken:
- Always watch where you are going.
- Refrain from cell phone use or texting when entering or exiting the elevator. This only adds to further distraction.
- Only step into the elevator when it has stopped on your floor. Never step “up” to get into the elevator, and never ever jump “down” to reach the elevator floor.
- Keep clothes and briefcase straps away from the door.
- Use the “alarm” button if you have any reason to believe that you are in danger or that someone’s safety is being compromised.
While we are not always able to monitor the inspections process of those who are responsible for keeping an elevator in working order, we can take steps to ensure that we are safe going in and out of the elevator, and protect those who are in our care.
If you or someone you know has been injured or died as a result of an elevator malfunction, you will want to seek the assistance of a New York law firm who is successful at handling personal injury cases.