Construction work is dangerous, involving demolitions, new construction, and ensuring structures are safe for those who will eventually inhabit or work in them. But who takes care of the construction workers?

There are parties responsible for protecting workers’ safety. However, these parties do not always come through. A New York construction accident lawyer from The Weinstein Law Group will. If you are hurt in an elevator accident or fall on a construction site, a New York City elevator accident attorney from our team will fight for your fair compensation and protect you from being victimized again.

new york city elevator accidents attorney

What kinds of injuries are associated with construction elevator falls?

Victims may fall a long elevator shaft, get caught between and crushed by the elevator’s moving parts, be electrocuted by exposed wiring or other electrical components, fall through an unstable platform and be buried by the subsequent debris, or be struck by an element of the elevator. Sadly, the injuries associated with construction elevator falls and accidents can be quite severe and may include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Broken or crushed bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns and electrocution
  • Lacerations or amputations
  • Internal injuries

These kinds of injuries bring long-term consequences, affecting victims on physical, emotional, and financial levels. A New York City elevator accident attorney will help fight for a settlement to recover the substantial losses.

New York laws regarding elevators on construction sites

New York has labor laws to protect construction workers working on sites with elevators. Section 241.5 of Article 10, Chapter 31 specifies conditions that must be met if “elevators, elevating machines or hod-hoisting apparatus are used during construction.”

  • Shafts or openings on every floor and at every landing must be enclosed or “fenced in” by barriers of appropriate heights, except on two sides used for loading or unloading materials.
  • The two unfenced sides must be guarded by an “adjustable barrier” placed within measurements established by the law.

Additional protection for those working in “elevator shaftways, hatchways, and stairwells” is established in section 241-a. Planking at least two inches thick must be placed across openings “at levels not more than two stories above and not more than one story below” workers.

When contractors, site supervisors, or others in charge of a site fail to comply with these laws, they put their workers at risk. Injured workers have the right to hold negligent parties accountable.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has rules governing elevators at construction sites. Property owners, site supervisors, or other responsible parties must follow these laws and those established by New York State.

What are the common causes of construction elevator accidents?

Various problems can cause a construction elevator accident in NYC or anywhere else. When these problems arise, property owners, contractors, or site managers must address them before anyone gets hurt.

Mechanical failure

Though most of us just hit a few buttons to make an elevator move, there is much more behind the button panel. When mechanisms fail, injuries can follow.

For example, the elevator’s sliding doors can malfunction, opening or closing when they are not supposed to. If they open mid-route, a worker can fall out. If they close unexpectedly, workers can be caught between the doors or trapped inside the elevator car.

Weakened elevator hoists or pulley systems can cause a disconnect, dropping the car through the shaft to the ground and hitting those below or taking those inside down with it. When elevator speed mechanisms malfunction, the vehicle can move at unsafe speeds, jostling those inside or knocking them to the ground.

Faulty wiring

Elevators run on electricity. Faulty wiring can lead to a malfunction or electrocution. If the elevators on the site are old, their wiring has been subjected to wear and tear, but even newer elevators may have wiring frayed from fire or water damage.

Improper leveling

When elevators stop at a floor or platform, they must do so “levelly.” They need to be flush with the floor or platform to avoid gaps. Elevators may not be properly leveled. Or, their braking system may be worn, bringing the car to a stop high or low of the floor level.

Improper leveling can cause trips and falls on the way into or out of the elevator car. While these injuries may not sound immediately serious, falls are a significant cause of traumatic brain injury and broken bones.

Inadequate maintenance

Elevators require regular inspection and maintenance. Property owners or other responsible parties must keep the elevators in safe working order. Only qualified elevator repair workers can complete the job if inspections show repairs are needed.

What do I do if my injury resulted from a construction elevator defect or malfunction?

Your safety comes first, so the first step is getting medical care for your injury. If you need emergency care, wait to move until help arrives. You will also need to report your injury to your employee.

When you make your report, say as little as possible. Keep the description of your injury strictly factual, and do not say anything that could be twisted into an admission of fault. Even saying something as seemingly harmless as “I didn’t see the gap” could be turned against you and prompt the negligent party to accuse you of carelessness.

After your accident, partner with a New York City elevator accident attorney from The Weinstein Law Group as soon as possible. Our team is well prepared to efficiently steer your case through construction law complexities.

How can a New York City elevator accident attorney help me?

If you experience a construction elevator accident in NYC, the consequences have likely reached all aspects of your life. The effects start with the physical, rippling down into your emotions and finances.

When you are in pain and permanently disabled by an injury, you can quickly become depressed and frustrated, unable to care for yourself or enjoy life as you did before the accident. You also can’t work, putting you in severe financial distress and an unstable future.

There is no need to struggle alone or suffer further damage by missing out on collecting a substantial settlement that can recoup your losses and reestablish your financial future. An NYC construction site elevator falls, and an accident attorney can help.

Investigate and collect evidence.

Your attorney will investigate your accident carefully, figuring out exactly what happened and identifying the party responsible for your elevator accident. The fault may lie with the property owner, general contractor (under New York’s Scaffold Law), or elevator manufacturer. While investigating, your attorney will collect evidence to prove the at-fault party’s negligence.

Filing your claim.

Whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim, a claim against a third party (such as the elevator company), or both, the process can be complicated. For the team at The Weinstein Law Group, these complicated processes are simply “what we do.” We will ensure your claims are filed correctly and well-supported.

Negotiating a fair settlement.

You will need a settlement to cover severe damages. Long-term injuries often require long-term care, but even temporary injuries bring significant medical costs. You will need to recover lost wages, and if you can’t return to work, you need to recoup your future lost earnings and benefits.

Your emotional losses also demand acknowledgment. A settlement brings a measure of justice, recognizing the emotional toll your injuries have taken on you and your household and your outlook on life in general.

At-fault parties and their insurance companies will try to lowball your losses. Don’t let them. Have your attorney handle all negotiations. After years of experience working injury cases, The Weinstein Law Group will value your losses precisely and know when the other side is trying to take advantage of you.

Armed with experience and a comprehensive understanding of New York’s construction laws, your lawyer will hold the at-fault party accountable for paying you fair compensation for the losses their negligence has caused you.

Hurt in a construction elevator fall? Our New York City elevator accident attorney can help.

Your construction elevator fall shouldn’t have happened. Someone failed to uphold their responsibilities, and you are facing the consequences of their negligence. That party owes you compensation, and a New York construction accident lawyer from The Weinstein Law Group will help you get it. Send a message or call us at (212) 741-3800. Your case consultation is entirely free.

We look forward to hearing from you, fighting for you, and getting you the substantial settlement you deserve.