March 28, 2021

5 Common Causes of Elevator Accidents

By Jonathan Damashek

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There are thousands of elevators in New York City, and they are generally safe. However, accidents happen, and innocent people are injured. Many common causes of elevator accidents are preventable with improved maintenance and other safeguards. An elevator accident can lead to devastating injuries and even death.

Be Aware of Common Elevator Accidents

In the United States, more than 30 victims die, and 17,000 injuries occur every year in elevator accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of those accidents could have been prevented with proper precautions.

Here are some of the most common causes of elevator accidents to help you avoid them.

1. Misleveling

Misleveling is a common cause of elevator accident injuries. Misleveling happens when an elevator fails to stop at the floor’s level. This leaves a dangerous and unexpected space between the elevator car and the floor. This is hazardous, especially for the elderly and children. It may result in a slip, trip, and fall accident.

2. Excessive Speed

Excessive speed causes injuries by passengers falling to the floor, crashing into walls, or bumping into each other. Elevators should be maintained regularly and inspected to ensure their speed is appropriate.

3. Lack of Proper Maintenance and Safety Inspections

Elevators and escalators in the five boroughs must be inspected twice annually in compliance with New York City building codes. If an elevator is not routinely checked and necessary repairs are not done, it can malfunction. This may result in serious injuries or fatalities. Look for a certificate of inspection on the inside of the elevator to make sure the elevator has been adequately checked.

4. Defective Doors

Modern elevators typically have built-in door sensors that cause them to open and close slowly to prevent injuries. However, door sensors can malfunction and fail to detect a person or limb. The doors close suddenly, trapping a victim in the door or crushing a body part. This is especially dangerous if the elevator begins to move

5. Falls Into Elevator Shafts

When elevators are stuck at the bottom or the top, this can cause an open elevator shaft. Falling into a shaft is among the deadliest type of elevator accidents. Accidents involving an elevator shaft are often caused by defective door interlocks, malfunctioning equipment, or other causes. Although the outer doors open, the elevator car is not there. Riders may not notice that the elevator’s interior is missing, step in, and fall into the hole.

Call Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek After an Elevator Accident

Elevator accidents are unexpected. You should not have to pay for someone’s careless action that caused your injuries. An elevator accident lawyer with Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. can help you recover money damages for medical bills, lost pay, and other losses.

You owe us nothing unless you win compensation. Call today at (212) 490-5700 or use our online contact form for a free, no-obligation consultation.