A worker died last week in a New Jersey elevator accident. According to Lakehurst Police, the 34-year-old was using a freight elevator to move a delivery load into the basement of a bar when a mechanical error occurred. The worker had one foot outside of the elevator and one on the elevator floor when the elevator unexpectedly lowered and brought a bar down on top of him. The worker was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
What are the Most Common Causes of Elevator Accidents?
Elevator accidents are more common than you might think. According to ConsumerWatch.com, there are approximately 900,000 elevators in the U.S. that each service about 20,000 people per year. Collectively, they make at least 18 billion passenger trips each year. That said, there are at least 17,000 people injured in elevator accidents each year. The most common causes of these elevator accident include the following:
- Mislevel, which is when the elevator floor doesn’t meet up with the floor of the building
- Sudden stops
- Defective controller
- Inadequate lighting
- Slippery floors
- Getting stuck between floors
- Defective electric eyes, which causes doors to close too quickly or fail to retract when a passenger is in between the doors
- Failure to regularly inspect and perform maintenance on the elevators
All New Jersey building owners are responsible for safely operating all elevators and escalators. The companies that install, inspect and perform maintenance on those elevators are also responsible for ensuring all the parts are working correctly. When either of these parties fails to do so, serious injuries can occur.
If you have been injured in a New Jersey elevator accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries that can cover medical expenses, lost wages, emotional suffering and other damages. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney immediately to explain what steps you should take to move forward.
Donald G. Targan & Associates is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that helps those in the Atlantic City and Cape May areas who have been injured in elevator accidents.