In New Jersey, as throughout the country, elevators are an integral part of daily life. While generally dependable and safe, elevators sometimes malfunction, most often due to poor maintenance. In worst-case scenarios, such malfunction may lead to a catastrophic elevator accident in which innocent victims suffer traumatic injury or death.
If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed or killed in an elevator accident in New Jersey, Nagel Rice, LLP can help. We have an impressive track record of success in personal injury claims, having secured over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. We work on a contingency basis, so we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover damages.
Almost Everyone in New Jersey Rides in Elevators Some of the Time
Although most prevalent in cities where they are ubiquitous in apartment houses and commercial and industrial buildings, elevators are also common in medical facilities, professional office buildings, and department stores not only in suburban communities but small towns. This means that just about anyone is at risk of being injured in an elevator accident.
Common Types of Elevator Accidents
Elevator accidents take many forms, including:
- Elevator freefall occurs when an elevator car abruptly falls down the shaft. Though rare, such accidents can be disastrous.
- Sudden elevator stops can knock passengers to the floor or jerk them violently, especially if the elevator is moving faster than usual.
- Door malfunctions can strike or close on passengers, resulting in terrible injuries.
- Misleveling, when an elevator stops in misalignment with the floor, can cause passengers to trip and fall during entrance or exit.
- Entrapment, when mechanical errors leave passengers trapped inside, can lead to physical and emotional harm (e.g. dehydration, panic attacks), and can be especially dangerous for the elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Falling down the shaft, though highly unlikely, can be deadly.
Injuries from Elevator Accidents
Elevator accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor bruises to severe, life-altering conditions. Common injuries include:
- Bone fracture
- Traumatic brain injury (TMI)
- Spinal cord injury (partial or total paralysis)
- Lacerations and contusions
- Internal bleeding, organ damage
- Psychological trauma, e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How Negligent Maintenance Can Lead to an Elevator Accident
Elevators require regular inspections and upkeep to ensure that all of their parts, such as brakes, cables, pulleys, and doors are in good working order. Negligent maintenance behind elevator accidents may involve:
- Failure to conduct routine inspections
- Failure to notice potential dangers
- Inadequate repairs
- Use of substandard parts or inadequate tools
- Failure to report issues or warn of signs of malfunction
- Incompetence or poor training of maintenance personnel
Determining Liability in Elevator Accidents
One of the reasons you need an experienced personal injury attorney on the case when it comes to elevator accidents is that determining liability is so complex. You can count on our competent professional to investigate your case thoroughly to make sure we target the appropriate defendant(s). The responsible party may be one or more of the following:
- Elevator Manufacturer: If the accident was due to a design or manufacturing defect
- Building Owner/Property Management: If they were negligent in arranging for or following through on elevator maintenance or failing to schedule necessary repairs
- Elevator Maintenance Company: If the third-party company tasked with maintenance failed to check the elevator properly or to do necessary repairs, and their failure led to the accident, the elevator maintenance company bears vicarious liability for worker errors.
Our Elevator Accident Attorneys Will Fight Aggressively to Win You Damages
At Nagel Rice, we are well aware of the awful long-term consequences of severe elevator accident injuries on victims and their families. Trust our legal team to devise an approach that will give you the very best chance of recovering maximum compensation for all you have been through, including:
- Medical expenses, now and in the future
- Lost income and lost earning capacity
- Ongoing nursing care
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It should be noted that if you have lost a loved one to wrongful death in an elevator accident, we will pull out all the stops to bring you funds to cover final medical costs, funeral expenses, and loss of financial support and companionship. If the defendant’s negligence was egregious, we may be able to persuade the court to award you punitive damages as well as compensatory ones.
Why Nagel Rice Is the Right Choice After an Elevator Accident
We have a long history of commitment to preserving the rights of accident victims and will work tirelessly to bring your case to a successful conclusion by:
- Investigating all aspects of your accident
- Interviewing witnesses
- Consulting with medical and technical experts who will testify on your behalf
- Design a strategy tailored to fit the details of your case
- Negotiate forcefully with opposing attorneys and insurance companies
- If necessary, take your case to court and litigate to bring you maximum compensation
Contact Us Today So We Can Begin Fighting for Your Cause
At Nagel Rice, our attorneys know how devastating an elevator accident can be — physically, emotionally, and financially. As soon as you reach out to us, our outstanding attorneys will prioritize your case and work diligently to bring you the resources you need to restart your life and secure your future.