Midtown Tragedy Should Renew Focus on Elevator and Escalator Safety, Says New York City Personal Injury Lawyer

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Improper maintenance of elevators and escalators, and equipment failures, can lead to serious or fatal injuries in New York City buildings, says premises liability attorney David Resnick of Manhattan’s David Resnick & Associates, P.C.

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New York City personal injury lawyer David Resnick

I think most people assume they will be safe when using an elevator or escalator in New York City, so when an accident occurs, there’s really a sense of shock. When you get over that shock, however, you should consider your legal options.

The tragic death of a 41-year-old advertising executive in a Midtown Manhattan building this week should bring greater attention to ensuring elevator and escalator safety, New York City personal injury lawyer David Resnick said today.

According to the New York Times, the woman stepped into the elevator on Wednesday morning in an 85-year-old Madison Avenue building. It suddenly lurched up, dragging her until she was pinned between the elevator and wall. She was declared dead at the scene.

New York’s WABC reports that elevator maintenance workers had performed electrical work on the elevator just hours before the accident. That work is now the focus of an investigation into what caused the tragedy, WABC reported. The TV station said NYC Department of Buildings inspectors plan to do a citywide check of all elevators serviced by the company.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all family members and friends who have suffered this terrible loss,” said Resnick, founder of the New York City personal injury law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C.

“A thorough investigation into this accident must be done immediately to determine how something like this could occur and who is responsible,” he said. “We also need building owners and other authorities to put a renewed focus on elevator and escalator safety.”

Resnick represents accident victims and their families throughout New York City, including Manhattan. His law firm focuses on premises liability cases, such as elevator and escalator accidents and slip-and-fall injuries.

Accidents involving elevators and escalators are not as rare as one might think, he said. He cited equipment defects or improper maintenance as common causes.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that elevator and escalator accidents claim 30 lives each year nationwide and cause another 17,000 injuries.

Older adults and children may be most susceptible to such accidents, Resnick said. According to the NYC Department of Buildings, 109 children were injured in elevator and escalator accidents within the city during a recent 10-year period.

Injuries can occur when an elevator fails to stop level with the floor, and a person trips and falls when exiting or entering the car. They also can arise from the elevator suddenly stopping or speeding up, or doors opening while the car is on another level.

Soft tissue injuries, hip fractures and broken bones are among the most common types of injuries, Resnick said.

When a person is seriously injured or killed in a New York elevator or escalator accident, several categories of people may be held legally responsible in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, the New York premises liability attorney said. The at-fault parties could include the building owner, building manager, elevator / escalator maintenance company or elevator / escalator manufacturer.

“I think most people assume they will be safe when using an elevator or escalator in New York City, so when an accident occurs, there’s really a sense of shock,” Resnick said. “When you get over that shock, however, you should consider your legal options.”

Resnick said it is important to contact a New York personal injury attorney who has experience with premises liability lawsuits. The attorney can analyze the facts of the case and help to determine whether the victim may be entitled to compensation.

“In addition to providing financial relief for victims and their families, legal action may also lead to measures being taken to make conditions safer in New York City buildings and elsewhere,” he said.

About David Resnick & Associates, P.C.

David Resnick & Associates, P.C. is a New York personal injury law firm that provides professional and compassionate legal assistance to victims of injury and negligence. Founded in 1998, the firm is experienced at handling multiple types of injury and negligence cases, including motor vehicle accidents, hit and run, bicycle accidents, pedestrian injuries, trip and fall, construction accidents, premises liability and other kinds of personal injury and wrongful death claims.

David Resnick & Associates serves clients in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx and all of New York City. Mr. Resnick can be reached at (212) 279-2000 or through his online contact form.

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