Elevator Injury Attorney in Denver
Injuries caused by elevators and escalators are often horrific. A malfunction or mismanagement of these machines can leave a victim with skyrocketing hospital bills, psychological trauma, lifetime disabilities, or worse.
Most people injured by elevators are those installing, repairing, maintaining, or working near the shaft. But this shouldn’t be happening at all – employers and site supervisors, as well as floor managers, should be ensuring workers and the public are safe while using elevators and escalators. When they fail to do so, they can be held responsible for a victim’s medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs. They can be held responsible to the victim’s family in cases of wrongful death.
Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. upholds public safety, obtains historic verdicts, and produces life-changing results for clients. Our Denver-based firm has lawyers licensed across the country, and we are nationally acclaimed for our results. Contact us or call (877) 433-3906 to schedule a free consultation and see what we can do to help you.
Estimates vary, but over 30 people are killed and 17,000 wounded by elevators and escalators every year, with elevators causing 90% of the deaths and 60% of the serious injuries. Over half of the deaths are caused by falls into the shaft. Beyond that, incidents where workers are caught in/between moving parts, struck by the elevator or a counterweight, or trapped in a collapsing elevator account for the rest. Passengers are more likely to have the door close unexpectedly on them or to fall when the door opens and there is no elevator there. Escalator-related injuries often result from falls or entrapment: after clothing becomes caught at the bottom or top of the escalator or between a stair and escalator sidewall.
Victims may suffer:
- Brain trauma
- Crushed limbs (especially fingers or hands)
- Organ damage
- Electric shock
- Broken bones
- Wrenched ligaments, tendons, or muscles
- Back, neck, or spinal injuries
There has been an increase in elevator-related fatalities in the construction industry, as the number of deaths and rate has doubled from 2003 to 2016. Meanwhile, elevator- and escalator-related injuries among members of the public jumped more than 30% from 2007 to 2017. Something is very wrong with this picture.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), among other organizations, has standards for the construction, maintenance, and ongoing operation of elevators and escalators. In addition, the Center for Construction Research and Training has suggestions to bring injuries and deaths down to zero. Employers need to:
- Ensure that workplace practices around elevators and escalators are standardized and safe.
- Give workers adequate training, or use only qualified workers for elevator and escalator repair and maintenance.
- Enforce lock-out/tagout procedures; that is, de-energizing and locking out electrical circuits and mechanical equipment when out of service or being repaired.
- Provide fall protection to workers performing labor in or near the shaft.
- Establish a permit-required, confined-space program on safety practices for work in elevator shafts.
- Enforce regular inspection and maintenance on elevators and escalators, looking for design or manufacturing flaws or evidence of wear and tear.
- Remove escalator entrapment hazards and provide warnings for anyone using the machines.
Determining who is liable for your injuries can be a drawn-out and technical process. We have seen cases where the building’s owner and management were to blame and cases where the company charged with maintaining the elevator was to blame. But if the product was already defective, the original manufacturer or installer may be to blame. Whoever allowed this to happen to you, we’ll find out.
When a property owner fails to provide a properly functioning elevator to passersby, or an employer fails to secure a worksite, people can and will be catastrophically hurt. Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. has the resources, experience, and determination to go after the responsible parties and get you and your family the compensation you need to continue your life. Call (877) 433-3906 to set up a free consultation with a top Denver personal injury lawyer. Remember, we accept cases from around the country, and we charge no upfront fee to represent you. Our job is to take care of you after a traumatic event, and we will not stop until we get the justice you deserve.
- The Center for Construction Research and Training: Deaths and Injuries Involving Elevators or Escalators in Construction and the General Population