Elevator Accident Lawyer

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss / Premises Liability Lawyer / Elevator Accident Lawyer
NYC Elevator Accident Lawyer

If you live or work in New York City, elevators are just part of your daily life. We hop in, we choose a floor, and we assume we’ll be there a few seconds later. While this is the case most of the time, there are rare instances when it isn’t. Unfortunately, elevator accidents occur – and when they do, they can cause serious injury to the people involved.
We have helped clients put their lives back together when they’ve been injured in a New York elevator accident. Sadly, as experienced elevator accident attorneys, we have also helped families who have lost loved ones due to elevator malfunctions.

Elevator accidents in New York

According to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOC) there are over 84,000 elevators and elevator-like devices in the city. Not only does this mean NYC is has more elevators than any other city in the U.S., it also means New York City is close to having more elevators than any other city worldwide.
When property owners look after new elevators, accidents are extremely uncommon – but it’s worth noting another of the DOC’s findings when we talk about elevators: the city also has the oldest population of elevators in the world.

As these complex machines get older, the need for careful maintenance or replacement increases. Also, like any older machinery, older also means more costly to look after. When corners are cut with this vital maintenance, elevator shaft and elevator car accidents are far more likely to occur.

Why might a New York City elevator accident happen?

In the movies, elevator accidents when the elevator car plunges unexpectedly. In reality though, there are a series of complex accidents that can happen involving elevators.
These include:

Power outages

Elevators usually rely on large electric motors to operate. In some cases, the power to these motors can fail. If this happens, the car can drop, stop, or move at an unpredictable speed. This is especially the case in older buildings where back-up power is compromised.

Sudden stops

Sometimes, elevators stop for seemingly no reason. The reason usually relates to overloading, broken parts, failed electronics or cable malfunctions – but the effect is the same. The people inside often get suddenly moved in the same way they would in a car accident – with similar resulting severe injuries.

Misalignment with floors

It doesn’t take much for an elevator to create a trip hazard when it stops. Misalignment with floors occurs when the elevator door opens at the wrong level. This can happen for a number of reasons – but it creates a hazard that’s difficult to see and therefore very dangerous.

Defective doors

Elevator doors tend to rely on sensors that stop them closing if there’s something in the way. However, this sensors don’t always work – often resulting in trapped clothing, bags, and sometimes even limbs. While doors can sometimes be reopened from inside the car, this isn’t always possible – especially when just one person is using the device.

Empty elevator shaft falls

Some of the most significant injuries New York elevator accident lawyers will deal with are those incurred when someone falls into an open elevator shaft. These can happen if a car is very misaligned with the floor – but can also happen when doors malfunction.

Even a short fall into an elevator shaft can cause catastrophic injuries – and it’s not uncommon for a tragic elevator accident case like this to become a wrongful death lawsuit.

Over speed accidents

Over speed accidents often happen for the same reasons sudden stops happen – issues with counter weights, cables, or motors and control systems. An elevator out of control can cause people to be thrown into the doors, walls, floor, or even ceiling of the car – with the impacts causing significant harm.

Communications failures

If there’s a problem with an elevator, you should be able to press a service button and speak to someone straight away – even in apartment buildings and small premises. If this isn’t possible, you could be stuck in an elevator for a long time before help comes.

What kids of injuries do elevator accident victims sustain?

As you can see from the not-exhaustive list of issues that can occur with elevators, there’s a huge variety of problems – and therefore a huge variety of kinds of personal injury a New York elevator accident lawyer could find themselves dealing with.

Typically, the injuries suffered include:

  • Broken bones
  • Crush injuries
  • Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Lost limbs
  • Degloving
  • Head and brain trauma
  • Wrongful death

Why is it important to pursue elevator accident cases?

If you’ve been hurt as a result of an elevator accident it’s really important that you talk to a good personal injury attorney or dedicated elevator accident attorney.

Why? Well, there’s no single reason. Usually, people have a number of reasons – including:

Loss of income

As costs of living increase, so does the importance of every day and work and every pay check. For most people living here in New York City, even a few days without pay can seriously impact our ability to cover life’s costs.

If you lose income and it’s not your fault, you need an attorney who can make sure yours and your family’s way of life is put at risk.

Medical expenses

Medical expenses usually people’s biggest concern when they find themselves injured. Treatment, procedures, and rehabilitation can drain your financial resources exceptionally quickly – and you shouldn’t have to make choices about the level of care you receive.

If your lawsuit is successful, the financial compensation you receive will mean you can make your recovery your priority.


At the heart of virtually all elevator accidents, there’s a company or individual cutting corners or trying to save money.

These people don’t change their ways because you get in touch to tell them about your pain and suffering – they change their ways because a firm of outstanding New York elevator accident attorneys have made sure what they’ve done is held up against the strict health and safety laws that surround elevator operations.

Even if you don’t feel that you need compensation for your injuries, making a stand against dangerous practices could help to save someone else’s life.

What will a New York elevator accident lawyer do for you?

Even if it’s clear to you that you’re owed compensation and you know who is at fault, getting any kind of damages into your hands can be a long and very complex road when tackled alone. Often, lawyers and an insurance company will make things so difficult that it simply will not be worth your time.

This is where a New York elevator accident lawyer comes into their own.

We’ll help by:

Identifying who is responsible for the accident. This can be a complex area surrounded by dense law – but we can cut to the heart of the matter, find out who is to blame, and complete a full investigation.

Deciding what kind of lawsuit should be filed – whether that’s a premises liability claim, a product liability claim, or another kind of suit.

Dealing with insurance companies on your behalf. Loss adjusters are not there to sway things in your favor – so we’ll make sure we press hard for the damages you’re entitled to.

Exploring the true value of your case. Medical bills and therapies can run long into the future – as can the implications of your injury on your job, lost wages and future income potential. We’ll find a figure that’s fair.

By doing these things, you can focus on getting better – and we’ll focus on finding justice and compensation.

What’s the next step?

We understand that sitting down with an attorney in a law office can feel like a big step – so we’re here to make it as relaxed and easy as possible.

Firstly, we’re here to listen – not to tell you what to do. We’ll ask questions about what’s happened then let you talk. Understanding the impact that any accident or incident has had on you is absolutely key to putting together a successful lawsuit.

When you book a free consultation with our law firm, we’ll always do our very best to make sure you meet with one of our partners too. Unlike some other firms, your case will never be passed down to a less experienced lawyer either – you’ll always get expert support from a highly experienced member of our team.

Practice Areas


Personal Injury

Car Accidents



Legal Malpractice