Work Injuries Caused by Elevator Accidents
Elevators are used on a regular basis, most frequently in the construction industry, to carry workers to and from worksites that may be located on multiple stories of a building. Unfortunately, accidents can and do occur, often resulting in a range of serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. When workers are injured in elevator accidents on the job, Workers’ Compensation will likely cover the costs associated with the injury, including lost wages and medical costs.
Workers who are at greatest risk of being injured in elevator accidents include electrical power installers, ironworkers, roofers, and construction laborers. However, if an elevator is not installed properly, or does not meet current safety standards, anyone who works on or near an elevator can be injured.
Types of Elevator Accidents
One of the most common types of elevator accidents involves falling into elevator shafts. Typically, this occurs when a door opens unexpectedly, a platform gives way, there is a lack of warning signs or barriers, a missing cover over a hole, or a malfunction of personal fall protection equipment. Workers can also become seriously injured if they get trapped or caught in between moving parts of the elevator. Hands, arms, feet, and legs can be crushed. In extreme cases, the worker can lose a limb. In addition, workers can sustain fractures and severe head injuries, including brain damage, from being struck by an elevator, counterweight, or some other type of falling material.
Common Causes of Elevator Accidents
Elevator accidents occur on a regular basis in various industries. Some of the most common causes of these types of workplace accidents include:
- Door entrapment
- Sudden acceleration or deceleration
- Falls into elevator shaftway
- Defective products
Liability in Elevator Accidents
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system that covers workers who are injured on the job. Workers are not required to prove negligence on the part of their employer in order to receive benefits. However, injured workers may be entitled to additional compensation if the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party. For example, if the owner of the property where the accident occurred did not take the necessary steps to properly install, maintain, or repair the elevator, he or she may be held liable for any resulting injuries. Likewise, if an injury is caused by a defective piece of equipment or safety gear, the manufacturer of the equipment may be liable. A skilled Workers’ Compensation lawyer can advise you as to the best legal course of action based on the circumstances of the elevator accident.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for an Elevator Accident?
In the state of Maryland, any covered employee who suffers a work-related injury is eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act requires all injured workers to notify their employer within 10 days of the injury, either verbally or in writing. In addition, the employee must file an application for benefits with the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) within 60 days of the injury. The application should include a copy of the physician’s report, as well as an authorization for a release of medical records.
If the employee’s claim is approved, compensation could include:
- Percentage of the employee’s lost wages
- Medical expenses related to the injury
- Coverage for physical therapy or vocational rehabilitation programs
- Death benefits, including burial expenses
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers Injured in Elevator Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an elevator accident while on the job, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help you secure the benefits you deserve. Our dedicated team is committed to protecting your rights and guiding you through the claims process, addressing any concerns you may have along the way. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.