Oftentimes when we think of using an elevator or an escalator in a social setting, but this is not always the case. Elevators especially are oftentimes used to transport people to and from their offices. In factories, hospitals, and warehouses, elevators are also used to help people move heavy equipment between floors.
You might use an elevator every day in relation to your job. If this is the case, what happens if you sustain an elevator related injury? Who is at fault, and what kind of compensation can you receive? Here, I will discuss how you can qualify for workers’ compensation if you are injured on the job. I will also discuss which party might be at fault for your injuries.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
If you are injured on the job, you might qualify for workers’ compensation. This type of compensation benefits both the employee and the employer. It allows the employee to receive money to cover their damages from the accident. At the same time, it allows the employer to avoid a personal injury lawsuit, since if an employee seeks workers’ compensation they can’t also file a personal injury claim against their employer.
Workers’ compensation covers most injuries that occur on the job, but it does not cover accidents that result from the employee’s carelessness. So for example, if you knowingly load an elevator with too much weight, it breaks, and you are injured, the injury is the result of your recklessness, not a mistake made by the employer.
But, if the employer is responsible, or at least partially responsible, you can receive workers’ compensation. Typically, workers’ compensation covers things like:
- Medical bills
- Income lost due to time off
- Cost of permanent injuries
- Retraining costs
- Benefits for surviving dependents in the event of death
Who is At Fault?
When you are injured at work due to an issue with an elevator, you need to determine who is truly at fault. Above I discussed a situation in which you might be responsible. If you cause the accident because of carelessness, it is unlikely that you can recover damages from someone else.
But there are other people who might be at fault, and there are more options than just your boss. Your employer or company may be responsible for your injuries if they could have prevented the accident. For example, if they did not provide sufficient job training to help you safely use the machinery. Or, if they own the elevator and there is a malfunction with it because they do not regularly check the equipment.
But also consider that the company that made the elevator might be at fault for your injuries. If the equipment was faulty, that is the responsibility of the manufacturer. You could potentially sue the manufacturer in this case.
Another person who may be at fault is a building owner, if that person is not your employer. For example, if you work in a large building that contains many offices, the owner of the building owns the elevator, and is responsible for maintenance. If they fail to provide it, any subsequent injuries are their fault.
As you can see, workers’ compensation cases can be complex. It isn’t always easy to determine who is at fault and where you can get compensation from. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact my office. I can review your situation and advise you on the best course of action.