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Premises liability: What to do if the elevator stalls

Being trapped in an elevator is the worst nightmare of many people in New York. When it comes to safe transport, elevators are said to be one of the most reliable. However, they do get stuck, and nobody is ever prepared for such a situation. Property owners of buildings with elevators are required to follow a strict maintenance and service schedule to avoid such incidents, and if they fail to do so, they might find themselves facing premises liability lawsuits.

If ever an elevator stops between floors, something is wrong, but occupants are advised to try not to panic. The first thing to do is to push the button that opens the doors, and if the elevator stalled close to a landing, the doors would typically open. However, the car will likely not be perfectly lined up with the landing, and occupants might want to step carefully. If the door remains shut, the Help or Alarm button can be pressed. In some of the newer elevator cars, it might be a Phone button, which will make contact with linked responders.

Responders can identify the location from where the alarm originates, and even if the system does not allow two-way communication, rescuers will be dispatched. Trying to find ways to get out of the elevator can only exacerbate the stress and panic that might be present. Such efforts could cause injuries, and waiting for help to arrive is usually the best course of action.

Some elevator failures cause the cars to drop several floors before getting stuck, in which case occupants might suffer injuries. Those with conditions like claustrophobia could suffer serious psychological trauma if rescuers do not get them out promptly. When such incidents lead to medical expenses and other monetary damages, the victims likely have grounds to pursue civil claims to recover financial losses. An experienced New York premises liability attorney can determine the viability of such a claim, and provide the necessary support and guidance for any legal proceedings that ensue.

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