Many people in North Carolina use elevators every day without thinking that a breakdown could cost them their lives. A deadly accident in a major city serves as a reminder that elevators require ongoing maintenance to ensure safe operation. Residents of the building, where a 30-year-old man perished when the elevator car slipped down the shaft as he was exiting, had experienced problems with the elevator before he died.
Police officers and firefighters attempted to free him after the elevator collapsed. Workers pulled away portions of the elevator as they hurried to extract him from the shaft between the first floor and the basement. Six other people remained trapped in the elevator during the rescue attempt. They escaped without injuries. Despite a diligent rescue effort, emergency medical personnel announced that the man had died at the scene.
Local building inspectors had cited the property for an elevator problem months before the fatal malfunction. City authorities plan to investigate the accident thoroughly and take enforcement actions if necessary.
When the father of the victim spoke to the media, he said the accident revealed a lax attitude toward safety. He described his son as a delightful person with many friends.
Fatal accidents that appear to be caused by negligence deepen the grief for surviving family members. Evidence that a person or organization failed to prevent unsafe situations could justify a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney might advise a family member on the process for recovering damages after the death of a loved one. Depending on the circumstances of the death, the negligent party might owe survivors for loss of companionship, pain and suffering or funeral expenses. By organizing the evidence and filing court paperwork, an attorney may be able to show the extent of the responsible party’s liability.