Worker falls down elevator shaft, family devastated over loss

Most workers in New York are aware that they are financially protected in the event that a workplace accident results in devastating injuries. Workers' compensation benefits in New York will cover medical expenses associated with an injury caused on the job, as well as supplement lost wages while the worker recovers from their injury.

But what if the worst happened? What if a workplace accident results in the death of a loved one while on the job? This scenario is emotionally devastating for families. Often workers killed on the job perish under terrifying circumstances. No family wants to think of a loved one meeting such a sudden and frightening end. However, a happening of this nature can also be financially devastating. The family of a worker killed on the job could be entitled to workers' compensation death benefits to assist with funeral and burial expenses, and account for lost wages.

While workers' compensation benefits are critical for injured workers and their families, it can often feel like not enough is done by way of rectifying an egregious act of negligence in a work site accident. The family of a housekeeper that fell to her death at the out-of-state hotel she was working at likely feels this sense of injustice.

The 65-year-old victim fell six stories down an elevator shaft. The hotel was fined just $25,800 for neglecting to schedule mandated inspection of the elevator, and the elevator company was fined $60,000 for negligence in relation to the failed breaks that led to this woman plummeting to a terrifying end.

Many families do not realize that if liability can be assigned to a party other than the victim or the victim's employer, there could be additional compensation in order. Depending on the nature of the accident and the negligence that contributed to the accident, a wrongful death claim or product liability claim could be in order. With an experienced attorney a family can work through these complexities to ensure that they are fully compensated, and that all liable parties are held accountable.


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