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Personal Injury Law

Elevator Accident Lawsuits

Injury Claims

Elevator accidents are not terribly common, but injuries from these accidents are often severe and sometimes deadly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that over 17,000 people are injured by elevators and escalators each year and that about 30 are killed, resulting in potential wrongful death lawsuits.

Elevators are complex mechanical systems. Everything must work together properly including pulleys, cables, car, shaft, electrical system, brakes, and safety stops. Some common causes of elevator accidents include:

  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Unsafe design
  • Faulty wiring
  • Pulley system malfunction
  • Electronic eye malfunction

If just one part of an elevator system fails, many things can go wrong including:

  • A sudden drop
  • Sudden acceleration or deceleration
  • Free fall of elevator car down the shaft
  • Doors get stuck
  • Doors do not close
  • Doors open onto an empty shaft
  • Doors close when they should not
  • Elevator does not level properly with floor
  • Elevator begins moving when it should not

When malfunctions occur, they can cause accidents such as:

  • Doors closing on a person
  • Falling down an empty shaft
  • Becoming trapped between the elevator car and side wall
  • Tripping due to failure to level
  • Becoming trapped inside an elevator car for hours or days

Elevator accidents can cause serious injuries or even death. Some of the injuries which can result from elevator accidents include:

  • Scrapes
  • Pinches
  • Tendon and nerve lacerations
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Decapitation
  • Asphyxiation
  • Electrocution

Who is responsible?
Most elevator accidents fall under the legal category of premises liability. Property and business owners have a responsibility to maintain elevators, and replace out-of-date or out-of-code elevators.

Property owners typically hire a service to repair and maintain elevators, rather than trying to do the work themselves. Service and maintenance companies are responsible for inadequate work on their part including:

  • Faulty repairs
  • Failure to keep proper maintenance records
  • Failure to perform routine maintenance for which they have been hired

Defective elevators can also be the responsibility of manufacturers under product liability law. This falls under the legal category of product liability and can include:

  • Design flaws
  • Defective parts
  • Failure to inspect or test
  • Inadequate warnings

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an elevator accident, you may be entitled to compensation including:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Current and future loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Burial expenses

Anyone who rides on elevators, no matter how rarely, can fall victim to an elevator accident. There are some precautions which you can take to reduce the risks including:

  • Never use an elevator during a fire
  • Never try to rush into an elevator when the doors are closing
  • Never try to physically hold elevator doors open
  • Always look first before passing through open elevator doors to make sure the car is really there
  • Do not try to pry open elevator doors that are stuck
  • Do not enter or exit and elevator that is not level with the floor
  • Use the emergency button if any type of problem occurs

If you or a loved on has been injured or killed in an elevator accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney near you today.

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Disclaimer: The information throughout The Personal Injury Directory is not intended to be or to replace legal advice. The information throughout The Personal Injury Directory is intended to provide general information regarding personal injury law. If you are interested in bringing a personal injury lawsuit, contact an accident attorney in your area.
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