Elevator Accidents

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Injuries Involving Elevator and Escalators

Assuming you’ve spent time on an elevator before, you are probably aware that it can incur serious injuries to its users. Whenever something like this happens, the building owner, manager, or manufacturer can often be forced to pay for the damages and injuries, whether through premises liability or product liability law. In most cases, the subjects at fault are the building owners, the company that installed it, its designers, etc.

In most cases, the subjects at fault are the building owners, the company that installed it, its designers, etc.

Elevator types

There are three types of elevators on the market:

1. Automatic

Automatic elevators are the most common type of elevator. These do not need operators to control them to move. Passengers just press buttons to go to the desired floor. These are found in hotels, apartment buildings, and office buildings. 

2. Manual

These elevators are operated by attendants who follow the passengers’ instructions where to stop. They have doors that attendants open and close by hand.

3. Escalators

Escalators are also a type of elevator, as it elevates people from one floor to the next. Despite being slow, they can trap personal garments in their crevices, causing injuries.

How to determine elevator liability

The party responsible for accidents by elevators can vary depending on who was negligent. As such, there are three factors one should consider when trying to determine who might be liable for the elevator accident. 

  • Breaching the duty of care of the injured person
  • The liable party must have caused the injury
  • The injury must have been possible for the responsible party to anticipate

Who is liable in elevator accidents?

Several parties could be liable for elevator injuries such as:

  • The owner of the property with the elevator
  • Maintenance companies that repair the respective elevator
  • The manufacturers of the elevator
  • The company that installed the elevator
  • If a manual type elevator is in use, the attendants who operate the elevator

Common elevator accidents

The types of accidents depend on the place they arise. Below are common causes of elevator accidents.

  • Doors: They shut unexpectedly on the users, incurring injuries.
  • Free falls: Common in automatic elevators. They violently drop, causing injuries to passengers. 
  • Open elevator shafts: A person may trip on an unforeseen shaft, injuring ones’ self
  • Elevator malfunction: Elevators may get stuck in between floors, causing trauma.
  • Design problems: Accidents might occur due to manufacturer defects.

Legal rights for elevator accident victims

The law entitles victims to get compensation when they get injured from elevators. Tort law ensures that economic and non-economic damages, lost wages, and hospital bills are cared for. You would do best to contact a competent personal injury lawyer to help you pursue compensation since elevator laws continuously change.

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Since elevator accidents can get complicated, injured individuals must document the scene and injuries that occur. This will be essential to help their lawyers pursue the necessary compensation from the liable party. As we have seen, these parties often try to evade liability and accountability, and it’s your job to ensure that you are represented in the best way possible.

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