Injury and Death Caused by Elevator Failures

There are certain numbers and statistics revolving around those injured or, even worse, killed in elevator accidents – however, the numbers are not astonishingly high. The fact that elevator deaths still occur means that proper precautions or maintenance may not be particularly focused on in some situations, and needs to be further addressed to reduce all risks. In recent news, a woman was crushed by an elevator at Cal State Long Beach after she tried to climb out of a stuck car, and another “died after an elevator door in her Manhattan office building closed on her leg as she was stepping in and dragged her body up into the elevator shaft.” Though these incidents are tragic, as mentioned, they are also quite rare.

Elevators are highly complex mechanical systems where everything must work together properly, including pulleys, cables, shafts, electrical systems, and more. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that over 17,000 people are injured by elevators and escalators each year and that approximately 30 are killed. But what are some common causes of these accidents? Some common causes are inadequate maintenance, unsafe design, pulley system malfunction, and electronic eye malfunction. If one part of the system fails, many things can go wrong. This can include a sudden drop, doors getting stuck and not closing, doors opening to an empty shaft, and doors closing when they should not. When these malfunctions occur, many things can happen like doors closing on a person, falling down an empty shaft, or tripping due to failure to level.

When these malfunctions occur and accidents happen, serious injuries or death can occur. Even though we mentioned that the death rates are pretty low, they can still occur and are something others should be aware of. Some of the injuries that can result from elevator accidents include scrapes, pinches, broken bones, back and neck injuries, amputations, and electrocution.

So who is Responsible for my Injuries?

If you have been injured in one of these elevator-related accidents, then it may fall under the legal category of premises liability. When elevators go out of date and out of code, property and business owners have a responsibility to maintain these issues and it falls on them. Property owners will typically hire a service to repair and maintain elevators. They usually don’t do the work themselves. This work includes faulty repairs, failure to keep proper maintenance records, and failure to perform routine maintenance for which they have been hired.

The responsibility may also fall under manufacturers. This makes it fall under the category of product liability. These include design flaws, defective parts, failure to inspect or test, or inadequate warnings.

You or a loved one may have been injured or killed in an elevator accident. If this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for current and future medical bills, current and future loss of income, pain and suffering, and burial expenses. You can find out where you stand in your case by talking to your attorney at MDL. Call today for a free consultation!