In a bustling city like Los Angeles millions of people take the elevator every day. Whether it’s inside of their work building, their gym, or their residence, elevators are a constant part of our daily life. And although it may seem unlikely, elevator accidents are not as uncommon as many people may think. Elevators that are not properly maintained can malfunction and result in some pretty serious injuries. It can be confusing to figure out who to hold accountable when someone sustains an injury in an elevator accident, and that’s why a lot of victims don’t report and receive no compensation for their suffering. At the Law Offices of Jennie Levin, P.C., we take our clients’ legal rights very seriously. If you were injured in an elevator accident, give our office a call at (323) 951-1188 to schedule a free evaluation. We may be able to recover financial compensation on your behalf.
The Causes Of Elevator Accidents
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission incidents involving elevators and escalators end up killing about 30 and seriously injuring about 17,000 people each year in the United States. And between elevators and escalators, it’s elevators that cause almost 90 percent of the deaths and 60 percent of the serious injuries.
An elevator accident can happen when the elevator malfunctions resulting in faulty doors, mis-leveling, sudden drops, being trapped, and at times even electrocuted. An accident can also happen through a slip and fall. The most common cause of an elevator accident is poor elevator maintenance. When a building fails to keep their elevators maintained it can result in very serious injuries.
These are the most common causes of elevator accidents:
- Mis-leveling: this occurs when an elevator car is not properly aligned with the floor, and stops above or below the floor of the building. This creates a major risk of tripping for anyone entering or exiting the elevator. A serious fall from an elevator can result in sprains, broken bones, concussions and more. Mis-leveling most often occurs due to poor elevator maintenance.
- Door malfunctions: passengers walking in and out of an elevator can get injured if the door closes too fast. A malfunctioning door can lead to crushing injuries and may even result in the passenger getting dragged. A case of an elevator door malfunction can often end in serious limb injuries or even death.
- Abrupt stops: a sudden stop can result in a passenger slamming into the wall or falling down on the floor, which can lead to very serious injuries.
- Complete drop: this happens when an elevator suddenly drops all the way to the bottom of the shaft, which can even result in death.
- Excessive speed: an elevator speeding too fast can create a dangerous situation where the passengers are thrown to the floor or against the walls, which can result in injuries to the spine, legs, and other body parts.
Type Of Elevator Accident Injuries
Elevator injuries can be extremely serious, and even deadly. Sudden drops, malfunctioning doors, and mis-leveled elevators can produce the perfect situation for a passenger getting hurt. Elevator accidents result in various injuries, including the following:
- Back injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Head injuries
- Chronic pain
Potential Parties Responsible For An Elevator Accident
Victims may be confused regarding who’s responsible after they suffer an elevator injury. Many parties forgo contacting a personal injury attorney because they don’t think anyone can be held accountable for their accident. But when it comes to elevator accidents, the most common responsible parties are:
- Elevator Maintenance: Because elevator accidents so often occur due to poor elevator maintenance, the company that’s in charge of performing the repairs, as well as inspections, can at times be held responsible. For example, if a repair they performed wasn’t properly done and was the direct cause of the accident.
- Elevator Manufacturer: An elevator manufacturer may be held responsible if their machines or machine parts have had a history of failure, because it suggests that they were well aware of the potential risks.
- Elevator Installer: The person charged with installing the elevator can sometimes be held liable if they installed the elevator improperly or didn’t comply with the building codes.
- Property Owner: The building’s owner can be held responsible if they failed to schedule timely repairs and regular maintenance for their elevator.
What To Do After An Elevator Accident
The time right after your accident takes place can be very chaotic, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind in order to have the best chance of holding someone responsible for what happened. If possible, take pictures of the elevator, both inside and out, as well as the notice inside. Write down anything you think might be relevant or important, such as the name of the maintenance company, the elevator’s manufacturer, dates of inspection, and the numbers and addresses of any potential witnesses. It’s also crucial to get medical attention right away and make sure you’re not suffering any serious injuries and get medical care.
Contact An Experienced Los Angeles Elevator Accident Attorney
When you suffer an elevator accident you may end up with serious physical injuries as well as financial hardships due to medical bills and possibly inability to work. At the Law Offices of Jennie Levin, P.C., we have extensive experience helping victims of elevator accidents. We will do our best to recover your losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Let our dedicated personal injury attorneys help you. If you or a loved one have been involved in an elevator accident in California give us a call at (323) 951-1188 to schedule a free consultation.