Every year thousands of people are injured in elevator accidents all across the country. If you have been injured in an elevator accident you need to have your case reviewed by a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. You may only have a limited time to take action to protect your rights.
Causes of Elevator Accidents
Elevator accidents are more common than most people think. There are tens of thousands of elevators all across the country moving people and goods. It doesn’t matter if the elevator is a freight elevator or one that transports people in a tall office building; you have an expectation that the elevator will be in good working condition.
Some of the most common causes of elevator accidents are poorly maintained equipment, faulty installation, defective parts, or improper elevator operation.
Some common types of elevator accidents include:
• Door malfunction
• Improper leveling
• Abrupt stopping
Types of Injuries in Elevator Accidents
There is a wide range of injuries in elevator accidents. Some may be minor, but others are severe and even life threatening.
Common types of elevator accident injuries include:
• Head injuries
• Neck injuries
• Back injuries
• Broken limbs
• Amputated limbs or digits
Some elevator accidents result in secondary injuries. If you are trapped in an elevator and a fire breaks out you can suffer smoke inhalation and burns. Mental anguish, anxiety, and post traumatic stress syndrome can also result from an elevator accident.
If you have been injured in an elevator accident, you need to get proper medical treatment right away. Even if your injuries do not require immediate or emergency medical attention, you should still visit your doctor within 48 to 72 hours of the incident. Some injuries are not immediately apparent. Failure to see the doctor in a timely fashion may result in you taking longer to recover and can also result in you missing out on money for your injuries that you otherwise would have been able to recover.
Your Legal Rights In Case Of Injuries
When you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries. This also includes being compensated for your pain and suffering.
While most personal injury cases never go to trial, before you will be able to get paid on an injury claim, you will still have to prove you have a strong legal case. A personal injury negligence case has three parts.
First you must show that someone owed you a duty. The elevator was on someone’s property. If you had a right to be on the property, the owner owes you a duty. Additionally, the manufacturer and the company who installed the elevator owe you a duty that the elevator will work as intended.
Second, you must show that someone breached their duty and caused you an injury. It isn’t enough that the elevator malfunctioned somehow. You will have to show that it was someone’s fault and that the malfunction injured you.
Third, you will need to show how you were damaged. This includes medical bills and statements about how the injury impacted your life. Generally, the more traumatic the injury the more compensation you are entitled to in a personal injury claim.
Issues With Elevator Accident Claims
There are several obstacles to getting compensated for an elevator accident. The first problem many run into is finding the right party to make a claim with. It is often difficult to track down the owner of a building. No matter who else is responsible for the elevator issue, the owner of the building is the place your claim needs to start.
Another issue is that defendants like to try and pass the blame onto someone else. Property owners may blame the elevator manufacturer, the manufacturer may blame the owner, the company that installed the elevator, or even the people who last repaired or maintained the elevator. It can take a lot of work to find all of the responsible parties.
Most states only give people a small amount of time to bring a personal injury claim and therefore get smaller elevator injury settlement amounts. In some instances you will have two years or less to settle your claim of file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you will not be able to collect any money for your injuries. Trying to investigate a claim and get a settlement from the correct parties is time consuming. Often a lawsuit will have to be filed just to preserve your rights to collect.
You don’t have to deal with fighting your elevator accident claim by yourself. We can help connect you with a personal injury lawyer in your area with expertise in handling elevator accident cases. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can begin protecting your rights. You need a lawyer on your side working to help you get the compensation you deserve.