Elevator Accidents: What You Need to Know

The Prevalence of Elevator Accidents

Elevator accidents may appear to be uncommon, but in reality, they happen more frequently than you might think. Data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveal that around 17,000 individuals are seriously injured in elevator and escalator incidents each year in the United States. That’s an average of over 1,400 injuries per month.

The Dangers of Elevators and Escalators

While we often take elevators and escalators for granted, they are actually powerful machines with inherent risks. Annually, they account for 31 fatalities, with elevators responsible for 90% of those deaths and 60% of serious injuries. These hazards not only affect the millions of pedestrians who use them but also the numerous workers in their vicinity. Out of the 31 fatalities, workers and pedestrians are almost equally affected, with 14 and 17 fatalities respectively.

Common Causes of Elevator Accidents

Elevator accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons. While some incidents are unavoidable accidents, others stem from preventable causes. These may include inadequate training for workers on-site, the absence of barriers to prevent falls down shafts, insufficient fall protection measures, elevators being operational during repairs or when out of service, and inadequate inspection or maintenance procedures.

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Types of Elevator Accidents

There are several types of elevator and escalator incidents that frequently result in severe injuries or fatalities. These include falling down elevator shafts or from escalators, getting trapped in between moving parts of an elevator or escalator, being struck by an elevator or its counterweight, and elevator or elevator platform collapse.

A recent consumer alert from the CPSC highlighted the risk of children being crushed in the gap between the elevator car door and the elevator hoistway door in certain home elevators. Tragically, children as young as two and as old as twelve have suffered fatal injuries such as multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae, and traumatic asphyxia.

Injuries Resulting from Elevator Accidents

Elevator-related injuries can be devastating, often leading to long-term consequences or even death. Some of the most common injuries resulting from these accidents include broken bones, ligament damage, head injuries or concussions, spinal injuries, amputated limbs, and fatalities.

Proving Negligence in Elevator Accidents

If you have been injured in an elevator or escalator accident and believe that another party is responsible, proving negligence is crucial. Demonstrating liability typically involves satisfying these criteria:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care and failed to fulfill it by operating the elevator safely.
  • They breached their duty by not taking the necessary measures to avoid causing harm.
  • Their breach directly led to the accident, making them legally accountable.
  • You suffered losses as a result of their actions, such as physical or emotional injuries and property damage.

Potential Damages and Compensation

If you or your loved one has been injured in an elevator accident, seeking compensation for your losses is essential. Hiring an elevator injury lawyer can help you pursue damages, including lost wages and diminished earning capacity, medical expenses (past, present, and future), pain and suffering, physical therapy costs, loss of life’s enjoyment, and funeral expenses.

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Consult with an Elevator Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, reach out to an experienced elevator injury lawyer at Garrity Traina. Our skilled attorneys will assess your case, determine liability, and work tirelessly to secure the financial compensation you deserve during this challenging time. It’s important to note that we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs, and we only get paid if you win. Schedule a free case evaluation now to learn more about your legal options.

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