An elevator accident may seem like a rare occurrence, but these incidents are actually quite common. According to the most recent data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), elevator and escalator incidents seriously injure around 17,000 people in the U.S. each year. That’s more than 1,400 injuries per month.
We take them for granted, but elevators and escalators are powerful machines. They are linked to 31 fatalities per year, with elevators accounting for 90% of those deaths (and 60% of serious injuries). They pose risks not only for the millions of pedestrians who use them, but for the scores of people who work in or near them. Indeed, the 31 fatalities are nearly split between workers (14) and pedestrians (17).
Elevator injuries are common, and they can be severe. If you were injured in an elevator or escalator accident, you may be able to recover significant financial compensation. Keep reading to learn how a Morgan & Morgan elevator accident lawyer can help.
Causes of Elevator Accidents
As harmless as they may seem, elevators have the potential to injure a person in myriad ways. Some elevator accidents are unavoidable flukes, but others have preventable causes:
- Inadequate training for onsite workers
- Lack of barriers to prevent falls down shafts
- Lack of fall protection
- Elevators still operational when out of service/undergoing repairs
- Inadequate elevator inspection and/or maintenance
Types of Elevator Accidents
Here are some of the most common elevator and escalator incidents that cause serious injury or death:
- Fall down elevator shaft or fall from escalator
- Caught in or between moving elevator/escalator parts
- Struck by elevator or counterweight
- Elevator or elevator platform collapse
As noted in a consumer alert the CPSC issued earlier this year, children can be crushed in the gap between the elevator car door and the elevator hoistway door in some home elevators. The CPSC warned: “Children, some as young as two and as old as 12, have been crushed to death in this gap, suffering multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae and traumatic asphyxia.”
Elevator Accident Injuries
Elevator-related injuries can be gruesome, even fatal. These are some of the most common injuries that occur in these cases:
- Broken bones
- Ligament damage
- Head injuries/concussion
- Spinal injuries
- Amputated limbs
If you were injured in an elevator or escalator accident and believe that the elevator’s operator, manufacturer, or another party was at fault, you might be wondering how to go about proving it. “Negligence” is the legal term for liability or responsibility in an accident. Proving liability generally involves satisfying the following criteria:
- The other party owed you a duty of care. They were responsible for operating the elevator in a safe manner, and they failed to do so.
- They breached their duty. The other party breached their legal obligation to avoid harming you.
- Their breach caused the accident. The other party’s actions were responsible for the accident, making them legally liable.
- There were losses suffered as a result. The other party’s actions caused you injury (physical or emotional) and/or property damage.
If you or a loved one were injured in an elevator incident, you may be able to hire an elevator injury lawyer to seek compensation for:
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Loss of life’s enjoyment
- Funeral expenses
Speak to an Elevator Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in an elevator or escalator accident, contact an elevator injury lawyer at Morgan & Morgan. Our highly skilled attorneys can review the facts of your case to determine liability for your injury and help you collect financial compensation during this difficult time. To date, we have recovered more than $15 billion for our clients.
Best of all, we work on a contingency fee basis, so there’s no cost to get started, and we get paid only if you win. To learn more, schedule a free case evaluation now.