When most people think of personal injury law, they think of traffic collisions or slip and fall accidents. One of the less common types of personal injury cases are elevator disputes.
While these are not as common as car accidents, many people need the services of elevator injury lawyers each year. According to research from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), around 17,000 people in the U.S. are injured in elevator mishaps annually.
Although most people do not realize it, elevators are powerful. They have the potential to cause severe injuries when they malfunction or are improperly maintained.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an elevator incident, you may have the right to pursue financial compensation. This is especially true if your accident was the result of another party’s negligence.
However, most victims are unsure of what qualifies as an elevator dispute. To find out, read on.
When you need the best legal representation available, contact Morgan & Morgan. As America’s largest injury law firm, we have the skills and experience to recover financial compensation for you.
Our elevator injury lawyers can handle any type of personal injury case. To schedule your free evaluation, complete the simple contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website.
Elevator Injury Statistics
Injuries resulting from elevator mishaps are more common than most people think. People using elevators may be hurt by these powerful machines. But those who work near or repair elevators also face hazards.
According to recent findings, elevator accidents account for between twenty and thirty fatalities each year. They cause up to 1,400 injuries each month in the United States.
Individuals who have been hurt by these machines may have grounds to file an elevator dispute. It is important to contact elevator injury lawyers as soon as possible following an accident.
Common Causes of Elevator Mishaps
People typically take elevators for granted. But these complex machines have heavy and powerful moving parts. Because they carry many stories into the air, the potential for injuries is very real.
As with any type of machine, some accidents are bound to happen. Some elevator mishaps are the result of random chance and uncontrollable circumstances.
But other elevator injuries are the result of someone’s negligence or carelessness. In these cases, victims have the right to pursue financial recovery for the damages that they sustain.
Some of the most common causes of preventable elevator accidents include:
- Insufficient training for elevator workers
- Unblocked or open elevator shafts
- Inadequate fall protection for workers
- Being struck by an elevator or its counterweight
- Collapse of an elevator platform
- Continued operation of elevators when they need repair or maintenance
These are only a few examples of circumstances that can lead to serious injuries. No matter what the cause of an accident may be, speaking with qualified elevator injury attorneys is vital.
If another person or entity is responsible for your injuries, you may have a valid elevator dispute. A mishap qualifies as an elevator dispute if you have the legal right to pursue compensation.
Types of Accidents That Lead to Elevator Disputes
Elevators present numerous dangers. Still, some types of injuries and accidents are more likely than others.
Some typical elevator accidents include the following:
- Falling down an empty elevator shaft
- Getting caught between moving mechanical parts
- Standing on an elevator platform during a collapse
- Being struck by the elevator or its counterweight
Sadly, children are particularly vulnerable to elevator accidents. According to a consumer alert from the CPSC, some children have been fatally injured after being trapped between the elevator and the door to the floor of the building.
Accidents That Require Elevator Injury Lawyers
If you have been hurt in an elevator accident, it is crucial to speak with a legal professional. A skilled lawyer will review the facts of your case to determine if you are likely owed compensation.
Even if you were alone when your injury occurred, you might be the victim of another person’s carelessness or negligence.
Many severe injuries can result from elevator accidents. Some common examples include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Severe ligament damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal injuries
- Crushed and damaged limbs
In some instances, elevator injuries can be fatal. When a victim is killed because of another party’s negligence, the family of the decedent can seek compensation.
Through a wrongful death case, a family can pursue the money that the decedent would have been owed if they had survived. No matter what the circumstances of your elevator dispute may be, an accomplished attorney can help.
What Qualifies as Negligence in Elevator Disputes?
Not every injury resulting from an elevator mishap results in a valid tort claim. To seek compensation, you must prove that some other party is responsible for the damage that you sustained.
For instance, the elevator’s manufacturer, operator, or another party may have been negligent in addressing safety concerns. If another person’s negligence led to your injuries, your claim qualifies as a valid elevator dispute.
Proving “negligence” in a legal sense requires the claimant to show evidence of the following four elements:
Duty of Care
The plaintiff must demonstrate that the other party owed them a duty of care. For example, an operator is required to control the elevator in a way that is responsible and safe.
If a company owns an elevator, they have the duty to maintain it adequately. This will keep it safe for use by occupants.
Elevator injury lawyers know how to build a powerful legal case to prove that the opposing party had a duty of care.
Breach of Duty
The claimant must present evidence to demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care. For instance, if a property owner failed to properly maintain their elevator, they have not fulfilled their duty of care.
You must also prove that the opposing party’s carelessness was the direct or proximate cause of the accident. In other words, it is not enough that the defendant behaved carelessly.
You must demonstrate that their carelessness was the reason that your elevator accident happened.
Finally, injury victims need to prove that the accident caused them to suffer damages. If the defendant’s carelessness did not cause harm to the victim, then the elevator dispute does not involve negligence.
The action or inaction of the opposing party must have caused the victim physical, emotional, or property damage.
Types of Damages in Elevator Dispute Cases
When you have been injured in an elevator accident, you may wonder what types of damages you can recover. Like most personal injury claims, there are two primary kinds of damages in elevator accident cases.
This category of damages encompasses payments that are intended to rectify direct financial losses. In other words, economic damages only make up for the loss of money.
Injury victims usually face many financial costs in the aftermath of an accident. Some common examples include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages and income from missed work
- Long-term loss of earning potential
- Costs of repairing or replacing damaged property
These are only a few examples of economic damages. This type of payment is not intended to provide a profit to the victim.
Economic damages are meant to return the victim to the financial state that they enjoyed before the accident.
Some negative consequences from an injury do not entail monetary loss. Still, these intangible harms are very real and emotionally difficult.
Non-economic damages are payments intended to compensate for the negative experiences that the victim underwent following the accident. Some of the most common examples of non-economic damages in elevator accident cases include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Trauma, like stress, anxiety, and depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It is very difficult to accurately calculate the value of non-economic damages. Experienced elevator injury lawyers can help you to determine an appropriate amount of recovery in your case.
Without securing the services of a trusted legal professional, you run the risk of settling for an inadequate amount. Do not accept less than you deserve.
Contact a skilled legal expert to secure maximum compensation in your elevator dispute.