Elevator Accidents – Be Aware of Hidden Dangers
Elevators are a way of life. We use them as part of our ordinary activities. Yet we rarely think of the dangers. Most elevators work safely with regular repairs and maintenance. Unfortunately accidents occur. Incidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 and seriously injure about 17,000 people each year in the United States, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Elevators cause almost 90% of the deaths and 60% of serious injuries. (www.elosh.org). Injuries to people working on or near elevators – including those installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, and working in or near elevator shafts – account for 14 (almost half) of the annual deaths. (www.cdc.gov).
Occasionally, an elevator malfunction may occur by doors opening in between floors, close too quickly or worst of all open when the car is not there.
There are Many Factors that Can Cause Elevator Accidents
Mis-leveling: The most common reason for elevator lawsuits occurs when the elevator fails to come to a stop that is level with the hallway floor. This usually occurs in older elevators that are brake controlled. Newer hydrolic elevators can mis-level due to maintenance issues such as valve leakage or low oil.
Defective Sliding Doors: The second most common type of elevator lawsuit results when a passenger is injured by a closing door. These accidents usually happen if there has been a malfunction in the door sensors, such as the electric eyes or safety edges. The passenger can be struck by the closing door and be injured.
Over-Speed: In this third most common cause of elevator litigation passengers are injured when the elevator moves at excessive speed. They may be thrown against the walls or floor. These injuries can be quite serious as they may affect the spine, arms or legs. This usually occurs from a counterweight malfunction or the control system.
Falls into Shaftways: The most severe injuries and many times death occurs from a fall into the elevator shaft. Construction workers can suffer from these falls by negligence on the work site. For passengers who are boarding an elevator it can be caused by door malfunctions.
Other Causes of Elevator Accidents: More uncommon types of injuries can occur from electrocution from improper wiring. A rarity is an elevator that moves with it’s doors open can potentially cause amputations for passengers. This isn’t an inclusive list of elevator accidents.
The Parties Who Might be Responsible for an Elevator Accident Can Include:
- Elevator manufacturer;
- Elevator maintenance company; or
- Property owner or manager.
Let the Experienced Elevator Accident Lawyers at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault Protect You When You’ve Been Injured
Elevator accidents can occur to a passenger or to person on a work site. These can be complicated cases. If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury from being in an elevator, contact us for a free consultation at 419-843-6663 or contact us.