Elevator Accidents: Are They Going Up?

Elevators are an amazing tool, and a necessary one for many. But while riding an elevator may be convenient, practical, or the only way to get from one floor to another, riding an elevator isn’t always safe. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 17,000 people seriously injured in elevator accidents each year in the United States, and approximately 30 people killed. While there are strict laws and safety regulations in place, elevator accident numbers aren’t experiencing the decline that would be expected with such stringent requirements. 

Common Causes of Elevator Accidents

Elevator accidents can take a variety of different forms and be caused by a myriad of things. Some of the most common types and causes of elevator accident include:

  • Falls into elevator shafts. A fall into an elevator shaft is by far one of the most devastating elevator accident types. This type of accident should never occur, as there should never be an exposed elevator shaft; the elevator itself should appear when called. A fall into an elevator shaft may be caused by elevator part defects or repair/maintenance defects.
  • Crush-in-door accidents. Another type of elevator accident that can be traumatic is an accident where a person–or a person’s extremity, such as an arm or leg–becomes trapped in and crushed by a closing elevator door. This, too, is usually the result of an elevator defect or defective maintenance. 
  • Trip and fall. If an elevator shaft is not properly aligned with a floor at the time that an elevator door opens, it could create a serious tripping hazard for anyone who is exiting or entering the elevator. 

Nearly all elevator accidents are caused by things like installation errors, inadequate repairs, poor inspection and maintenance, and defective design. 

What to Do if You’ve Been in an Elevator Accident

If you have been in an elevator accident, there are a few key things that you should do as soon as possible–

  1. Provide notice of the accident to the building owner or manager where the incident occurred
  2. Seek medical care
  3. Call a lawyer

Doing each of the above things is critical to the outcome of your case. It is especially important that you call an attorney as soon as possible after the crash so that the attorney can begin collecting evidence while it is still fresh and start developing your case strategy. 

Who’s Liable? 

Liability for the accident will depend on fault. For example, if the elevator accident was the result of a defective elevator part, then the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of that part can be held liable. Or, if the accident was the result of defective maintenance, then the party responsible for maintenance–such as a building manager–may be held liable. 

Call The Law Offices of Alan Hildreth King & Associates Today 

Being involved in an elevator accident can have devastating and life-changing consequences. If you have been harmed in an accident, please reach out to our skilled personal injury attorneys in Massachusetts for the support and legal guidance you need. You can get started with our law firm immediately today by calling us at (781) 284-2900 or by sending us a message at your convenience.