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Common Elevator Accident Injuries

Published: Apr 03, 2017 in Defective Products, Premises Liability

If you have been injured in an elevator accident, you may be suffering from immense physical pain and worried about who will cover your medical expenses and other financial losses while you are recovering from your injuries. Our Alabama premises liability lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. can help explain your options for pursuing compensation so that you can make an informed decision. Call us today at (205) 933-1500.

The nearly 1 million elevators located in commercial, residential, and retail properties across the country are a part of many people’s daily routine. In fact, elevators in the U.S. make around 18 billion trips every year and average about 20,000 passengers per year per elevator. Although most of those trips are without incident, elevator accident injuries do happen.

Common Causes of Elevator Accident Injuries

On average, elevator accidents are responsible for 27 deaths and seriously injure around 17,000 people annually. Severe injuries in elevator accidents are usually caused by the following:

  • Falls into shafts
  • Being caught in/between or struck by malfunctioning doors
  • Unbalanced leveling with the floor which can create tripping hazards when entering or exiting the elevator
  • Electrocution
  • Passengers colliding with one another of against the cab if it is moving too quickly or abrupt stops
  • Free-falls

Some of the most common elevator accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Severed limbs
  • Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Spinal cord and back injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Wrongful death

Poorly Maintained Elevators

The average elevator is expected to be in service for 20 to 25 years. To ensure that elevators operate safely overtime, they must be routinely inspected and properly maintained. A significant number of elevator accidents can be traced back to equipment failures that could have been prevented with adequate maintenance.

Some of the most common types of equipment failure include:

  • Pulley system malfunction
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Defective components or design
  • Faulty wiring
  • Power failures
  • Doors operator errors
  • Improper installation
  • Mis-leveling with the floor
  • Failure to upgrade equipment
  • Overheating of the drive and/or control system

Elevator Safety Rules in Alabama

Under Alabama law, all elevators that are used by the general public must be inspected annually to ensure they are in proper working order. Elevators that are under construction are also subject to mandatory safety inspections to ensure that they are properly installed and maintained.

The Alabama Department of Labor oversees safety inspections, maintains accident reports, and license inspectors who are authorized to engage in the construction, repair, and dismantling of elevators. As of 2003, Alabama also has a 10-member Elevator Safety Review Board, which controls the issuance, renewal, suspension, and revocation of licenses for elevator inspectors and mechanics.

How an Alabama Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help

We expect elevators to get us from point A to point B safely. When property owners or managers do not properly maintain elevators on their premises, they are failing to keep their facility safe for visitors. If you or a loved one have experienced an injury in an elevator accident, you may be able to obtain compensation through a premises liability claim.

At Belt & Bruner, P.C., our Alabama premises liability lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide variety of dangerous premises cases including defective elevators, slip and falls, and dog bites. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to fight for the maximum available compensation for your case.

To learn more about how we can help recover the compensation you deserve, contact us today (205) 933-1500 for a free consultation.