The Most Common Types of Accidents Involving Elevators & Proving Liability
There are several common types of elevator accidents, which include, without limitation, the following:
- Falls into elevator shafts – an elevator that properly functions only opens when it perfectly aligns with the floor on which it is stopped. Notwithstanding, if the elevator for some reason is out of order and stalls above the landing, or if a person repairing the elevator causes the elevator shaft to become exposed, an accident can happen which causes a person to fall down the shaft and suffer serious, if not fatal, injuries.
- Closing doors – another common elevator accident occurs when the elevator’s sensors fail to work properly, causing the elevator door to close on a passenger who is standing in the doorway. This can cause crushing injuries to a victim, often resulting in death.
- Stops that are sudden – due to malfunctions, an elevator can come to an abrupt stop, whether at a floor or between floors. Many times, passengers do not hold onto the railings, causing him or her in this situation to strike the doors, floor, or walls. This can lead to serious if not fatal injuries.
- Misleveling – when an elevator is not perfectly aligned with the landing, a passenger can trip and fall when attempting to enter or exit an elevator, which can lead to knee, foot, spinal, and hip injuries.
In order to establish liability, a plaintiff must show the court that there was a defect in the elevator that caused the accident. The plaintiff also must establish that the landlord knew of the problem and did nothing to address it, such as taking the elevator out of service, placing a sign on the elevator, etc.
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