Personal Injury Lawyer
Elevator accidents often result in catastrophic injuries where the victim may even endure paralysis, amputation, or death. A person may have fallen down the elevator shaft, or the elevator was otherwise working improperly. Elevators must be inspected and any issues corrected promptly to help prevent people from getting seriously injured. Minor malfunctions such as stepping off an elevator that isn’t level can cause someone to trip and fall, or an elevator door closing too quickly can mean a person gets temporarily squished between them.
When elevator accidents happen, the elevator must be marked as out of service and proper signage needs to be put up so no one attempts to use it. If you or someone you love was in an elevator accident, an attorney can help you identify the at-fault party and how you can seek monetary repayment for your medical bills and other losses.
What should happen immediately after an elevator accident?
After sustaining an elevator accident injury, it is important to get medical attention in the best interest of your health. You should also file a report to the appropriate person who is responsible for building maintenance, including the elevator in particular. After your attorney investigates further, he or she may establish that the manufacturer, property owner, installer, or maintenance manufacturer is at-fault for the incident and subsequent injury. You can then file a claim against that party for losses and damages.
Is it common for elevators to go uninspected or not maintained properly?
Property owners who prioritize their pocketbook over the safety of their residents or visitors may knowingly let the expiration date of an elevator inspection pass, or are negligent in getting issues taken care of in a reasonable time-frame. Based on regulations, elevators must be inspected once every year and with monthly check-ins. When filing your report with the building manager or appropriate person, be sure to request a copy so that you have it for your own records.
Unfortunately, the at-fault party may try to elude liability for what happened through shady methods, such as claiming a report was never filed or that the accident didn’t happen at all.
What can I do to make sure that my report is taken seriously?
To prevent your elevator accident report from getting lost in the shuffle, or intentionally destroyed by the at-fault party, you must ask for a copy of the paperwork along with gathering evidence before leaving the property. If you leave and then return later on, that gives the responsible party time to correct the error and make it seem as if the elevator was working fine, or do something else to cover up their tracks. Useful evidence includes:
- Photographs and video of the elevator malfunction (such as the buttons not working properly, the floor being uneven, the doors closing at too fast a speed, etc.)
- Statements from witnesses who saw the accident, were also hurt, or saw your injuries in the moments after
- Medical documents from a physician that show the extent and type of your injuries because of the elevator accident