Defective Elevators

Georgia Defective Elevator Lawyer

Elevator injuries are rare.  However, when a loved one is seriously injured in an elevator, your perspective is permanently changed.  Approximately thirty people die in elevator accidents each year.  Approximately seventeen thousand people are injured.  For these people, the consequences are extreme.

Although data and statistics on elevators injuries are difficult to find, it is clear that home elevators present a very clear and present danger, especially to children.  The worst part is that elevator companies are completely aware of the problem but do very little to eliminate that danger.

If you are a loved one has been injured by an elevator accident, contact the elevator accident injury lawyers at the Wetherington Law Firm for help.  Read on to learn more about elevator defects and how we can help your family.

Elevator Defects

There are three basic types of elevators:

  1. Manual: Elevators operated by an attendant. These elevators often have double gates and, because they are typically older elevators, they do not typically have the safety features inherent in more modern elevators.
  2. Automatic: Elevators operated by passengers.
  3. Escalators: Electronically powered staircases that are similar to elevators.

Home models of elevators can be both manual and modern.  Although manual elevators are being phased out in both commercial and residential buildings because they are more dangerous than automatic elevators.

Although commercial elevators are very safe these days compared to much earlier models, there still have defects that can cause catastrophic injuries.  Typically, when elevators fail mechanically, these are the common issues:

  • Malfunction of the pulley system
  • Mechanical failure causing the elevator to drop rapidly (free fall)
  • Open elevator shafts
  • Faulty doors or other failures protecting entering and exiting passengers
  • Faulty wiring, control malfunctions, or electrocution
  • Neglectful repairs or maintenance
  • Improper inspections
  • Elevators fails to level itself resulting in an uneven surface between the elevator car and the floor outside its doors
  • A fire within the building causes entrapment or a wiring malfunction

Residential Elevator Problems

Home elevator designs differ dramatically from commercial elevators. In residential elevators, most designs have two doors. The outer door looks like every other door in your house. The inner door is often an accordion-style door.  The problem with this design is that there is a small gap between the two doors that can trap small children, leading to serious injuries and death. Children can easily become caught between the two doors and are crushed when the elevator moves as the child’s body is pinned between the two doors.

Industry standards previously only allowed a four-inch gap between these two doors but was increased to 5 inches.  The inner accordion-style doors are flexible and allow ever more space between the two doors.

The saddest part about these design standards is that elevator companies are aware of the issue. Safety measures such as sensors are available but are at an additional cost. Doors can be easily fitted with a device to eliminate this gap.

There are an estimated 125,000 home elevators in use in homes across America.  Many are found in vacation homes that are rented to families.  Although instructions are provided for renters, small unattended children are often injured or, tragically killed due to these design defects.

 

 

Georgia defective elavator attorneys

 

Home elevator installation is also a culprit in accidents. Many elevator companies do not require certification or specialized training for the contractors doing the elevator installation.

Elevator companies, such as Schindler, Otis and Abell have had successful personal injury claims filed against them over the years.  These cases have proved that these companies could have taken better precautions to prevent injuries and fatalities as a result of these design flaws. It is very clear that child elevator entrapments, injuries and deaths are a consistent issue.  More elevator lawsuits holding these companies financially responsible are necessary to put an end to the known design defects.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident, you should call an experienced elevator accident lawyer. The elevator accident team at the Wetherington Law firms provides free consultation to review the details of your accident and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you are due to help you pay for the costs associated with these types of injuries.

Compensation for an Elevator Accident

Since elevator accidents often have such a catastrophic impact on the victim, the related costs can be very expensive. There are many factors and expenses involved in determining damages (the monetary value) for your injury.

The types of damages you can be awarded include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain management
  • Assistive devices
  • Physical Therapy
  • Lost wages/ Job loss
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Assisted living
  • Home renovation
  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability
  • Embarrassment
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Other injuries

For more information on how damages are determined in personal injury cases, see our Damages article. See our series of articles on personal injury law procedures if you are interested in learning more about this legal process.

Who is Responsible for Elevator Accidents?

Every accident is different.  Determining responsibility for the accident depends on the individual circumstances of each case. In elevator accidents, the following types of individuals can be found to be responsible for these accidents:

  • Building owners
  • Elevator maintenance companies
  • Elevator design companies
  • Elevator manufacturing companies
  • Elevator installation companies

Hiring an Elevator Accident Injury Lawyer

Elevator accidents are typically due to another party’s negligence. Personal injury law is complex. The only way to ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve is by hiring a lawyer to protect your rights.

Insurance company representatives are not your friends. Attempting to deal with an insurance company on your own often has disastrous results. Insurance companies hire skilled negotiators as adjusters who are very good at convincing you that they are on your side and are offering you fair compensation for your injury. This goes for both your own insurance company and the insurance company of the other party involved in your accident. Don’t fall for it.

Anything you say to an insurance company representative can be used against you later. Do not talk directly with the representatives of any insurance companies that may contact you.

Determining who is responsible for accidents is a complicated process. There are often intricate paper trails and complex legal principles involved. And, time is of the essence. Evidence can disappear and there are deadlines to meet in order to file a lawsuit.

The first step is to meet with an experienced elevator accident lawyer to discuss the facts of your case. They will help you determine the range of damages you could receive if your lawsuit is successful. Next, they will begin the process by putting their talented legal team to work. This team will:

  • Draft a statement of your memory of the accident.
  • Investigate the details of your accident.
  • Secure evidence by gathering police reports, ambulance reports, fire department reports, interviews with personnel on the scene, and photographs.
  • Scrutinize medical records.
  • Speak with medical experts to determine the seriousness of your injury and the extent of future medical costs.
  • Hire accident experts to determine the cause of the accident and the responsible party.
  • Negotiate with insurance company representatives.

Skilled legal assistance will determine the responsible party and pursue your compensation claim so you can focus on healing and moving forward in your life. We maintain the highest standards of care for our clients and do not confuse our clients with complicated legal jargon. Best of all, our representation does not cost you any out-of-pocket money. We only get paid if you receive compensation for your injury.

How the Wetherington Law Firm Can Help

Moving on with your life after an injury is a challenging adjustment. Don’t be overwhelmed. With proper help and support, you can move on with your life. The Wetherington Law Firm is here to help. We care about your complete recovery – physically and mentally. Our skilled team of elevator accident lawyers, paralegals, investigators and medical experts provide skilled and caring assistance. We are dedicating to achieving the best possible recoveries for our clients. We are here to help you through this traumatic experience, so you do not have to deal with additional stress and hassle during your recovery. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

You Can Make a Lasting Difference in the Lives of Others by Hiring the Wetherington Law Firm

Obtaining full and complete compensation for our clients is the most important service we provide to our clients. Protecting the general public and making sure that other people are protected is part of obtaining justice. We frequently work with law enforcement, local government officials, state legislators, and federal agencies to understand the root cause of dangerous conditions. This often leads to uncovering dangerous trends or patterns of behavior that must be changed. Many of our clients have chosen not to be defined by their injuries, and instead choose to serve as a beacon of hope to others. Whether through legislation, refusing to settle unless changes are made, or simply sharing their story, our clients’ efforts have helped save MILLIONS of people from serious injury or death. If you can help prevent even one other person from being hurt or injured by the same problem, it will help make every day of your recovery a little bit better. We care about you as a person and will work with you however you want to help make the world a safer and better place. Call us now to get started.

Hire an Elevator Accident Injury Lawyer

Elevator accidents are typically due to another party’s negligence. Personal injury law is complex. The only way to ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve is by hiring a lawyer to protect your rights.

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