Elevators are something we take for granted, and we trust that they’ll be safe and reliable when we’re inside a building. That’s true if they’re properly inspected and taken care of by the property owners, and even more important – the company’s that’s responsible for maintaining them.
Unfortunately, there are many cases of elevators causing accidents as they travel from floor to floor. Injuries can also occur from problems with the elevator doors, sensors, and many other components of these heavy and complicated machines. If you are someone that’s been injured from an elevator, we can help you explore your rights and legal options, which may include a personal injury lawsuit.
If an elevator company’s negligence has caused you harm and suffering, don’t delay in giving us a call and speaking to a lawyer with experience in elevator accident injury cases. We look forward to speaking with you during a free consultation and helping you recover the compensation you deserve.
Elevator Maintenance Company Liability for Incidents of Injury and Death
According to the Center for Disease Control, elevators and escalators are responsible for around 17,000 cases of injury on an annual basis. Around 30 of these cases result in death, and sadly, many of these incidents are due to elevator maintenance company failure to maintain the elevator: Acts of negligence by these companies include:
- Failing to conduct elevator load tests (failure to check weights, which will counterbalance the load being carried by the elevator).
- Doors closing in on passengers or failing to open wide enough, i.e., failure to inspect door sensors
- Failure to check automatic stop systems, which can cause misalignment with the elevator and the floor.
Misalignment, also known as misleveling, is a big source of injuries with elevators, usually from trip and fall accidents. While property owners may be to blame in these situations, this defect is often caused by the servicing company’s failure to inspect elevator leveling to ensure the elevator stops on the correct floor. Another major issue is a company’s failure to inspect the elevator not suddenly dropping. Thorough inspection of the pulleys and weights is the best way to prevent this problem, though there are many other mechanical issues that can cause sudden drops in elevators.
Investigating the cause of your accident is crucial to going after the responsible parties and securing the full payment you are entitled to. The personal injury lawyers of DTLA are more than ready for this challenge, so contact us immediately if you’ve sustained injuries from a defective elevator.
Common Elevator Accident Injuries
Elevator failure can lead to a number of catastrophic injuries, which is why proper maintenance and repair are so important when it comes to these machines. Accidents involving elevators are associated with the following injuries:
Other Parties that May be Liable in an Elevator Injury Lawsuit
- Broken bones
- Sprains, especially in the wrists and ankles
- Skull fracture
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Damage to the neck or spinal cord
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Amputation / severed limbs
- Severe anxiety, phobias, nightmares, and other mental health issues
Aside from the elevator servicing company, there may be other entities that are responsible for an elevator accident. That’s why it’s essential to work with an experienced law firm that can determine the exact cause of your accident. Here are some other parties that may share liability for injuries from an elevator accident:
The majority of lawsuits involving elevator malfunctions are filed against the property owner or operator. This may be a leasing company, an apartment building owner, a government agency, or even a private homeowner. California’s law of premises liability requires owners to ensure that their property is free of hazardous conditions, which means they may be responsible if someone is injured from an elevator on the premises. However, property owners typically rely on maintenance companies to take care of the elevator, which is why most of these cases involve lawsuits against the maintenance company, as well as the property owner.
Elevator Manufacturer or Distributor
Product manufacturers have a legal duty to inspect and test their goods before they are sold to the public. In addition, they must maintain specific protocols during the manufacturing process to ensure there are no defects that can cause consumers to be injured. If there is a problem with the manufacturing, design, or distribution of the elevator, the manufacturer or distributor may be sued by the victim or their family members.
In many cases, installation of the elevator is done by the manufacturer. However, these companies may leave this task in the hands of a subcontractor. In that case, your accident may involve negligence by an elevator installation company. Poor training and supervision, lax hiring practices, and many other conditions can serve as grounds for a lawsuit against the company that installed the elevator.
Compensation from an Elevator Maintenance Company Negligence Case
Those who have suffered bodily harm due an elevator maintenance company’s neglect may be entitled to the following monetary damages:
- Compensation for medical treatment, including future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income and/or lost earning potential
- Mental anguish
- Damage to your personal belongings
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages
For those that have lost a loved one to an elevator accident, compensation may be available from a wrongful death lawsuit. Payment from a wrongful death claim include funeral expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other economic and non-economic damages. We can go over your rights and help you understand the legal process for one of these lawsuits during a free consultation.
Case Values for Elevator Accident Lawsuits
There are many elements that are involved when we consider what an elevator injury case is worth. The type of accident and the injuries you’ve sustained are critical factors. We also need to think about your monetary damages, which may include future / lifetime payments for things like medical expenses and lost wages.
If your injuries are fairly minor, a settlement may be as low as $10,000. But the majority of clients we represent have serious injuries that require surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, and other expensive treatments. The loss of income, career prospects, and other issues are quite significant for many victims. As a result, settlements ranging from $150,000 to $1,000,000 or more are not unusual with these cases.
Figuring out an approximate value for your case is very important, as insurance companies will try to pressure you into settling your claim for as little as possible. Knowing what you are entitled to and having a lawyer that can fight for you is essential to receiving justice from an elevator accident lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations to Sue the Elevator Servicing Company
You normally have two years from the incident date to file a lawsuit if you were injured from an elevator. Sometimes, the statute of limitations can be extended, but these are very limited circumstances that will not apply to most claimants. To ensure that you can receive payment for your injuries, we recommend that you contact us and start the process for a lawsuit as soon as possible.
The statute of limitations, by the way, is much shorter if you were injured in a government-owned building. Compensation claims against state, county, or city properties must be filed within 6 months from the accident. Your right to sue will be based on the appropriate agency’s response to your claim, which you can learn about from a premises liability lawyer at our office. Just give us a call to schedule a free case review at your earliest convenience.
How Long will it Take to Reach a Settlement?
We always strive to bring you payment from an accident claim within 6 months, but there are many issues that can affect how long it takes to settle an elevator injury case. With commercial properties like office buildings and apartment complexes, we find that the process often takes around 8 to 10 months. For cases against government entities, it can often take 1 to 2 years to negotiate a payment, as the legal process is more complicated with these claims. If it turns out that negotiating a settlement is not possible, your case may go to trial, though this is rare, as over 90% of cases are settled with the insurance company.
Our lawyers are available to speak with you if you’re interested in learning more about the process to achieve a settlement award. All you have to do is contact us at our office and schedule a free case evaluation.
Our Attorneys are Ready to Fight for You
Here at DTLA Law Group, we know firsthand how devastating these accidents can be, for the victim as well as their loved ones. That’s why we will never compromise on what our clients are entitled to, no matter how much you are due from an elevator injury accident case.
Our commitment to injury victims includes the Zero Fee Guarantee, which protects your finances from day one. We never charge our clients for the cost of legal services; that’s paid to us by the defendant at the end of your case. Furthermore, you pay nothing at all if we don’t succeed in bringing you compensation from a successful injury claim.
Even if you have a lawyer already, we’d be happy to meet with you for a free second opinion on your existing elevator accident case. If you have any concerns about your lawsuit that you’d like to discuss with one of our attorneys, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
For a free case review with an elevator maintenance company negligence lawyer, please take a moment to contact our law firm.