Elevator Accidents

Elevator Lawsuits: An Overview

Whether you are on the job or just visiting a multiple story building, you put your health and your life in the hands of another every time you step on an elevator. In the United States and Canada, more than 600,000 elevators move almost 600 million people each day. Because elevators are expensive to build and maintain, shortcuts are often taken that cause risk of serious injury or death to their occupants.

Defective design or, more commonly, improperly maintained or installed elevators are the most common subjects of elevator lawsuits. In most states, underscoring the important of elevator safety, owners of elevators owe a heightened standard of care to their passengers.In Maryland, the owner or operator of a passenger elevator is required to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence practicable under the circumstances, to guard against injuries to persons riding in such elevator. Property owners who maintain an elevator are required to use reasonable care in order to maintain their elevators and to warn potential occupants of the hazards they know about or should have known about after a reasonable inspection.

Typically, an elevator injury lawsuit alleges defective design, neglect, faulty wiring, lack of proper installation, maintenance, and/or upgrade of the elevator. There are two primary types of elevator accident lawsuits: passenger and freight.

Passenger Elevator Accidents

The most common elevator a majority of us see is the passenger elevator. Passenger elevators are required in public safety regulations to conform to ASME A17.1, which was first drafted almost 90 years ago. Elevators also typically must pass state inspections before they are operational. Many elevator accidents occur as the result of:

  • Overcapacity
  • Electrocution due to faulty wiring
  • Malfunction of the pulley system causing the elevator to fall
  • Lack of rope grippers to stop an elevator's fall,
  • Loose hanger track bolts and missing bolts on the elevator doors
  • Improper leveling with elevator and hallway floors
Freight Elevator Accidents

The construction of freight elevators, designed only for the conveyance of freight, is sometimes different from the construction of passenger elevators. Like any elevator, a freight elevator must be properly built and maintained. But in spite of the fact that these elevators often carry people, freight elevators are not required to maintain the ASME A17.1 code requirements that passenger elevators must meet. This means, as you would expect, a lot of corners sometimes get cut when building and maintaining freight elevators.

There are many different types of injuries that occur from improperly designed, inspected or maintained elevators. Most common and not surprising are finger and hand injuries from closing doors. Many freight elevators are designed without an inside or outside pull strap to manually close the door.

Contact Our Law Firm If You Believe You Have a Elevator Accident Lawsuit

If you or someone you love has suffered a catastrophic injury or death as the result of the use of a forklift you believe may have been defective, call our forklift product liability lawyer at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation.

We are based in Maryland but our lawyers accept serious accident elevator cases around the country.

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