When Elevators Malfunction

Posted on March 11, 2011 at 4:36pm by

It is hard to imagine a time when elevators were not a part of everyday life. Early elevators were hand operated and had limited machinery to operate them. Modern elevators have more safeguards, but they are just as likely to malfunction and injure the occupants. It is imperative that elevators pass frequent inspections and meet stringent regulations. Every year, an Atlantic City injury lawyer represents people injured in elevator accidents.

Elevator Accidents and Injuries

Many victims of elevator accidents are the workers responsible for their safety. According to the U.S. Labor Department’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:

  • Elevator maintenance workers and people who work in office buildings represent half of the annual elevator-related fatalities
  • Half of those deaths are from falls in the elevator shaft
  • 53 percent of occupational-related elevator deaths occur during installation or repair, 17 percent occur during work in the shaft or car and 30 percent occur performing work near the elevator

Elevators require steady maintenance, and even then, they present inherent risks such as uncontrolled stops. Emergency brakes and counterweights are preventive measures, but some designers and manufacturers cut corners in the interest of saving money. These companies are liable for resulting injuries and fatalities.

Elevators stopping between floors and being stuck are a more common occurrence. As a design function, elevators will stop if the motors cease working. If not properly maintained, elevators can also be stuck unexpectedly and trap the occupants inside. There are many cases every year of trapped occupants falling down an elevator shaft in an attempt to escape a stopped elevator. It can be hours before help reaches trapped occupants. If the elevator’s brakes are in poor condition, it can fall down the shaft.

Elevators make life easier, but poor design and poor maintenance can make them deadly.  Contact an attorney experienced in elevator accident injuries if you have suffered injuries from an elevator. In some cases, the statute of limitations is short and you may have only a limited time to pursue legal action.

Elevator injuries present a myriad of legal issues involving building codes, inspection requirements, safety precautions and maintenance programs. An Atlantic City accident attorney is prepared to offer a free case evaluation and help you receive compensation for your injuries.