It is virtually impossible to go through an entire day without taking at least one elevator. While we trust that the elevators we take are well-made and well-maintained, that is not always the case. Unfortunately, elevator accidents happen more frequently than you might think, and the resulting injuries can be severe. If you have been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Willoughby Brod immediately to learn more about your rights and have a dedicated attorney fight for the compensation you deserve.
Causes of Elevator Accidents
Elevators can malfunction in a number of different ways, including the following:
- A malfunctioning door sensor can cause the door to close too quickly on a rider, injuring them;
- A mechanical defect can cause the elevator to drop suddenly, injuring unsuspecting riders;
- A failure of the doors to close properly can expose riders to the risk of falling into the shaft;
- A failure of the doors to line up properly with the floor level can cause people to stumble or trip when entering and exiting the elevator; and
- A faulty wire in the elevator can cause a rider to become electrocuted or start a fire.
The above is a short list of some ways in which an elevator can malfunction and injured a rider, but it is by no means a comprehensive list. An attorney can help you investigate your case and find the cause of the elevator malfunction that resulted in your injuries.
Common Carriers’ Duty of Care
In California, elevators are considered “common carriers,” like trains and buses, and are held to the same heightened standard of care to which common carriers are held. This heightened standard of care requires common carriers to do everything in their power to prevent a negative outcome. Short of making promises of safety, common carriers are held responsible for even the smallest bit of negligence.
California Statute of Limitations
Depending on the venue where you were injured, the statute of limitations for you to file your lawsuit can vary. Generally speaking, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. However, if the elevator belonged to a public entity, you may only have six months from the date of the accident to file a claim.
An attorney can also help you conduct further investigations into your accident. When you are involved in an elevator accident, a lot of questions are asked regarding the state of the elevator when you entered it and the details surrounding your elevator injury. Aspects of your accident that your attorney can help you recover include things like who was the manufacturer of the elevator, when the elevator was last maintained, and when the elevator was last inspected.
If you have been injured in an elevator accident, call our attorneys immediately. Since the statute of limitations expires after only a short time, the sooner you can secure an attorney and get your case moving, the better your outcome will be. Contact us online or at (800) 427-7020 for your free case evaluation today.
(image courtesy of Franck V.)