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Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Top 5 Elevator Accident Causes

Every day, millions of people walk into elevators expecting to be whisked to their desired floor safely. Some people, however, do not get to their destination safely. Accidents occur in elevators causing approximately 17,000 injuries and 30 deaths per year. These accidents may be caused by defective doors, poorly maintained machinery, faulty equipment or even because of the negligence of building contractors or elevator technicians.

If you have been injured in an elevator accident, consult a New York elevator accident lawyer to determine your rights against the negligent party.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Elevator Accidents?

Elevator accidents can occur anywhere including hotels, malls, office buildings, residential apartments, hospitals, schools, and airports. They may be caused by several factors. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Mis-Leveling 
    This is a common problem for elevators in apartments built before 1960. These old elevators use a braking system that can miscalculate when to brake, causing them to stop at levels that are not the same as those of the hallway. The difference in levels can cause people, especially children and the elderly, to slip and fall. 

    Mis-leveling can also occur in modern elevators using a hydraulic system if the system is not lubricated enough because of oil leakages.   

  2. Defective Doors
    This is another common and hazardous problem. It occurs in elevators with sliding car or hallway doors. The doors’ protective devices such as electric eyes or safety edges can malfunction causing them to close suddenly or speedily, striking and injuring passengers as they walk in and out. 

    They may also fail to open completely, trapping passengers inside, or open partially, trapping passengers between the doors. This can be extremely dangerous, especially if the elevator moves suddenly while a person is trapped at the door.

  3. Excessive Speed
    Excessive speeding is the result of malfunctioning counterweights or control systems. 
    When elevators jolt upwards or downwards, passengers are thrown on the floor or onto walls. This can cause injuries to the spine, knees and ankles. 

  4. Falls Into Shafts
    This is by far the most dangerous and fatal elevator accident. It may happen when an elevator stops, its doors open midway between floors and a distracted passenger walks out, falling into the shaft. It may also happen when someone tries to illegally open a shaftway door or when untrained persons attempt to rescue passengers from a jammed elevator. 

  5. Elevator Malfunctions
    When an elevator is not checked routinely or if it was improperly serviced, it can malfunction at the worst possible time. In 2011, at Madison Avenue, a top advertising professional with Young & Rubicam, died when an elevator she was trying to get into on her way to work shot up while she was barely inside. She was crushed between the elevator and the wall. 

Have you or someone you know been injured in an elevator accident because someone was negligent?  Talk to New York personal injury lawyer Arthur O. Tisi now at 1-917-789-1390 for a FREE consultation to learn more about how you can obtain compensation for your injuries. 


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