While it might be rare to hear about elevator and escalator accidents, the truth is that these incidents can affect anyone, particularly maintenance workers. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), these accidents tragically claim around 30 lives each year in the United States, leaving approximately 17,000 individuals with severe injuries. Elevators, remarkably, are responsible for nearly 90% of these fatalities and 60% of the reported serious injuries.
It’s important to note that a significant portion of these accidents involves individuals working on or near elevators, including those engaged in installation, repair, maintenance, and people working in proximity to elevator shafts, contributing to nearly half of the annual fatalities. Although these accidents aren’t commonly discussed, the potential for catastrophic outcomes underscores the critical need for robust safety measures, meticulous maintenance, and expert oversight to prevent such tragedies.
If you’ve been injured in an escalator or elevator accident in Myrtle Beach, SC, don’t hesitate to contact one of our dedicated elevator accident attorneys at The Lovely Law Firm. We’re here to guide you through the legal complexities of a personal injury case and assist you with pursuing the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries.
What Causes Elevator Accidents?
While not a frequent occurrence, elevator and escalator accidents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina can have significant repercussions when they do happen. Gaining insight into the root causes of these accidents is paramount in proactively preventing potentially hazardous situations during the use of these essential modes of transportation. Notably, elevators tend to be more prone to causing injuries compared to escalators due to their widespread use. Elevator accidents often arise from the following:
- Neglected Maintenance or Inspections – Failure to conduct regular maintenance and inspections can result in unsafe conditions.
- Elevator Misalignment – Improper alignment of the elevator with the floor poses a serious risk.
- Elevator Pulley System Malfunction – A malfunction in the pulley system can cause sudden drops.
- Faulty Wiring – Electrical issues within the system can lead to accidents.
- Design Defects – Flaws in the design of elevators or escalators can contribute to accidents and may be pursuable under a product liability case.
Most elevator-related deaths occur during repairs or maintenance, disproportionately affecting repairmen and maintenance employees.
Regarding escalator-related accidents, vulnerable groups, such as young children and the elderly, are particularly at risk for injuries, which typically result from:
- Clothing Entrapment – Items like clothing, shoes, or body parts can become trapped between moving sections.
- Falling on Escalator Steps – Loss of balance can lead to falls on the steps.
- Falling over the Side of the Handrail – Missteps can result in individuals falling over the side of the handrail.
Property owners bear a responsibility to ensure the safety of elevators and escalators, and their failure in this duty may render them liable for resulting injuries, as this falls under premises liability laws. With the guidance of an elevator accident attorney from The Lovely Law Firm, you can pursue a claim, holding the negligent party accountable for their actions.
What Are Common Elevator Accident Injuries?
While accidents involving elevators and escalators are rare, their consequences can be severe, even leading to fatalities. It’s important to recognize that these risks aren’t limited to passengers; workers, especially those involved in maintenance and working near elevator shafts or escalator tracks, face similar dangers. Despite the implementation of significant safety measures in these scenarios, accidents can still occur when heavy machinery is in play.
Despite elevators and escalators being in use for a long time, their design has not evolved much, introducing the potential for errors. The injuries resulting from these incidents can range in severity, including, but not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Experiencing even minor injuries from accidents involving heavy machinery can be distressing. Both minor and severe injuries from such incidents possess the ability to significantly impact one’s life, resulting in unforeseen medical expenses and challenging circumstances that may not have emerged otherwise.
At The Lovely Law Firm, an elevator injury lawyer will be dedicated to the welfare of individuals who have been injured in elevator accidents. We strive to identify the most effective healthcare solutions to aid in your recovery, going above and beyond to provide the support you need. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can assist you throughout the rehabilitation process and guide you on your journey to recovery.
Who Is Responsible If An Elevator Breaks And Causes Injury To Those On It?
Due to various factors, the liable party after an elevator accident can vary. Establishing liability in elevator accidents is typically evaluated within the legal framework of negligence. Negligence involves the failure to exercise reasonable care, leading to injury or property damage. In elevator accident cases, several key elements need to be demonstrated to establish a defendant’s negligence:
- Duty – The defendant owed the plaintiff (the injured party) a duty of reasonable care. This duty encompasses responsibilities towards employees, customers, and the general public. This aspect is relatively straightforward in elevator cases, as it involves assessing the extent of the defendant’s obligations.
- Breach – Once a duty of reasonable care is established, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached that duty. This involves demonstrating that the defendant failed to foresee potential risks that could affect the plaintiff’s health or safety and did not adequately prepare for them. Often, the breach relates to insufficient security measures or precautions.
- Causation – It is crucial to prove that the defendant’s breach directly caused the plaintiff’s injury or damage. The defendant’s liability may be mitigated if other contributing factors are identified that also played a role in the plaintiff’s loss.
- Damages – Finally, the plaintiff must have suffered some form of damage, loss, or injury as a result of the accident. Without actual damages, a negligence claim would lack a basis for compensation.
Identifying the responsible party in an elevator accident hinges on the thorough examination of these elements, helping establish the liable party’s accountability for the resulting harm. For the most accurate determination of liability in elevator accident cases, it’s highly recommended to seek the expertise of our seasoned elevator accidents lawyers at The Lovely Law Firm. Our committed legal professionals possess specialized skills in navigating the intricacies of these cases. We ensure a thorough evaluation of the circumstances, offering expert guidance to identify the responsible party for the injuries or damages that have occurred.
Can You Be Compensated For Being Stuck In An Elevator?
The recall of over 100,000 residential elevators by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) between 2021 and 2022 highlights the ongoing concerns within the elevator industry. Although this action demonstrates the government’s proactive stance to prevent further harm, many individuals still encounter challenges within the realm of elevators daily.
If you find yourself injured in an elevator accident due to the negligence of the building owner or elevator manufacturer, you do have the right to pursue legal action against them. However, it’s essential to note that being momentarily stuck in an elevator isn’t sufficient grounds for a lawsuit unless it leads to physical injury or emotional distress, typically resulting from a significant elevator malfunction.
While most personal injury attorneys can handle elevator injury cases, it is advisable to consult with an elevator accident lawyer experienced in premises liability law. Our elevator accident attorneys at The Lovely Law Firm possess specialized knowledge in dealing with cases involving accidents occurring on someone else’s property.
In order to pursue compensation after being stuck in an elevator, the following must occur as a direct result.
- Emotional Distress – Claustrophobia-induced distress stemming from prolonged entrapment in an elevator, leading to significant mental strain due to the confined space and duration.
- Physical Injuries – These may include broken bones, back injuries, and head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can occur when the elevator motor malfunctions, causing the elevator to experience sudden and forceful movements, essentially subjecting the victim to freefall conditions.
It is crucial to consult an experienced Myrtle Beach elevator accident lawyer at The Lovely Law Firm to properly assess the circumstances of the elevator accident and determine the best course of action to seek compensation for any resulting injuries or damages.
Contact A Myrtle Beach, SC Elevator Accident Attorney Near You
If you’ve been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, it’s crucial to seek expert legal assistance to safeguard your rights and pursue the rightful compensation you’re entitled to. Our experienced elevator accident attorneys at The Lovely Law Firm are dedicated professionals with the knowledge required to handle the intricate aspects of these cases. We fully comprehend the potential physical and emotional consequences of such accidents, and we are unwavering in our commitment to advocating on your behalf. Whether your injury resulted from a malfunction, negligence, or inadequate maintenance, our team is here to offer the support and guidance you need. Reach out to us today to discuss your situation, and let us navigate the legal process, helping you receive compensation for your injuries and damages. Your well-being is our top priority, and we are here to fight for justice on your behalf. Contact The Lovely Law Firm today for a free case consultation to learn more about how we can help you.