Elevator Accidents in Office Buildings
Chicago Attorneys Representing Victims Coping with Serious Injuries
When you go to work or to another office space, you expect to be in a safe working environment. Unfortunately, each year, people in Illinois and throughout the U.S. are injured in elevator accidents in office buildings. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you should contact a Chicago elevator accident lawyer who can assess the details of your case. At Therman Law Offices, we are committed to holding negligent parties accountable for the harm that they cause and getting our clients the compensation that they truly deserve.
Elevator Accidents in Office Buildings
Elevators are potential sources of serious injuries and death to the general public and to workers installing, repairing, or maintaining them. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 27 people are killed in elevator accidents each year, and over 10,000 are injured. The United States Labor Department of Fatal Occupational Injuries reports that half of the annual elevator-related fatalities happen to repair or maintenance workers who service elevators or people who use elevators as part of their job, such as in an office building.
Elevator accidents may happen for a number of reasons. The following are some of the common causes of elevator accidents:
- Elevator car drops suddenly;
- Elevator car ascends suddenly;
- Elevator doors close too quickly;
- The gap between the elevator and the outside floor is too large;
- The elevator is not properly leveled with its stops;
- Elevator doors fail to retract upon contact;
- Failure to complete inspections, maintenance, or repairs.
Property owners, property management companies, and elevator manufacturers may be held liable for any injuries caused by an elevator accident in an office building. There may also be different legal theories under which certain parties are accountable. For example, a property owner may be liable under the principle of premises liability, whereas an elevator manufacturer may be liable under the legal theory of product liability. A close examination of the circumstances of your case will allow an attorney to make these determinations.
Premises liability is a legal theory that applies to accidents that take place on the property of another party. Property owners, including office building owners, have an obligation to use reasonable care to make sure that an elevator is in safe working condition. This obligation includes making sure that the elevator is properly maintained. Liability in premises liability cases depends, in large part, on the relationship between the injured party and the property owner. Customers, clients, and employees in an office building would all be considered invitees and are owed the highest duty of care of any type of visitor. An invitee is a person who enters the property of another party with the owner’s express permission and for the mutual benefit of both of them.
A property owner owes the highest duty of care to invitees among all types of visitors. When it comes to invitees, property owners should be aware of any potentially hazardous conditions that may pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the invitee, should anticipate that the invitee may not be able to discover the condition, and should take reasonable steps to remedy the condition or make the invitee aware of it to make sure that the invitee does not suffer harm.
Meanwhile, elevator manufacturers must ensure that their products are safe for the public to use. If the elevator accident was caused because of a defect in the elevator’s design or manufacture, the injured party may be able to seek compensation through a product liability claim against the manufacturer. These claims hold a manufacturer or seller accountable for placing a defective product into the market and ultimately into the hands of consumers.
Contact a Knowledgeable Elevator Injury Lawyer in the Chicago Area
Elevators are designed to make our lives easier and save us time but not put us at risk of harm. Unfortunately, while most people use elevators without incident, the reality is that accidents do happen. If you or someone you love has been injured in an elevator accident at an office building, you need to consult a skilled Chicago attorney without delay. At Therman Law Offices, our injury lawyers can analyze the circumstances of your case and come up with a legal strategy accordingly. We also represent victims in Wheaton, Schaumburg, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Lisle, Darien, and Bolingbrook, among other communities. To set up a free appointment, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.