Falls into Elevator Shafts
Each day, people in Illinois and across the country use elevators in office buildings, high-rise apartment complexes, and malls, among other places. While most people use elevators without incident, the reality is that accidents do happen. One of the most dangerous types of elevator accidents involves the elevator shaft. If you or someone close to you has been injured or killed because of a fall into an elevator shaft, we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our knowledgeable Chicago elevator accident attorneys can investigate the facts surrounding your case and determine your legal rights accordingly.Falls Into Elevator Shafts Can Cause Life-Changing Harm
While elevator accidents are not common, when they do occur, the consequences can be devastating. There are an estimated 900,000 elevators in the United States, according to Consumerwatch.com. They are much more common than escalators, so it is not surprising that more people are hurt by elevators than escalators – approximately 10,200 people per year.
Falls into elevator shafts can cause perhaps the most severe types of injuries and the greatest number of fatalities among types of elevator accidents. The elevator shaft is the vertical shaft in the building that allows the passage of an elevator from floor to floor. Put another way, the elevator shaft is the enclosed space in which the elevator car moves up and down. Elevator shaft accidents occur when passengers fall into the shaft. These accidents can have a number of causes, including:
- Defective door interlocks;
- Elevator surfacing;
- Malfunctioning equipment;
- Incorrectly opening a shaft way door;
- Failures on the part of building owners or their managing agents to properly notify residents or guests about ongoing maintenance work; or
- The removal of passengers from a stalled elevator by untrained personnel.
In any elevator accident case, it is essential to determine who or what caused the incident. It is important to note that more than one party may be liable. For instance, if the cause of the accident was poor maintenance, the company responsible for maintaining the elevator may be liable. If the elevator failed because of a design or manufacturing defect, on the other hand, the manufacturer might be held liable through a product liability claim. In other situations, the property owner may be accountable for the elevator accident if the property owner failed to maintain the elevator in a safe working condition.
Just as with any other type of personal injury case, there are a variety of possible damages in elevator accident cases. Some of these damages include medical bills for doctor’s visits, surgeries, medication, and hospital costs. Also, if you need to take time off from work because of your injuries from a fall into an elevator shaft, you may be able to recover compensation for lost wages and even future lost wages if you cannot work for an extended period of time. You may be able to receive pain and suffering damages if your injuries caused you serious pain or distress. Of course, the exact amount of compensation that a plaintiff will be entitled to obtain in a given case will depend on the nature and extent of the harm suffered.
If you have lost a loved one in an elevator accident, you can likely file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. A wrongful death lawsuit seeks monetary damages and is appropriate if the deceased person would have been able to file a lawsuit and recover damages had the death not occurred.Retain a Compassionate Elevator Accident Lawyer in Chicago or Beyond
Dealing with an elevator accident can be daunting. If you have been injured in a fall into an elevator shaft, you should not delay in consulting a Chicago lawyer. At our firm, we have helped many individuals and families get the compensation that they deserve for their harm, and we can help you as well. Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. We also represent residents of cities such as Schaumburg, Wheaton, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, Elmhurst, West Chicago, and Lemont. To discuss your case in more detail, feel free to reach us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.