People use elevators in Illinois and throughout the United States on a daily basis. While most people ride an elevator without incident, the reality is that elevators can break down like any other mechanical devices. If you have been injured in an elevator accident caused by an inadequate inspection, you need to reach out to a skilled Chicago elevator injury lawyer who can assess the merits of your case. At Therman Law Offices, we can advocate for your legal rights at every step of the way. While we aim to settle matters in a way that is advantageous to our clients, we are not afraid to fight for you in the courtroom if a favorable settlement is not offered.Inadequate Inspections Can Lead to Serious Injuries
There are an estimated 600,000 elevators in the United States, according to Elevator World, and over 120 billion riders travel in elevators each year. These statistics highlight the potential number of people whom elevator accidents can affect. While elevators are built to be strong and durable, they require ongoing inspections. In Illinois, the Elevator Safety Division is responsible for implementing the Elevator Safety and Regulation Act, which prescribes a standard inspection form that must be used.
Inadequate elevator inspections can lead to serious malfunctions, which can cause injuries such as broken bones, crushing injuries, head trauma, serious burns, and spinal cord damage. If you have been injured in an elevator accident due to inadequate inspections, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm through a lawsuit. A property owner as well as a maintenance company may be liable for an elevator accident caused by an inadequate inspection.
Elevator accident cases often are pursued as premises liability claims. Premises liability refers to liability of landowners for accidents that occur on their property. Property owners have an obligation to maintain and inspect elevators routinely. This includes the duty to make sure that component parts of the elevator are working property and that the elevator is in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. If an inspection reveals a problem that cannot be fixed, visitors to the property should receive a warning that the elevator is not safe to use. This is commonly done through an “out of order” sign on the elevator.
When an inadequate inspection was a cause of an accident, your attorney may be able to hold the property owner liable if they can establish the following elements:
- The property owner owed a duty of care to the plaintiff that included making appropriate inspections of the elevator;
- The property owner breached the duty owed to the plaintiff by failing to keep up with inspections or making overly cursory inspections; and
- The property owner’s breach was a direct and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
In many cases, elevators in office buildings or other properties are maintained or repaired by an outside maintenance company or outside contractor. If an error in carrying out an elevator inspection properly was a cause of an elevator accident, a contractor may be liable. For example, if the maintenance company forgot to oil a necessary part of the elevator, and that part broke because of the lack of oil, causing a sudden drop accident, the maintenance company would likely be liable for the accident and resulting injuries.Contact a Chicago Attorney Following a Serious Elevator Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in an elevator accident, you should reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer who understands the challenges that you are facing. At Therman Law Offices, we are committed to carefully investigating the situation giving rise to your injuries and helping you pursue the compensation that you deserve. We recognize that multiple parties may be liable in your case, and we can alertly identify each of them. With decades of experience, our Chicago attorneys understand how to work with the necessary experts to navigate these types of claims. We also represent victims in cities such as Wheaton, Schaumburg, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Lisle, Darien, and Bolingbrook. For a free case evaluation, do not hesitate to call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.