For many people, elevators are not a luxury but a necessity. Elevators, like any other piece of machinery, need maintenance to stay in safe working order. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an elevator accident caused by inadequate maintenance at an office building or another property, we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago elevator accident attorneys have the experience needed to navigate these types of claims effectively. We understand that this is a stressful time in your life, which is why you can expect careful attention from our team during the legal process.Risks Posed by Inadequate Maintenance of Elevators
Building owners must comply with guidelines for operating elevators. Poor maintenance often results in unnecessary accidents and injuries. When an elevator accident takes place due to inadequate maintenance, the building owner will most likely be liable for any resulting harm. Lawsuits against building owners fall under the legal theory of premises liability. A premises liability claim arises from an injury that was sustained on someone’s property due to the owner’s negligence. Under Illinois law, owners of buildings that have an elevator, such as an office building or a retail store, are considered common carriers with regard to elevator passengers. This means that owners must exercise the highest degree of care for the safety of elevator riders. As a result, building owners must ensure that an elevator is in safe operating condition, which includes the duty to regularly inspect and maintain it.
In some cases, a property management company may be liable for an elevator accident caused by inadequate maintenance. Property management companies, rather than the actual building owner, manage many large properties. The property manager typically has someone on-site who schedules inspections, maintenance, and repairs for the elevators on the property. Thus, if maintenance is not properly conducted, and an accident results, the company may be legally responsible.
Premises liability claims are typically rooted in the theory of negligence. Negligence takes place when a property owner fails to act in a manner in which a reasonably prudent property owner would act in the same or similar circumstances. To win in an Illinois premises liability claim, the plaintiff must establish the following elements:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, which included maintaining the elevator;
- The defendant breached the duty of care by failing to maintain the elevator; and
- The defendant’s failure was a direct cause of the accident and the plaintiff’s harm.
Elevator accidents can result in serious injuries or even death. Not only do these injuries cause pain and significant medical costs, but also they can interfere with a person’s ability to do basic day-to-day tasks. If you have been injured in an elevator accident, Illinois law allows you to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your harm. These damages typically include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, disability, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other losses stemming from the accident. Each case is unique, and the exact amount of compensation that a plaintiff will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and extent of the harm suffered. If you have lost a loved one in an elevator accident, an attorney can help you seek wrongful death damages instead, such as medical expenses prior to the death, funeral and burial expenses, the decedent’s pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of future income, and more.Seek Representation from a Chicago Attorney for Your Elevator Accident Case
Maintenance is an essential part of making sure that elevators are in safe working condition for riders. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an elevator accident caused by inadequate maintenance at an office building, retail store, or apartment complex, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago lawyers understand the nuances of this area of law and can apply our knowledge to your case. We also represent injured individuals in cities such as Schaumburg, Wheaton, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Elk Grove Village, and Mt. Prospect. For more information, do not hesitate to call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.