Mechanical Defects in Elevators

Experienced Attorneys Assisting Accident Victims in the Chicago Area

While elevator accidents are not as common as some other types of accidents, such as car crashes, they happen more often than you might think. Elevator accidents can lead to serious and long-term injuries, and in the worst accidents, they can even cause an avoidable death. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a mechanical defect in an elevator, we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago elevator accident lawyers can look into the details of your case and advise you on a legal strategy that would be appropriate under the circumstances. Elevator accident cases can be especially complex, but we will work with knowledgeable experts to determine what happened and build a case for liability if it is present.

Cases Based on Mechanical Defects in Elevators

Many mechanical defects in elevators can be prevented or fixed with proper inspection and regular maintenance. Malfunctions that sometimes occur and cause elevator accidents include:

  • Pulley system malfunctions;
  • Open shafts that carry a risk of falling;
  • Faulty wiring;
  • Sudden stops;
  • Worn sheaves wearing on ropes; or
  • Unbalanced leveling and failures of elevators to line up with floors.

Many of these malfunctions can cause accidents that result in serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, broken ribs and other bones, crushing injuries, back and neck trauma, and even death. When the elevators doors open, but the elevator floor is not approximately in line with the intended floor, passengers can trip and fall while exiting the car, causing them to sustain fractures and other injuries. Some of these injuries can be long-term and extremely costly to treat.

If you have been hurt in an elevator accident, you may be able to recover a variety of damages for your harm. Some of these damages include medical expenses (i.e., medication costs, hospitalization, surgery, and so on), pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, disability, and any other losses stemming from the accident. While physical injuries are the most common type of injury resulting from an elevator accident, in some cases, a person may also experience psychological harm. For example, if an elevator gets stuck for a long period of time, without any indication of how long it will be until they are freed, this can be emotionally traumatic for a victim. Witnesses to other people’s injuries may also have a claim for psychological injuries. Of course, the exact amount and types of damages that an injured party may be entitled to obtain will depend on the specific facts of the case.

Before any damages can be recovered, however, negligence must typically be established. A number of parties may be negligent in elevator accident cases. For instance, if the cause of the accident was a mechanical defect caused by poor maintenance, the party responsible for maintaining the elevator may be liable. If the elevator malfunctioned due to a design or manufacturing defect, the manufacturer could be held accountable through a product liability claim. In other instances, the property owner may be liable for the elevator accident because owners have an obligation to make sure that elevators are in reasonably safe working condition.

Like any other type of lawsuit, elevator accident claims must be filed within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. A personal injury claim in Illinois must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. Failing to file within this time frame could mean losing your right to compensation altogether.

Contact a Knowledgeable Elevator Injury Lawyer in Chicago or the Surrounding Cities

Elevator accidents can cause devastating consequences. If a mechanical defect in an elevator caused your accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our diligent Chicago attorneys have the experience, skill, and dedication to handle your case. Elevator accident cases can be complex, and having a capable attorney on your side can make a difference in the amount of compensation that you receive. We also represent people who need an injury lawyer in Hoffman Estates, Streamwood, Elgin, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Bensenville, Wood Dale, Bloomingdale, Roselle, and Carol Stream, among other communities. For more information or a free consultation, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.