Therman Law, On Elevator Accidents and Injuries


Have you ever been on an elevator, and upon exiting, tripped over the floor?  That’s what we call Elevator Disleveling.

Often times, there’s a difference in height between the floor and the base of the elevator. This potential accident can sometimes be corrected by a shift in a balance, but other situations can actually lead to serious injuries and a ton of medical bills.

What do we know about elevator accidents? What should you do in the case of a serious injury caused by elevator disleveling?

All your questions will be answered as we dig deeper into the topic of what to do after an elevator accident.

Let’s start by taking a look at some raw statistics relating back to elevators and their use.

Elevator Accidents by the Numbers

Consumer Watch estimates a total of 900,000 elevators in the US. On average, each of these elevators serves 20,000 people each year – an approximate total of 18 billion passenger trips in that time frame.

Elevators can provide comfort and ease of movement for people trying to navigate a building with multiple stories, however, they can also malfunction which carries risks and danger.

Robson Forensic has more specific statistics relating to elevator accidents, grouping elevator accidents into three specific categories:

  • 37% of accidents were caused by errant door function
  • 27% involved a sudden or unexpected drop in the elevator car
  • 25% were caused by disleveling

Construction workers are the most likely group of individuals to be involved in an elevator accident, with elevator installers or repairmen holding the fifth highest rate of work-related deaths. An average of 21 people are killed every year as a result of working on or around an elevator. Besides death, those involved in elevator accidents may experience:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Various head injuries
  • Cuts
  • Sprains, breaks and tears

When comparing how many people use elevators (18 billion passengers a year, on average), and the total of people who die as a result of elevator accidents (21 people working around them), you may be lulled into a false sense of security about the true danger of elevator accidents. But these numbers are not representative of the number of people who suffer serious injuries as the result of disleveling.

Evaluating Liability After an Elevator Accident

When elevator accidents occur, there are a few different parties who may be at fault, who can then be held liable for future legal action:

  • The elevator manufacturer and seller, who can be held responsible for defects in their products.
  • Elevator maintenance/repair companies, who can be held liable for negligence if the elevator accident was the result of haphazard repair or maintenance efforts.
  • The building owner, who is responsible for the safety of those who enter the building as a general rule. If strict compliance isn’t observed in regards to maintenance and repairs, they may be liable for negligence.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how careful you or the people around you are; accidents happen. Ensure your own safety by learning dangers revolving around elevator injuries and getting the knowledge and help from Therman Law Offices in the event that something does happen.
For more information, please refer to our slip and fall injuries and premises accidents feature pages. If you’ve recently been involved in an elevator accident and are seeking counsel for how best to proceed, call us 312.588.1900 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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