A new garage door provides safety, security, and function to a home. Most garage doors contain springs with tightly-would coils, or springs, that open and close the doors. When these springs malfunction, they can cause garage door spring accidents that may result in serious injury.
The size and weight of a garage door can pose a serious safety hazard to people who operate them. A 2007 NEISS Hospital Study found that over 13,000 people suffer frominjuries due to garage door accidents every year.
A garage door can cause people to suffer from limb amputations, falls, and other serious injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are committed to securing the most favorable recovery for people injured in accidents involving garage door springs.
Call our premises liability attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation related to injuries sustained in a garage door spring accident. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Understanding Garage Door Springs
A garage door spring provides a counterweight to the door itself. When the garage door opens, the springs offer necessary support to the opener. The spring prevents the door from slamming to the ground by turning slowly.
When the springs break, they can cause the garage door to come crashing down to the ground. If someone is nearby or underneath the door, they can sustain serious injuries.
These garage door springs are on the upper side of the tracks. An extension spring uses cables fed through the spring to provide counterweight and slowly lift the garage door opening. When closing, the garage door spring is stretched and filled with tension. Because this spring tension is more robust, they cause more harm when accidents occur.
A torsion spring is the most durable option. These springs are mounted horizontally along with the garage door opening. As the door closes, the garage door spring winds up tightly. When the door opens, the door spring will release the tension.
Springs are susceptible to damage over time. They can warp, rust, or lose tension. When a spring is broken, those who are nearby can suffer a serious injury.
Types of Injury Caused by Garage Door Torsion Springs
Many types of injury can result when a person is harmed by an automatic or malfunctioning garage door spring. Typically, a broken spring can create many dangerous situations.
Some of the common injuries suffered by people who are hurt by a garage door spring accident include the following:
- Permanent disabilities
- Pinched joints
- Severed limbs
- Bruising or lacerations
If you suffer from an injury after a garage door spring opening, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. It is essential to ensure that your injuries are documented if you pursue a claim against the manufacturer, homeowner, or property owner.
How Does a Garage Door Spring Accident Occur?
Most garage doors open easily using a torsion spring. Any type of garage door spring needs to be appropriately maintained and handled. When the spring breaks, they can no longer support the door’s weight. A typical garage door weighs anywhere between 300 and 600 pounds.
The garage door spring system fails when it is:
- Worn out or corroded
- Improperly installed
Without the support of the springs, there will not be enough weight to hold up the door.
Types of Injuries Caused When Garage Doors Close
A broken garage door can lead to many dangers. When a garage door collapses on a person, they can suffer from severed limbs or a severe concussion. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that most incidents are caused when a person’s fingers, joints, or extremities are caught in the door’s fall.
There are an estimated 7,500 people who suffer from amputations every year when their limbs are pinched or crushed in between a garage door or ground. Over 2,100 people suffered from injuries due to a sliding garage door.
Common injuries that can happen as a result of a garage door spring accident include:
- Pinched fingers or extremities
- Crushed body parts, such as arms or legs
- Back strain
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severed limbs
In severe cases, it can cause death. These dangerous situations can often be prevented with the proper safety precautions.
Child Accidents From Garage Door Springs
Adults and children could be seriously harmed when springs break. A young child may be injured or killed if hit by a garage door that automatically collapses on them.
One must ensure precautionary mechanisms are installed in an automatic garage door.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 46 confirmed deaths of children between ages 2 and 14 in just under eight years. This led the CPSC to file more strict garage door opening regulations.
Those who own homes with automatic garage door openers should make sure that they have appropriately installed each new garage door with safety mechanisms and a functioning spring.
How to Prevent Accidents From Garage Door Springs
Routine inspections are essential to a well-maintained garage door. To prevent a garage door spring accident, you need to understand the proper function of your garage door spring.
There are a few ways to prevent garage door spring accidents, including:
- Use springs designed for your door
- Trust a professional to install a new garage door or fix an existing one
- Regularly inspect the door spring and note any needed repair
- Understand the dangers that can happen if a needed repair is not performed
- Avoid DIY and hire a professional to fix springs when they break
Most garage door spring accidents occur due to improper care or uneducated homeowners that do not understand when garage door repair is necessary. Without a functioning spring or torsion spring, the garage door can break, fall with force, and cause harm.
If you suspect that your garage door spring is broken or you notice too much tension, you should hire a professional to prevent injury or harm to those on your property.
Liability Imposed in Illinois Garage Door Accidents
Determining who may be liable is often the most critical aspect of a legal case. It is crucial to file a lawsuit against the appropriate party if a garage door spring causes your injury.
Several people (installers and maintenance crews) or companies (door manufacturers) may be liable for any injury caused by a garage door spring, depending on the factors surrounding your harm.
A land owner is responsible for any necessary spring repair and maintaining their buildings and property. If they neglect proper care of a garage door spring that results in serious injury, they may be liable.
Every land owner or homeowners owes a duty to warn anyone visiting their property and make necessary repairs to protect them from dangerous conditions.
In the case of a rental unit, landlords have a similar responsibility to maintain their premises safely. Routine maintenance includes inspecting the premises and complying with building codes applicable to the garage door repair and installation.
When landlords fail to comply with these regulations, they expose themselves to liability if a person becomes injured.
If you were injured by a broken garage door spring on your property, then you may still be able to file a lawsuit. You may be able to pursue a product liability case against the manufacturer or installer of the garage door.
If the manufacturer sold you a garage door spring that was unreasonably dangerous and contained a product defect, it would likely have to pay you compensation for your pain and suffering.
Courts will assess various factors to determine whether you can claim compensation in a products liability case, such as whether:
- You have been hurt by the garage door
- The garage door contained a design defect or manufacturing defect
- Your injury or damages can be substantiated
- The defective garage door caused your injury
You should be able to recover damages under a product liability theory if a spring breaks unless you altered or misused the door.
Trust Lawyers With Experience Prosecuting Garage Door Spring Accident Cases Throughout Illinois
Determining how or if to proceed with an injury claim related to a garage door accident is a difficult decision. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is committed to securing the best possible outcome for each client.
If you were injured in a garage door accident, discuss your legal options with our team. We will provide you with an honest assessment of your case and legal options.
Call us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
We accept all personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement ensures you pay nothing until we have resolved your case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.