Americans take an estimated 120 billion trips on both elevators or escalators every year. With 600,000 elevators throughout the U.S., many people may use these time-savers several times a day. While they are convenient, if the equipment is not maintained or operated safely, these metal cars can cause severe accidents. Each year there are an estimated 10,000 severe injuries in the U.S. that involve elevators and dozens of deaths.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC appreciates the impact of convenience an elevator accident has on each person. Our Chicago elevator accident attorneys are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve when a poorly maintained or defectively designed elevator results in an injury to you. Our office has successfully prosecuted elevator accident cases against property owners, maintenance companies and manufacturers. Allow our attorneys to serve you. We offer free case reviews for all Chicago elevator accident cases.
Types Of Elevator Injuries
Most injuries that happen in elevators involve getting in and out of the elevator, versus the events that lead to a fatal accident. While they may be less dramatic, they still can cause injuries that are very serious and require medical attention.
- Slips, trips, and falls. It is common for people to trip or fall when entering or leaving an elevator. If the car does not stop correctly, it may not be aligned with the floor outside of the elevator, leaving a dangerous ledge that people can trip on.
- Door closing. Automatic doors many times will shut on a person, crushing a limb or appendage. Most have safety features that are meant to prevent them from closing on an object or person, but if the doors malfunction, a person may be injured.
- Rapid car drops. A sudden drop of an elevator car is the equivalent of a car crash that can throw passengers around.
Elderly And Children Injured In Chicago Elevator Accidents
Elderly persons are often the most vulnerable to elevator accidents. An estimated 2,600 elderly end up in the emergency room each year due to elevator accidents. According to information gathered from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 44,870 elevator-related injuries between the years of 1990 and 2006 that required medical attention involved elderly persons over 65 years of age. Of these accidents:
- 51% were due to trips or falls
- 40% resulted in fractured hips
- 48% of the injuries were soft-tissue injuries
- Injuries were seven times higher in those over 85, versus 65-69
Another group that is very susceptible to elevator injuries is children and teenagers. Almost 2,000 elevator injuries a year affect young people and land them in the emergency room. In a look at emergency room visits between 1990 and 2004, researchers at Indiana University found that there were 29,000 young people injured in elevators. 26% of these children were toddlers, two or younger. Most injuries in children involved the arms, hands or fingers. The 2nd most common injury was to the head.
Freight Elevator Accidents In Warehouses & Factories
Many businesses and warehouses regularly utilize freight elevators that have been in use for decades– or far longer. Many of the elevators are manually operated and pose a substantial risk of injury to both operators and people in the area. Moreover the doors on fright elevators may not shut completely or utilize door locks which can expose people to falls down the elevator shaft.
Elevator Safety Precautions
There are strict laws that regulate elevator safety and maintenance. In Illinois, the Office of The State of Illinois Fire Marshall has a Division of Elevator Safety that oversees the construction, maintenance and use of elevators throughout the state. The Elevator Safety and Regulation Act has specific safety regulations and standards that all those who install, construct, repair or own elevators must adhere to, by law.
If a person is injured due to poor maintenance or non-functioning safety features, it is possible that they could have grounds for a personal injury case. Depending on the circumstance, the owner of the building, the elevator manufacturer, maintenance company or installer may be liable for injuries caused in an elevator accident.Chicago Elevator Accident Injury Lawyers
Elevator injury cases can be complicated and often require investigations, inspections and other research to build a strong personal injury case. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a comprehensive team of the top Chicago accident attorneys experienced at handling these types of complex cases and will fight to get you the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries or loss of a loved one. It is vital that you meet with a premises liability attorney as soon as possible after an elevator accident to ensure that a proper investigation is started right away to collect the evidence needed to win this type of case. Call us today for a free consultation.
Resources on elevator safety, inspections and accident statistics: