How and Why Do Elevator Accidents Occur?

Elevators can be found in many locations including parking lots, office buildings, malls, hospitals, airports, apartment complexes, hotels, casinos, and more. In busy areas, these elevators may be used hundreds of times or more every day. In general, elevators are safe to use, and are quite convenient especially if you want to avoid the stairs. However, they can still pose a danger to people if they malfunction, causing truly tragic accidents where victims are seriously hurt or suffer fatality. 

What are the common reasons why elevator accidents happen?

Elevators that are in need of repair or defective can put people at risk for serious injury. That is why it is so important for elevators to be routinely inspected for safety that any malfunctions are attended to promptly. Here are some answers to questions of what the most common reasons are for why elevator accidents occur: 

  • Mis-Leveling: the most common reason for elevator accidents is when the elevator doesn’t come to an even and complete stop, so the passenger can trip and fall while exiting.
  • High-Speed: an elevator that is moving at a faster speed than what is safe can cause people to be thrown to the floor because of the force. They may get tossed against the elevator walls or to the ground, suffering from spine, knee, back, neck, and head injuries. These incidents can occur when the control system fails to identify that the elevator is moving too rapidly, or the counterweights malfunction. 
  • Faulty Wiring: poor wiring can cause an elevator to work improperly or cause the passenger to endure injuries from electrical shock. 
  • Lack of Proper Maintenance: elevators have to be inspected by a professional and repaired by qualified personnel. If the party responsible for maintaining the elevator tries to cut corners or save money by delaying inspections or trying to fix the problem themselves, people using them can suffer greatly. 
  • Malfunction of Pulley System: if the pulley system breaks down, the elevator may drop suddenly through the shaft and crash when it hits the bottom.
  • Falling into Elevator Shaft: lack of warnings of an open elevator shaft can cause passengers to fall down into shaft, often dying upon impact due to their injuries.
  • Defective Sliding Doors: elevator sensors that aren’t working correctly can close too rapidly, sometimes resulting in people getting crushed as they enter or exit through the doors. 

If I got hurt on an elevator, what can I do about it?

If you were injured while using an elevator, it is possible that another party had contributed to the accident. For example, the property manager for the building may have been late on hiring someone to perform a routine inspection, which caused a malfunction to go unnoticed. What you can do is file an injury report with the appropriate person, usually a manager or someone of supervisory position for the building. Ask for a copy of your incident report, and then consider speaking with a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm, about how you can pursue compensation from that at-fault party for your injuries.