Despite the sensationalism surrounding elevator falls and the media’s portrayal of these events, elevator accidents aren’t all that common. In fact, elevator deaths are pretty rare.
Don’t let this fact deceive you, though, as elevator crashes are extremely serious and devastating when they do happen. An elevator accident can leave riders stuck inside a freefalling car, or it could leave riders trapped inside for hours as rescuers attempt to get them out.
Atlanta elevator accidents can lead to substantial injuries, too. If you get involved in an accident inside of an elevator, then it’s important to know how to respond and how to ensure your legal rights get upheld throughout your recovery period. Depending on the circumstances, a property owner or negligent elevator manufacturer could share some legal liability and financial responsibility for your losses. Getting compensation from these parties can help speed up your recovery.
Get more details about how to handle an elevator accident in Atlanta, the types of compensation you can receive, and how an Atlanta elevator accidents lawyer can help below.
Steps to Take After an Elevator Accident
Elevators are found in many parts of Atlanta from shopping centers to hospitals to residential buildings. If you get involved in one of these types of accidents, then it’s important to know what to do next to protect your physical safety and your rights.
Some Atlanta elevator accidents are emergency situations, so you may need to call 911 if you’re trapped or someone is severely hurt. Once emergency responders are there to help, be sure to detail everything that happened to them if you’re able to so they can file a report about the incident. If things aren’t an emergency, then you still need to alert a nearby manager, property owner, or employee about the accident. This supervisor should also create a report detailing the crash.
Next, seek out the medical care you need. Be sure to save any bills or diagnoses you receive.
Common Types of Injuries from Elevator Accidents
Atlanta elevator accidents range in severity. These types of accidents can be fatal or lead to significant injuries like:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Fractures, sprains, and strains
- Crushing injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Spinal cord injuries
What’s more, an elevator crash is usually pretty traumatic. That means your body will be pumped full of adrenaline and other chemicals immediately following the accident. While these chemicals can help save your life, they can also mask injuries temporarily. For that reason, it’s important to get a full physical checkup ASAP even if you think you’re okay after a serious accident.
Who Could be Liable for an Elevator Accident in Atlanta?
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may be considering your legal options. When someone else has a legal duty to provide for your care and they fail to uphold it, then they could be considered legally liable and financially responsible for your losses. In an elevator accident situation, there are several parties that could’ve been negligent including a property owner, an elevator maintenance company, or an elevator manufacturer.
Potential Causes of an Elevator Accident in Atlanta, GA
Finding out who might be liable for an elevator accident hinges on what caused the accident to happen. Some of the most common causes of elevator accidents in Georgia include:
- Defective safety measures
- A lack of safety features
- Incorrect installation
- Speed malfunctions
- Unwarranted stops
- Malfunctioning parts or mechanical problems
- Power failure
If you’re not sure what caused your incident, then you should consider hiring a local attorney for elevator accidents. A quality lawyer will help perform an investigation into the accident to determine what caused it.
Duty of Care Owed by Property Owners and Manufacturers
Under the law in Georgia, property owners owe a duty of care towards invited guests on their property. That means business owners, apartment complex owners, a residential property owner, or anyone else who has invited you onto their premises has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to secure your safety. If the owner doesn’t do their due diligence and keep a safe elevator, then that amounts to legal negligence.
In these situations, an elevator accident attorney may be able to help you pursue a claim against the negligent property owner.
Manufacturer Liability for Defective or Malfunctioning Parts and Equipment
The law in Georgia also outlines that product manufacturers owe a legal duty of care to provide for the safety of consumers who use their products as intended. That means that the manufacturer of the elevator can be held liable when their product’s faulty design or malfunctioning product causes an injury. A residential elevator attorney can help you determine if the manufacturer may be liable in your situation.
Negligent Maintenance Companies
Another party that could be held liable under the law is an elevator maintenance company that failed to uphold their legal duty of care towards their elevator client. Once hired to do a job, a maintenance company takes on legal liability for their work. If a maintenance company performs a faulty repair that later leads to a crash, then they might be held responsible for the losses associated with the accident. Talk to a residential elevator lawyer if you think the elevator crash you experienced may have been the result of poor or ineffective maintenance.
The Role of an Injury Attorney in an Elevator Accident Case
Since negligence is often the cause of most Atlanta elevator accidents, most injured individuals have legal recourse. An injury attorney can help you identify your legal options and help you pursue compensation where possible. A lawyer can help investigate what caused the accident, properly value the losses associated with the accident, and negotiate with the liable parties.
Types of Damages Available Through a Lawsuit
An elevator crash that results in an injury is devastating in itself, but unfortunately for victims, their losses may not end there. On top of experiencing the injury itself, more financial losses may follow. Here is an overview of the types of compensation a person can receive through a personal injury lawsuit after an elevator accident:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage if any property was broken during the accident
- Pain and suffering
If you’re not sure how to value your losses, then it’s best to consult with an elevator accidents lawyer who can help you better understand and calculate all of your losses.
Are You Ready to Get in Touch With an Attorney?
Individuals who experience Atlanta elevator accidents might come out of the ordeal with substantial injuries. While it’s natural to want to move on from an accident as quickly as possible, your injuries might make that impossible. You may have to deal with an extended recovery period as well as other financial losses, like lost wages.
If you’ve been in an accident and your losses are adding up, then it’s time to consider your legal options. Almost every elevator accident is the result of negligence, whether that be negligence on the part of the property owner, a maintenance company, or a manufacturer.
When negligence leads to an accident, you have legal recourse. Consider speaking to an Atlanta premises liability attorney about your situation to learn more about whether you might have the option of seeking out compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Are you ready to get started? Schedule a consultation with our office now to learn more about how we can help.