Most people in the United States use elevators on a daily basis with little thought. Horror and suspense flicks do use elevators as backdrops for their plotlines. Nonetheless, beyond taking a look at the outrageous in Hollywood productions, most people give little thought to the fact that people are injured in elevator accidents each and every year. There are a number of commonplace types of elevator accidents that cause personal injuries and even death each year. As a consequence, people from all walks of life need to have a basic understanding of their legal rights in an elevator accident personal injury case.
The typical elevator user takes four trips on lifts each day. There are about 325 million elevator rides daily. On average, an elevator carries over 20,000 people a year. All elevators combined on the planet carry the equivalent of the population of the planet every three days. The widespread use of elevators underscores the potential for accidents.
There are three important topics that require close consideration when discussion legal rights in an elevator accident personal injury case:
- Common types of elevator accidents
- Frequent elevator injuries
- Compensation in an elevator accident personal injury case
Common Types of Elevator Accidents
Elevator accidents come in many forms. With that duly noted, there are some more common types of elevator accidents that occur in the United States with a higher degree of frequency. These include:
- Defective doors
- Free falls
- Unbalanced leveling
- Speed malfunctions
Each of these four types of more commonplace elevator accidents can result in a lift passenger sustaining serious injuries, or even fatal ones.
Frequent Elevator Accident Injuries
Injuries sustained in a lifting incident depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding a particular elevator accident. There are a number of elevator accident injuries that occur with greater frequency:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Cuts, abrasions, stab wounds
- Mental anguish and emotional distress (including post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD)
Typically, an individual in an elevator accident suffers multiple types of injuries.
Compensation in an Elevator Accident Personal Injury Case
In the aftermath of any type of personal injury, finding complete justice is an elusive task. Nonetheless, following an elevator accident, receiving appropriate compensation is a key element of obtaining justice.
The compensation awarded in an elevator accident personal injury case depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident itself and the nature and extent of injuries sustained by a victim of this type of grim mishap. There is an array of compensation that fairly frequently is awarded in an elevator accident claim or case:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
A person injured in an elevator accident is entitled not only to compensation for existing injuries, damages, and losses, but also for those that reasonably can be expected to be incurred in the future. For example, a person injured in an elevator accident is likely to need ongoing medical care and treatment for the foreseeable future. An individual hurt in an elevator accident may not be able to return to work any time soon. A person might suffer permanent disability as the result of a more catastrophic elevator accident. All of these represent the types of elevator accident injuries for which ongoing compensation may be necessary.
In a small number of cases, the action or inaction of a party or parties responsible for an elevator accident may have been particularly reckless. If such conduct is deemed especially egregious, an injured person may be entitled to what are known as punitive damages in an elevator accident personal injury lawsuit.
In the final analysis, an elevator accident personal injury case is a complicated legal matter. In addition, striving to obtain fair compensation for elevator accident personal injuries understandably can be emotionally charged. As a consequence, a person injured in an elevator accident is best served retaining the services of a skilled, experienced, tenacious personal injury attorney. In seeking legal assistance, a person injured in this type of situation is wise to identify legal counsel that has specific experience in protecting the legal rights and interests of people hurt in an elevator accident.