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Elevator Accidents in Texas: Common Causes & Your Rights to Compensation

Elevators are an integral part of modern buildings, providing convenience and accessibility. However, when these complex machines malfunction, they can cause serious injuries or even fatalities.

Understanding the common causes of elevator accidents and knowing your rights to compensation is crucial for anyone affected by such incidents in Texas.

Common Causes of Elevator Accidents in Texas

Elevator accidents can occur due to various reasons, often stemming from negligence or improper maintenance. Here are some of the most common causes:

Defective Equipment

Defective parts or equipment can lead to malfunctioning elevators. These defects may arise from manufacturing errors or wear and tear over time.

Malfunctioning or Missing Safety Systems

Elevators are equipped with safety systems designed to prevent accidents. When these systems fail or are absent, the risk of injury increases significantly.

Improper Installation

Improper installation of elevators can lead to misalignments and other issues that compromise safety. Ensuring that elevators are installed correctly is crucial for preventing accidents.

Violation of Building Codes

Building codes are in place to ensure the safety of elevator installations and operations. Violations of these codes during construction or maintenance can lead to hazardous situations.

Deficient Maintenance or Repair

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping elevators in safe working condition. Neglecting maintenance or performing substandard repairs can result in dangerous malfunctions.

There is a history of inspections that don’t catch damaged or defective equipment, like a nurse hurt by Fort Worth hospital’s elevator. The elevator’s brake shoes were worn, and an inspector did not report that defective equipment.

Elevator Collapse

Although rare, elevator collapses can occur when multiple systems fail simultaneously. These incidents are often due to severe neglect or natural disasters.

Elevator Shaft Falls

Elevator shaft falls happen when the elevator car is not present when the door opens, leading to passengers falling into the shaft. This can result from interlock system failures or software glitches.

Elevator Crush Accidents

Crush accidents occur when passengers are trapped by closing doors or between the car and the shaft. These incidents often involve sensor failures or mechanical issues.

What Kind of Injuries Can an Elevator Accident Cause?

Elevator accidents can cause many kinds of injuries, ranging in severity.

Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Head Injuries: If you hit your head during an elevator accident, you can get a concussion or a serious brain injury.
  • Broken Bones: You can break your arms, legs, or ribs if you fall or get crushed by elevator doors.
  • Back Injuries: A hard impact can hurt your spine, sometimes leading to paralysis.
  • Muscle Injuries: Sudden stops can cause whiplash, sprains, or strains.
  • Cuts: Sharp edges or broken glass can cause deep cuts that need stitches.
  • Internal Injuries: Falls or crushes can damage your organs and cause internal bleeding, which is very serious.
  • Emotional Trauma: Being in an elevator accident can make you feel scared, anxious, or sad for a long time.
  • Fatal Injuries: In very bad accidents, people can die from their injuries.

Even if you think you didn’t suffer any injuries, it’s critical to get checked by a medical professional. This step is crucial to protect your health and a claim to damages caused by an elevator accident.

Who Can Be at Risk for Elevator Accidents?

Many people can get hurt in elevator accidents. Here are some groups that are most at risk:

  • Children: Children might not know how to use elevators safely. They can get hurt if they run in or out of the elevator or play near the doors.
  • Older Adults: Older adults might have trouble moving quickly or keeping their balance. They can fall or get hurt if the elevator stops suddenly.
  • Maintenance Workers: People who fix and take care of elevators work with them a lot. They can get hurt if something goes wrong while they are working.
  • Passengers: Anyone riding in an elevator can get hurt if it stops suddenly, moves too quickly, or the doors don’t work right.
  • People with Disabilities: People who use wheelchairs or have trouble walking can get hurt if the elevator is not working properly or if there is no one to help them.

Your Rights to Compensation After an Elevator Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident, you have the right to seek compensation. Here’s how liability and compensation work in Texas:

Liability for Elevator Accidents

Property owners, maintenance companies, and manufacturers can be held liable for elevator accidents. Premises liability law requires property owners to maintain safe conditions for their guests.

You could also sue maintenance companies or manufacturers for defective parts that contribute to the elevator’s malfunction.

Types of Compensation Available

Victims of elevator accidents can pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.

Economic losses are tangible losses. Things like your current and future medical expenses, lost wages if you can’t work, or damaged property are economic damages you can seek compensation for.

Non-economic losses are conceptual losses related to your economic damages. Pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of consortium are counted as non-economic losses.

A full personal injury claim will examine all of your losses, so working with the right personal injury lawyer can help ensure you pursue the full value of your claim.

Texas Comparative Negligence

In Texas, if a victim is partially at fault for their accident, their compensation may be reduced proportionally. Say you were warned an elevator could malfunction, but you still chose to use it instead of finding another way. If you got hurt, you are partially to blame for your injuries, so any settlement awarded to you would be reduced.

Understanding this principle is crucial for maximizing your claim.

What to Do After an Elevator Accident in Texas

If you’re involved in an elevator accident, follow these steps to protect your rights:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Immediately seek medical care to address any injuries and document your condition.
  • Document the Accident: Take photos and videos of the accident scene to preserve evidence.
  • Gather Witness Information: Collect contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident.
  • Contact a Texas Elevator Accident Lawyer: A knowledgeable lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Why Should I Choose The Law Giant?

Law Giant has extensive experience handling elevator accident cases, with a proven track record of successful outcomes.

Get Help With Your Elevator Accident Injury Now

Elevator accidents can have devastating consequences, but understanding the causes and your rights to compensation can help you navigate this challenging time. If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident, reach out to The Law Giant for expert legal assistance and support.

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