Elevator accident injury can be as devastating as any that happen in a vehicle. Elevators exist in many parts of our lives. They can be found in any modern building over one story tall. Construction sites need them for moving men and equipment up several flights. Service elevators can be found in many buildings to move freight and equipment to the upper floors. No matter where an elevator can be found, safety standards must be maintained. Any injury caused by an elevator should be looked at for possible negligence. The same goes for escalators as well.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, accidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 people each year in the United States and seriously injure another 17,000 more. When accidents occur in or around elevators, resulting in injury or death, who can be held responsible?

If the cause of the accident is due to the construction of the elevator or any of its components, then the manufacturer may be responsible for any injuries sustained. This would be classified as a Product Liability Claim. As with any other product, elevators must be inspected and tested before they come on the market. The manufacturer can be held liable if a flaw occurs during manufacturing. If they know about a defect and fail to warn their customers, they are held liable. Elevators are boxes held on the end of cables in a shaft with guide rails. If any of the parts fail to work properly, the elevator can plunge people down for dozens of floors. Many manufacturers install their own elevators. This makes them responsible for any installation problems.

Building owners and managers can also be held liable for elevator accident injury. Most jurisdictions around the country have high standards of safety for elevators. Owners and managers are required to keep their elevators to code. They must also invest in the proper safety devices and equipment. They should also have an emergency plan in place in case the elevator must be evacuated outside of normal channels. Since elevators are complex machines, failure to have regular maintenance performed can be a cause of negligence as well. If an owner or manager fails to do any of this and an injury or death occurs, they can be held liable.

However, since most building owners and managers are not equipped to perform service and maintenance on their own elevators, they often contract with companies specializing in this sort of service. Service and maintenance companies can be held liable for elevator accident injury as well. There is a whole industry dedicated to their maintenance. Elevators are complex pieces of equipment and most owners can’t do it themselves. They hire the specialists to come in and do it for them. The maintenance companies can be held responsible for the regular maintenance they are supposed to do by contract. Repairs also fall under their responsibility umbrella. If an accident happens due to faulty repairs or maintenance, the service company can be held liable.

If you are injured in an elevator accident, consider who you will be up against in this fight – big business and insurance companies who may not want to compensate you fairly for your injuries. Contact a personal injury attorney with experience in premises liability and product liability cases. Your case is far too important to trust to anyone who is less than a specialist in the field.

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