Can I Sue for Getting Stuck in an Elevator? | Elevator accident lawsuit settlement in 2024

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 17,000 people get injured and 40 people are killed in elevator accidents every year. Additionally, if the elevator accident results in someone’s death, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim for elevator accidents. Although elevator injuries can leave lasting physical and emotional scars, a trusted personal injury lawyer can help the victim and his family to get a fair elevator accident lawsuit settlement.

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Types of elevator accidents

Some common types of elevator accidents include:

  • Becoming trapped between the wall of the elevator and the shaft.
  • Becoming trapped inside an elevator car.
  • Doors closing on a person.
  • Doors opening onto an empty shaft, allowing victims to fall down the shaft.
  • Doors open when the elevator is not level with the floor.
  • The elevator begins moving when it should not.
  • The freefall of the elevator car down the shaft.
  • A rapid drop of the elevator car.
  • Sudden acceleration or deceleration.

Elevator accident injuries

The fear of being trapped in an elevator for hours or, worse, for days, is enough to discourage a person from entering an elevator ever again. If you have been involved in an elevator accident and received injuries, losses, damages and other costs, you can file an elevator accident lawsuit to claim compensation.

Elevator injury settlement amounts depend on your injuries. It can be severe and fatal, depending on the situation. In addition, sometimes, even those who are not severely injured physically can be left with permanent psychological scars.

Even worse, if you get stuck in the elevator long enough, you could die. When elevator doors close on a victim and the elevator car begins moving, it could lead to a wide range of major injuries, such as:

High-rise structures, skyscrapers, and various other buildings rely on elevators to transport people from floor to floor. As essential as these devices are, however, elevators are mechanical and are inclined to malfunction. Consequently, when elevators malfunction with passengers either inside or dangerously close to them, those passengers or passersby could be injured or killed in a tragic accident.

Therefore, property owners have the legal responsibility to properly care for, maintain, or replace elevators when necessary. They can be held liable for not keeping up with inspections, maintenance, and repairs. Should you incur elevator injury or trauma, you are entitled to get compensation if the accident was caused by the property owner’s or their agent or representative’s negligence.

Who is responsible for a fatal elevator accident?

A wrongful death lawsuit helps family members get a fair elevator accident lawsuit settlement if their loved ones are killed in an elevator accident. 

The following could be held responsible for elevator accidents:

  • Manufacturer.
  • Property owner.
  • Elevator service.

There are various parties that are involved in maintaining, operating, and designing elevators. Therefore, if someone died in an elevator accident, the negligent party is the one who will be held liable for the economic and non-economic damages suffered by the victims and their loved ones.

Who can file an elevator accident after a victim's death?

In case of death of the victim, the following family members can initiate a claim:

  • Spouses or domestic partners.
  • Surviving children.
  • Grandchildren (if there are no surviving children).
  • Anyone else who has a claim under California intestate succession laws.

What must be proved to establish liability in an elevator accident

Under liability laws, the plaintiff must prove the following:

  • The plaintiff was harmed.
  • The defendant was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property.
  • The defendant occupied, owned, or controlled the property.
  • The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff harm.

How to prove your elevator injury case

Most personal injury claims are based on negligence as cause of action. To sue for being stuck in an elevator, here are some points that you need to prove:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. 
  • The defendant breached the duty of care via negligent action or inaction of the defendant.
  • The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing harm or death.

There may be cases when an employee is responsible for causing the accident and they do not have enough money to cover the victim’s damages. In that case, under respondeat superior laws, the employer could be held liable for his employee’s negligence.

The following are some of the losses or expenses that the victim can seek compensation for.

Economic damages in an elevator accident

  • Loss of consortium.
  • Loss of future income.
  • Medical bills.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Long-term care.
  • Medication and medical supplies.
  • Lost wages.
  • Injury to reputation.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Funeral and burial costs.

Non-economic damages in an elevator accident

  • Loss of affection.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • Loss of financial support.
  • Loss of service.
  • Loss of support.

Possible defendants elevator accident lawsuits

When filing for an elevator injury lawsuit, the defendants could be any of the following:

  • Architect.
  • Building maintenance company.
  • Elevator company employee.
  • Elevator maintenance company.
  • Engineer.
  • Elevator manufacturer.
  • Elevator seller.
  • Property owner.

How much is the settlement for an elevator accident

The average settlement for an elevator accident is $10,000. It could be less if you were not seriously hurt or you were negligent yourself. However, an elevator accident injury claim can be worth $1,000,000 if you were hurt due to the inaction of the property owner or if the manufacturer introduces poorly designed elevators. Your Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers can help you determine how much you can receive in an elevator accident, depending on the facts of the case.

When to file an elevator accident lawsuit

There is a statute of limitation or window of time to file your injury claim for elevator accident injuries. Generally, accident victims of the elevator accidents in Pennsylvania have no more than 2 years from the date of the accident to file their claim.

Why choose Ethen Ostroff Law Firm

If you have been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, it’s important to consult with experienced and trusted elevator injury lawyers. When you reach out to Ethen Ostroff Law Firm, we will take action to pursue justice on your behalf by reviewing the facts of your case and providing you with all available options.

If you have a valid claim, we will launch a thorough investigation led by didicated investigators. In addition, we ensure to develop an aggressive and precise legal strategy to offer you maximum financial compensation.

Ethen and his team will fight to recover every applicable type of damage for your elevator accident. Such types of damages include petitioning for reimbursement of all your medical expenses and recovering compensation for your pain and suffering, such as headache, chronic joint pain, body pain, and emotional trauma.  Call us today to book your Free Consultation

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