Causes of Elevator and Escalator Accidents in Indianapolis, Indiana

According to data provided by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), incidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 and seriously injure about 17,000 people each year in the United States.

Elevator and escalator accidents can have devastating consequences, causing catastrophic injuries or even death. As a resident of Indianapolis, it’s important to understand the causes of these accidents in order to prevent them from happening if you are entitled by law to protect the people who use them and also to prove negligence if you get injured on an elevator.

Some of the most common accident causes include:

  • Design flaws: Design flaws can cause an elevator or escalator to malfunction, leading to an accident. In some cases, the design flaw may not be detected until after the accident.
  • Overcrowding or overloading: Overcrowding or overloading an elevator can cause it to malfunction or collapse.
  • Doors opening or closing at the wrong time: Malfunctioning doors can cause serious injuries if they close on someone or if they fail to open when needed.
  • Clothing or limbs getting caught between moving parts: Loose clothing, long hair, or body parts can get caught between the moving parts of an elevator, leading to serious injuries or even wrongful death.
  • Elevator collapse: An elevator can collapse due to poor maintenance, faulty repair, or a design flaw, leading to serious injuries or death.
  • Other electrical or mechanical malfunctions: Electrical or mechanical malfunctions can cause an elevator to malfunction, leading to an accident.

Common Injuries That Can Help You Prove Negligence

If you’ve been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, it’s important to know what type of injuries can help you prove negligence. Proving negligence is essential to getting the compensation you are entitled to, and holding responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Here are some of the most common injuries related to an elevator accident:

Experiencing an elevator accident can be a traumatic and life-altering event. Injuries sustained from these accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe, life-threatening conditions. But if you suffered any of these injuries due to an elevator accident, it’s important to determine who is at fault to help you sue for the damages and receive compensation.

How to Prove Negligence After an Elevator Accident

Proving negligence after an elevator accident can be a complex and challenging process. You must demonstrate that the property owner, building manager, maintenance team, or designer/manufacturer breached their duty of care to maintain a safe environment for visitors and failed to act reasonably to prevent the accident.

Under Indiana law, property owners and managers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of visitors to their premises. This includes regular maintenance and inspections of elevators and escalators to ensure that they are functioning properly and safe to use.

It’s worth mentioning that the law outlines the requirements for elevator maintenance and inspection, stating that an elevator shall be inspected and tested periodically following the standards adopted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

If the elevator or escalator was not maintained in accordance with these standards, this can be a strong indicator of negligence on the part of the property owner, building manager, or maintenance team.

Additionally, if there was a design flaw or manufacturing defect that caused the accident, the designer or manufacturer may be held responsible for the injuries sustained.

Therefore, to prove negligence, you must also demonstrate that the breach of duty was the direct cause of your injuries. This means establishing a causal link between the accident and your damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.

Your personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your case, including eyewitness testimony, maintenance records, and expert opinions from engineers or other professionals with experience in elevator design and maintenance.

Who is Responsible for an Elevator or Escalator Accident in Indianapolis?

Elevators and escalators are an integral part of our daily lives, providing ease and convenience in navigating multi-level buildings. However, when an accident occurs, determining who is responsible can be a complex process. In the state, various parties may be held responsible for an elevator or escalator accident. 

Here are some of the parties to consider when filling an injury claim due to an elevator accident:

  • Property owner: The property owner may be responsible for an accident if they fail to maintain the elevator or escalator or if they fail to respond to repair requests.
  • Building manager: Building managers may be responsible for an accident if they fail to properly maintain the elevator or escalator or if they fail to respond to repair requests.
  • Maintenance team: The maintenance team may be responsible for an accident if they fail to repair the elevator or escalator properly.
  • Designer or manufacturer: Designers or manufacturers of an elevator or escalator may be responsible for an accident if there is a design flaw or if the elevator or escalator does not perform as expected.

But remember, these types of accidents can be complex, so it’s key to proceed with the guidance of a dedicated lawyer who can help you find the people responsible for your injuries to present a claim.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You After an Elevator or Escalator Accident

If you have been injured in an elevator or escalator accident in Indianapolis, Indiana, you should seek the help of a professional who can help you build a strong case. At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, our team of personal injury attorneys can help you in the following ways:

  • Investigate your case: We can investigate your case to determine who is responsible for the accident.
  • Assign a value to your case: Determine how much compensation you are entitled to based on your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, and other expenses related to the accident.
  • Fight on your behalf: We can represent you in court to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
  • Handle the complicated task of dealing with the liable party’s insurer: A personal injury lawyer can handle the complicated task of dealing with the at-fault party’s insurer to ensure that you receive fair compensation.
  • Pressure the insurer into action: We’ll pressure the at-fault party’s insurer into action if they attempt to defer payment or employ unfair stall tactics.

At our firm, we have decades of experience handling cases related to personal injuries, including those produced by elevator accidents. We can help you sue for what’s entitled by law, and negotiate with responsible parties to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact us today to get a free consultation with our Indianapolis elevator accident lawyers.