You don’t think twice when you set foot on an elevator. You get on, hit the button for the floor you want to visit and relax.
But before you get too comfortable, don’t forget that elevators can sometimes act up. Any type of malfunction can result in serious injury or even death.
Here are some of the most common causes of elevator accidents and corresponding injuries:
- Leveling problems: Inaccurate leveling is most common in older elevators, but this can be a problem with newer models as well. An unleveled elevator increases the risk of a slip and fall, as you may find it difficult to transition from the elevators to the floor or vice versa.
- Free fall: Perhaps the most dangerous elevator accident, this occurs when the elevator fails to stop. Depending on what happens at the bottom of the shaft, a free fall can cause serious injuries, such as broken bones and head trauma, along with fatalities.
- Broken elevator doors: There are many ways elevator doors can malfunction, such as if they close too suddenly upon entering or when exciting. This can result in your entire body or a body part being caught in the door, which is extremely dangerous if the elevator then begins to move.
- Electrocution: Improper wiring of an elevator and/or its components can result in electrocution, such as when you make contact with the button or a piece of metal inside the elevator.
- Stuck in an elevator: It may not be physically dangerous, as long as you’re rescued in a timely manner, but it can cause emotional distress. The longer you’re stuck in an elevator, the more likely you are to panic and experience a high level of anxiety.
If you’re injured in an elevator accident, don’t attempt to leave the scene on your own. It’s best to stay where you are, call 911 for help and report the incident to the building owner or landlord.
Once you receive medical treatment for your injuries, revisit the cause of the accident and who was at fault. This will position you to protect your legal rights, which often means receiving compensation for your physical injuries and/or emotional distress.