Elevator accidents may seem like a rare occurrence – after all, many of us use elevators and escalators every day without incident. However, the truth is that these accidents can occur in any commercial or residential building or on any construction site where elevators are present, and the injuries resulting from a Phoenix elevator accident can be catastrophic, if not deadly. If you were injured on an elevator in Phoenix, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal elevator accident, you may be entitled to damages from the person or company responsible for the accident, and our attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Consult our Phoenix elevator accident attorneys at Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC as soon as possible to discuss your options for legal recourse.
Skilled Phoenix Elevator Accident Attorneys
Personal injury law is an area of the law that deals with an injured victim’s right to seek compensation for injuries caused by the negligent or wrongful act of another person and under this law, an individual who suffers injuries in an elevator accident in Phoenix has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent person or party who is at fault for their injuries. Unfortunately, determining fault and proving negligence is often easier said than done, especially when it comes to elevator accidents, for which legal responsibility isn’t always clear. In fact, there can be multiple negligent parties involved in a single elevator accident, which is why it is important to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case when pursuing compensation for elevator accident injuries. Our personal injury attorneys have a proven record of success recovering damages for injured victims and their loved ones in Phoenix and throughout Arizona, and we can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with pursuing damages for your elevator accident injuries and losses.
Common Causes of Elevator Accidents in Phoenix
If you use elevators on a regular basis at work, at the airport, at shopping malls, or in your apartment building, you probably don’t even think twice about stepping into an elevator car and being moved from one location to another. An elevator is essentially a metal compartment attached to a simple pulley system, but with advanced mechanical systems, control mechanisms and safety devices in place to keep the machine running smoothly. With countless moving parts helping an elevator function properly, there are plenty of opportunities for injuries to happen if one or more of these parts stop working. And despite intricate safety features designed to prevent elevator accidents from occurring, incidents involving elevators contribute to roughly 17,000 serious injuries and 30 fatalities every year in the United States. The most common potential causes of Phoenix elevator accidents are as follows:
- Poor design
- Improper maintenance
- Defective installation
- Safety code violations
- Product flaws
Injuries Caused by Elevator Accidents
Modern elevators and escalators are technological innovations designed to provide a safe, practical and convenient means of traveling from one floor to the next in a multi-story building, but when these seemingly safe machines fail to function properly, the consequences can be devastating for anyone involved. Malfunctioning elevators in particular pose a serious risk to occupants, and some of the most serious injuries or fatalities occur when an elevator free falls, becomes stuck in the elevator shaft, or closes on the limb of a person stepping into or out of an elevator car. Elevator workers are also vulnerable to serious injuries that may occur while they are repairing or installing an elevator. Some common types of injuries that can result from Phoenix elevator accidents include the following:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Severe burns
- Head injuries
- Electrical shocks
- Leg, foot or knee injuries
- Broken bones
- Severe lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Wrongful death
Who is at Risk for Elevator Accidents?
Elevator accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and virtually anyone can be injured in this type of accident, regardless of their age or occupation. However, there are certain groups of people who face a greater risk of suffering elevator accident injuries in Phoenix, including workers who install or repair elevators, employees who regularly use elevators at work, and the elderly who may suffer from anxiety or a serious medical problem if the elevator becomes stuck for some reason and they are trapped in the elevator car.
Determining Liability for Elevator Accident Injuries
Elevator accidents occur infrequently enough in the United States that elevators are often referred to as “the safest form of transportation. However, these types of accidents do occur, often when you least expect them to, which is why it is important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities in the event of an elevator accident. Insurance companies will often delay or deny personal injury or wrongful death claims, in which case filing a lawsuit may be your best option for recovering compensation for your losses. If you hope to successfully pursue compensation for your elevator accident injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit, you will have to first, identify who is at fault for your injuries and second, prove that the at-fault person or party was negligent. Generally speaking, there are three main parties that can be held liable for elevator accidents in Phoenix:
- The manufacturer of the elevator or a defective elevator part – If someone is injured or killed in an elevator accident caused by a malfunctioning elevator, the elevator manufacturer can be held liable for the resulting damages. The manufacturer of an elevator part can also be held liable if the company knew or should have known that the specific part was prone to failure.
- The service company responsible for inspecting the safety of the elevator – If an elevator inspector fails to complete a thorough inspection of the elevator and an accident occurs, the service company can be held liable for any injuries or fatalities resulting from the accident.
- The property owner or business owner responsible for the building and the elevator – The property owner or the person responsible for maintaining the building can be held accountable for an elevator accident if that person fails to conduct the required safety inspections and an elevator accident occurs as a result.
Pursuing Compensation for Elevator Accident Injuries
One of the most common personal injury claims resulting from elevator accidents in Phoenix is a premises liability claim. Business owners and property owners in Phoenix have a duty of care to ensure your safety and take reasonable precautions to avoid causing you harm. And when an elevator accident occurs because of a business owner or property owner’s failure to properly inspect, maintain or service an elevator, a premises liability claim may be your best option for recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Premises liability claims involve proving that the property owner or manager knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed (i.e. a malfunctioning elevator) and did nothing to fix the problem or warn visitors about the problem, which eventually led to an accident.
Another possible type of elevator accident claim is products liability, which deals with defective or malfunctioning products or product parts. In many cases of elevator accidents, the property owner or business owner believed to be at fault for the accident may not have known that there was a problem with the elevator because he or she is not familiar with the mechanics of an elevator. If this is the case, and a defective elevator or elevator part caused or contributed to the accident, the manufacturer of the elevator or elevator part may be held liable for the victim’s injuries. Defective product claims tend to be even more complex, because they typically require the assistance of an expert who can determine whether the elevator malfunctioned because of a design defect, an issue with manufacturing, a malfunctioning elevator part, or for some other reason.
Workers who are injured in a Phoenix elevator accident that occurs while they are repairing or installing an elevator, or employees injured on an elevator in their office building, may be entitled to recovery in the form of a workers’ compensation claim. Depending on the circumstances of the elevator accident, injured workers in Phoenix may be able to file a workers’ comp claim and a product liability lawsuit to maximize their recovery.
Statute of Limitations for Elevator Accident Claims
After being injured or losing a loved one in an elevator accident, you may want to take time to recover before filing a legal claim for compensation. However, Arizona has a strict statute of limitations in place for personal injury claims, including claims for elevator accident injuries, which gives you just two years to file a claim or lose your chance at compensation. That means you generally have two years from the date you discovered your injuries, or from the date of your loved one’s death, to pursue compensation against the at-fault person or party. That may seem like a long time, but when you are coping with serious injuries or mourning the loss of a loved one, two years can go by fairly quickly. Furthermore, the law sets a shorter statute of limitations if your personal injury claim is against a public entity or government agency in Arizona. In this case, you only have one year to file a claim, instead of two years, and you must file a Notice of Claim within 180 days of the injury or fatality. A Notice of Claim informs the public entity or government agency of your intent to file a lawsuit and also designates the amount that the claim can be settled for before going to trial.
How We Can Help
Whatever the circumstances of your Phoenix elevator accident, if another person, company or entity is at fault for the accident, we will find out where the blame lies and help you recover damages from the appropriate party for your injuries and losses. Our attorneys understand how challenging it can be for an injured elevator accident victim to focus on recuperating while attempting to file a claim for compensation, which is why we always recommend enlisting the help of an attorney who is equipped to handle personal injury claims in your area. At Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC, our legal team has years of experience representing clients in elevator accident cases and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the elevator accident and determine what factors contributed to the accident, so we can hold the appropriate person or party accountable for your injuries. We will also collect and review police reports, analyze witness statements, consult accident reconstruction experts, review your medical records and contact the insurance company on your behalf. Pursuing a legal claim for elevator accident injuries in Phoenix can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you are recovering from serious injuries, and our experienced attorneys can take that stress off your shoulders. We will explain all of your legal options to you and advise you on your best course of action for obtaining maximum recovery.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Phoenix Elevator Accident Attorneys
Phoenix elevator and escalator accidents tend to result in serious, long-lasting, or even fatal injuries, and while financial compensation can’t bring your loved one back or change the fact that you were injured in the first place, it can help you cover the cost of the medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity and other losses stemming from the accident. If you or someone you love has sustained serious injuries in an elevator or escalator accident in Phoenix, do not hesitate to contact a knowledgeable Phoenix personal injury attorney for legal help. Our attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of injured elevator accident victims in Phoenix and the surrounding area, and we can help you pursue a personal injury claim to improve your chances of maximum recovery. Contact our legal team at Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC today to schedule an initial consultation.