Many construction projects involve the use or installation of elevators. Riding or working on elevators are often a common part of the daily schedule of workers involved in building or construction projects. However, statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 17,000 people suffer injuries related to elevator or escalator accidents every year, and 30 people die every year from those injuries. Construction worker deaths related to elevator accidents account for half of all of those fatalities.
While many people think that workers must file worker’s compensation claims related to their elevator accident, there are actually several other entities that may ultimately have responsibility and liability for their injuries. If you suffered injuries related to an elevator accident at work, consider how a Los Angeles elevator accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for a free case review.
Causes of Workplace Elevator Accidents
There are several ways in which a worker can suffer injuries related to an elevator accident. In some cases, the workers are actively involved in the construction of the elevator, and in others, workers simply use the elevator to move between different floors in order to get to different work locations. Some of the causes of workplace elevator accidents include the following:
Manufacturing Defect or Manufacturing Failure
If any part or component of the elevator has a flaw or defect as a result of the design or manufacturing of the elevator, serious injuries or deaths may occur. In some cases, the elevator defect relates to the pulley system, which results in the elevator completely failing. If a worker is inside an elevator when it falls, they will likely suffer serious injuries or even death. In some cases, a worker is trapped within a malfunctioning elevator, or trapped between the doors of an elevator. If this is the case, the worker could suffer crushing injuries, asphyxiation, or other catastrophic injuries as a result of this defective or malfunctioning elevator part. In these instances, a worker has the legal right to file a claim against the manufacturer of any defective part or component of the elevator under product liability law.
Improper wiring within an elevator or elevator shaft can result in the elevator malfunctioning and a worker suffering an electrical shock, or fatal electrocution. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has very clear standards regarding wiring and safety. Therefore, the company that wired the elevator would remain liable for any injuries resulting from a worker receiving an electrical shock or electrocution. Additionally, if an investigation determines that the faulty wiring was the result of a manufacturing defect, the worker has the right to file a claim against the manufacturer of those wires.
Many third-party companies have the responsibility to correctly level an elevator. If this leveling is not done correctly, then serious injuries to those riding the elevators may occur including slip and fall accidents when a worker either enters or exits an elevator. In these cases, the third-party company that had the responsibility to level the elevator correctly would remain liable for any injuries suffered as a result of their negligence.
Negligence of Others
In some cases, another worker or person in the building or home where the project is may not know that a worker is either in or near an elevator or elevator shaft. If they fail to use safety precautions and check those areas, a worker may receive serious injuries as an elevator starts, or stops, operating on them when they are in a vulnerable position.
Types of Injuries Suffered as a Result of Elevator Accidents
Any worker that works on an elevator, or uses an elevator, could suffer injuries as a result of any of the above-mentioned elevator accidents. Some of the types of injuries suffered as a result of elevator accidents include the following:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Neck or back injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries (resulting in either partial or complete paralysis)
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Burns (from electrical wiring or electrocution)
Workers involved in elevator accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries that can not only limit or diminish their ability to perform daily activities, but can also potentially leave them permanently disabled. If you suffered injuries related to an elevator accident, learn how a Los Angeles elevator accident lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you with your next steps.
For a free legal consultation with a elevator accidents lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Statute of Limitations for Manufacturing Defects
The state of California has deadlines, called statute of limitations, that victims must meet to officially file a case in court regarding any product liability manufacturing defect claim. If an investigation makes the determination that a manufacturing defect is the cause of a victim’s injuries related to an elevator accident, they have two years from the date of the injury (or the date of when the injury was actually realized) to file a claim against the manufacturer.
If the investigation makes the determination that another party (not the manufacturer) was the cause of the accident in which the victim suffered injuries, a victim will have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, the statute of limitations in the state of California to pursue compensation from a negligent party regarding an elevator accident is two years.
While two years may seem like a considerable amount of time, the actual timeframe is quite short, as it will involve complete medical evaluation and treatment and the negotiation with insurance companies, along with building a case for you to receive compensation for your injuries and losses.
Los Angeles Elevator Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Learn How a Los Angeles Elevator Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you suffered injuries related to an elevator accident, learn how a Los Angeles elevator accident lawyer can help you determine which parties remain responsible and liable to compensate you for your injuries and losses. Contact a member of our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for your free case review.