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How can I be hurt on an elevator?

People are frequently hurt in elevators when a malfunction causes the elevator or parts of the elevator mechanism to move, stop or fall unexpectedly or abruptly. An elevator is likely to malfunction because of incomplete maintenance or repairs, or because of inspections by unqualified or negligent personnel.

One organization, Consumer Watch, says among the defects or malfunctions that can occur on an elevator are:

  • Unbalanced leveling and the failure of the elevator to line up with the floor, which can lead to tripping and falling.
  • Pulley system malfunction, or a mechanical breakdown or defect causing an elevator to drop rapidly within the shaft.
  • Open shaft, or the risk of fall due to faulty doors or other failures to protect passengers from entering an open shaft.
  • Elevator control malfunction due to faulty wiring, or a risk of electrocution.
  • Entrapment due to wiring malfunction, or the heat from a fire or water from emergency sprinklers or hose.

Another common situation is elevator door malfunctions, in which doors close on a person and cause a crushing injury to a limb or head, or close and trap clothing or a limb and cause a tearing injury as the elevator moves.

Elevators should not malfunction in a manner that causes injury. If you have been injured on an elevator in New York because of a problem with how the elevator operated, you should discuss our injury with one of our premises liability lawyers. You may be able to obtain compensation for losses associated with your injury.

Posted in: Elevator and Escalator Accident FAQs