Most people fail to realize that elevators are mechanical pieces of equipment. We take for granted when we walk into an elevator and push a button that it is going to take us to our destination without fail. However, that is not always the case. There are instances when the elevator will mislevel causing someone to trip into the elevator or to fall out of the elevator from an elevated platform.
There are instances where an elevator cable has been known to snap causing the elevator car to unexpectedly plunge to the pit below causing traumatic injury and death. There instances where the elevator may not have been maintained properly causing the elevator car to rise or descend without warning. There were also instances of the elevator doors closing unexpectedly trapping its victim and causing significant injury.
There are also rare instances when the elevator doors will open, and an unsuspecting rider, without looking, enters what should have been an elevator car waiting for him. Instead, the elevator doors open and there is no car and the person plunges to their death below.
In many instances of elevator accidents, the attorneys who represent the property owners, the maintenance companies and the property management companies routinely try to put the blame on the person who was entering or exiting the elevator for causing their own injuries. It's the old “We didn't do it, and if you had been more attentive, this never would have happened."
Any time elevator accidents occur, it is extremely important for the attorney to obtain as much information as quickly as possible. This includes obtaining photographs of the elevator as well as the control mechanisms and structures that house the elevator. When a lawsuit is brought, one of the key records that an attorney looks at are the maintenance records for that particular elevator. We look to see when the elevator had last been maintained and serviced and whether there were any complaints or problems that the maintenance company knew about or should have known about.
Elevator accidents usually result in significant injuries with extended hospitalizations and surgery. A victim of an elevator accident needs to consult with an experienced attorney immediately to preserve evidence and begin an investigation into the root cause of what happened.