How Do People Get Injured In Elevators?
Elevators are easy. You step in, press a button, and the cabin delivers you to your desired floor. But while all that may be the case, it also tends to make us overlook the dangers of an elevator. Certainly, when properly maintained and in working order, most all elevators are safe. But often, elevators are not in proper, working order.
Elevators actually injure around 17,000 every single year. They do kill people also, but often, the deaths occur to those who are actually working on, repairing, or servicing the elevators.
It may seem puzzling how elevators can manage to injure anyone. But a properly working elevator is a calculated, balanced dance between the interior cabin of the elevator, the elevator’s shaft, and the floors that the cabin will stop at.
Alignment With the Floor
When getting in and off of an elevator, the interior elevator cabin must align, exactly, with the outside floor. Even the slightest deviation can cause a dangerous ledge, which can cause serious injury, whether you are on the higher or lower lip of the ledge.
That means that the elevator must stop exactly at the alignment of the floor. When elevators aren’t properly maintained, this doesn’t happen, and injury can result.
The Speed and Consistency
Once you are on the elevator, the elevator normally moves at a safe, consistent speed. But poorly maintained or damaged elevators don’t do this—there can be jerking movements, sudden stops, or even small dips. And while a small, quick dip or drop isn’t as dangerous as a (thankfully, very rare) free-fall plunge, a sudden, quick drop by the elevator can cause those inside the cabin to fall, or even damage limbs that aren’t braced for the drop.
The doors to an elevator are designed to open up when they feel any resistance, to avoid crushing people when they close. But some doors aren’t so sensitive, and can still force themselves closed when small or weaker limbs—such as those of children or the elderly—are in the way.
Some doors may not be properly calibrated, and may not even react to resistance, and may still try to close, even when the doors “feel” a human body part between them.
Falling Down the Shaft
Of course, then there is what many consider to be the nightmare scenario-the cabin of the elevator completely not being there as people step inside of it, thus leaving them to fall down the shaft of the elevator. The hope is that people can see the cabin is not there, and thus, that they won’t fall down the shaft, but many people, busy and distracted, may not see that.
This represents a major malfunction, and one that the property owner can be sued for.
Elevator accidents can have many possible defendants-maintenance companies, property owners, and others. Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today if you are injured in or while using an elevator.