Have you been involved in an elevator accident? If so, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your accident-related injuries. The money you recover can be invaluable as you fight to recover from serious and/or life-threatening injuries. Contact San Diego personal injury lawyer Richard Morse today for a free consultation. We work on contingency, so you don’t unless we win.
Elevator Accident Statistics
Elevator accidents occur more frequently than you may expect. According to the Centers for Disease Control, elevators and escalators are responsible for causing more than 17,000 injuries and 30 deaths each year. Elevators, alone, are responsible for 60 percent of these injuries and a whopping 90 percent of these deaths. Studies show that people working on or near elevators and elevator shafts are at the greatest risk of suffering an elevator-related injury.
Elevator Accident Injuries
While elevator accidents may not happen every day, the injuries they do cause can be catastrophic. Victims of elevator accidents can be forced to deal with unexpected injuries that significantly limit their ability to live, work, and play. Commonly reported San Diego elevator accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Spinal cord injury;
- Paralysis; and
Causes of Elevator Accidents
Why do elevator accidents happen in the first place? Research conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that frequently cited causes of elevator accidents include:
- Collapsing elevator structures and platforms;
- Falling into an open elevator shaft;
- Elevator equipment malfunctions;
- Improper or inadequate installation, maintenance, and repairs;
- Getting caught in between an elevator’s moving parts; and
- Being struck by counterweights.
Why Should I Hire an Elevator Accident Attorney?
Elevator accidents tend to inflict catastrophic injuries that will change a victim’s life forever. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, which can generate extraordinarily high medical bills. If your injury forces you to miss time at work or reduces your ability to generate income, the financial costs of your accident can be overwhelming. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a great way to recover the money you desperately need after a San Diego elevator accident.
Elevator accident claims are a great tool for victims, but can be complicated and confusing. As you recover from your injuries your primary focus should be on your own physical, emotional, and mental recovery. Hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your legal claim will allow you to focus on yourself and will also increase the chances of maximizing the compensation you are awarded. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we have the education, knowledge, and skills that are necessary to get the most out of your elevator accident injury claim. Call us today to set up a free consultation to learn more. We will review your case, determine potential liability, and answer any questions you have.
What Can I Recover From an Elevator Accident Claim?
Filing a personal injury claim after your San Diego elevator accident can be a great way to get the money you need to recover from your injuries. How much money can you actually recover from your personal injury claim? How much will your case be worth? The answer will depend on the types of injuries and harms you suffer. In California, victims are entitled to request both economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury claim. Each of type of damages helps to compensate you for a different type of harm.
You can ask to recover economic damages when your accident-related injuries cost you money. These damages are essentially a way to reimburse you for financial expenses that you have suffered (or are likely to suffer) because of your accident. For example, you can request to recover economic damages to compensate for:
- Hospitalization, surgery, prescription medications, and other medical expenses;
- Rehabilitation and/or nursing care;
- Lost wages; and/or
- Reduced earning capacity.
When you request economic damages you must be able to prove that you have suffered financial losses. Any economic damages you do recover will be limited to your specific (and projected) financial losses.
Non-economic damages can be awarded to compensate you for injuries and harms that do not necessarily have a financial impact on your life. Pain and suffering after an accident are very real, but may not require medical attention or impact your ability to generate an income. Non-economic damages exist to compensate you for these types of intangible injuries.
Determining Liability for a San Diego Elevator Accident
Who can be held responsible for your elevator accident injuries? In California, the law says that any person whose conduct contributes to an accident can be held financially responsible. This even includes the victim! If you were partly responsible for your accident and injuries there may be a limit on the amount of damages you can recover in a lawsuit. This limit will be directly linked to the percentage of the accident that is determined to be your fault. Fortunately, unless you are determined to be 100 percent responsible for the accident, you will still be entitled to recover damages from other at-fault parties.
Companies that design, manufacture, and distribute elevators (and elevator parts) are required to provide a product that is safe to use. When an elevator (or elevator part) is defective or malfunctions, the company responsible for the product can be held strictly liable for any injuries that result.
Elevator Installation and Maintenance Companies
Some companies specialize in the installation, inspection, and maintenance of elevators in San Diego. These companies and their employees are hired because they have a unique and specialized understanding of these complex machines. If an elevator accident is the result of negligent installation, maintenance, or inspection, the company responsible for doing these things may be held financially responsible.
As a general rule, property and building owners are required to ensure that their premises are safe. This means that they are free from conditions that would likely cause an injury or harm. This duty includes making sure that elevators are in working condition and inspected regularly. When an elevator accident occurs, the property or building owner may be held financially liable if his/her negligence contributed to the accident.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim After an Elevator Accident
The majority of elevator accident injury victims are workers. In fact, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of the elevator-related deaths that occur each year affect employees working in and around elevators. If you are injured in an elevator accident on the job you may be entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits.
Employers in San Diego are generally required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, which is used to pay employees for injuries that they suffer on the job. It is important to know that if you do opt to collect worker’s compensation benefits you give up the right to file a lawsuit against your employer for additional damages. However, you can collect worker’s compensation benefits and recover damages from a liable third party (e.g., elevator manufacturer or inspector).
Contact Injury Trial Lawyers, APC today for more information about filing a worker’s compensation claim after your San Diego elevator accident.
When Do I Have to File an Elevator Accident Claim?
You will have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim after your San Diego elevator accident. In most situations, you must file a claim within two years of your accident. If you do not file a claim within this two-year period you will likely be prohibited from recovering any compensation, at all. There are limited exceptions to this rule. For example, if there is a reasonable delay in the discovery of your injury or if you are a minor at the time of your accident, the statute of limitations in your case may be extended.
Many elevators have been installed on San Diego government property over the past few decades. When a San Diego government-owned and/or operated elevator in involved in an injury, the government can be held financially responsible for resulting injuries. The process of recovering compensation from San Diego is slightly different than for recovering compensation from other defendants. If you want to name the San Diego government as a defendant in your personal injury claim you must file an administrative claim with the government within six months of your accident. The government will either approve or deny your claim. If your claim is denied, you will have six months to file a civil claim against the government with your local San Diego court.
Experienced San Diego Elevator Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a San Diego elevator accident? Call Injury Trial Lawyers, APC today to find out how we can maximize the compensation you are awarded for your injuries. Our San Diego elevator accident attorneys have more than 35 years of combined legal experience and understand that this time in your life is extremely difficult. We will fight to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries so that you can focus on your own personal recovery. Contact us today to set up a free consultation with our legal team. We will review your case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you have.