Elevator accidents, although rare, can result in serious or even fatal injuries. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in this type of accident, it's important to understand how to protect your right to compensation.
Causes of Trip and Fall Elevator Accidents
Some of the many potential causes of elevator trip and fall accidents include:
- Irregular stopping and jerking
- Poor leveling
- Wet floors
- Doors that close too quickly
- Doors that close too forcefully
- Doors that open when the cage is not there
- Safety components that don't work correctly
These problems can often be attributed to negligent maintenance of the elevator.
Elevator accidents can cause:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Head trauma
- Degloving injuries, where flesh is stripped from the limb after getting caught between the elevator door
In the most severe accidents, fatalities can result. For example, people have died from being pulled into the elevator shaft after getting their legs or arms caught in the elevator door.
Children, the elderly, and people with physical impairments are at a higher risk of being injured in elevator accidents, simply because they are more likely to have problems boarding or exiting the cage.
Filing a Trip and Fall Claim
A trip and fall claim from an elevator accident is a type of civil action seeking monetary damages. Louisiana law typically gives you one year from the date of the accident to file your claim.
To win your case, you must be able to prove the following four key elements:
- You were lawfully in the building.
- You suffered an elevator accident causing injury.
- A dangerous condition in the elevator caused your injury.
- The property owner knew, or should have known, about the dangerous condition.
Proving the various elements of your claim will require presenting many different types of evidence. Witness testimony, surveillance video, photos of the accident scene, and copies of your medical records are commonly required. If applicable, building code violations or copies of past safety inspections related to the elevator can also be used to support your claim.
Comparative Fault Rules
If you are determined to be partially at fault for the accident that caused your injury, you can still receive compensation despite your comparative negligence. However, your compensation will be proportionally reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.
Some examples of situations where you might be determined to be partially at fault for an elevator accident include:
- You were drunk or under the influence.
- You were running, jumping, or engaged in horseplay.
- You were texting or engaged in some other distracting activity that kept you from paying attention to your surroundings.
- You ignored posted warning signs.
- Your injuries were caused by inappropriate clothing such as high heels or a long skirt that caused you to fall.
Types of Compensation Available
A trip and fall claim can include compensation for several different types of damages you've suffered as the result of your accident. This includes:
- Immediate medical needs
- Anticipated future medical needs, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a permanent disability
- Lost wages while you were recovering from your injuries
- Loss of future earning potential, if you've been left with a disability that will affect your employment prospects
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain and emotional trauma
When a claim involves someone who has died in an elevator accident, it can include:
- Medical care up to the time of death
- Pain and suffering up to the time of death
- Loss of future earnings to support the family
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The family's loss of the deceased person's care and companionship
The best way to protect your right to compensation is to work with an experienced attorney to resolve your claim. Your attorney can document your damages, provide evidence to support liability for your injuries, and negotiate on your behalf to reach the highest possible settlement.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?
If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.