There are multiple rules and regulations regarding elevator use in Michigan. These govern what counts as an elevator and how to receive compensation when a personal injury happens because of an elevator.
What the Law Defines as an Elevator
Law classifies elevators as any cage or car that has been installed in a building and is used to transport property and people vertically. These are the three types of elevators:
- Manual elevators – Operated by an attendant who is given directions by the passenger
- Automatic elevators – Operated by the passengers without an attendant as an intermediary
- Escalators – These aren’t technically elevators, but they are used for the mechanized vertical transportation of people, and therefore they fall under the same liability laws and jurisdictions as elevators
If you are injured while riding any of these three machines, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit.
Why Do Elevator Accidents Occur?
When you get into an elevator, or on an escalator, you’re usually in a place of business, a building, or other such property. The property owner and elevator manufacturer have an absolute obligation to make sure this device is safe to ride on.
Generally, elevator accidents occur due to the negligence of irresponsibility of the liable party. There are times when safety warnings are not displayed adequately inside or near the vestibule. An operator may have made a mistake, or faulty wiring might decide to act up. There are a lot of reasons an accident may occur.
The key is always to be prepared and have a plan of action in case of calamity.
Who Might Be Liable When an Accident Occurs?
The nature of the accident plays the most significant role when determining which party is responsible for an accident. The following individuals might be responsible:
- The building owner of the establishment where the elevator is
- A maintenance company that was meant to repair or inspect the lift
- Designers and manufacturers of the elevator
- The installation company which installed the elevator
- Attendants who are responsible for the operation of manual elevators
The best thing to do if you are unsure is to contact a lawyer specializing in these types of injury cases. A lawyer will be able to root out the liable party. In addition, they will be able to investigate what went wrong the day of the incident.
Which Claims Are Most Common?
Every injury case is specific, and an attorney will have to look at your situation to determine what the particular claim will be. The most common adverse occurrences with lifts are:
- The doors slam shut unexpectedly on someone
- The elevator “free falls” and causes injuries
- A person falls through a concealed open elevator shaft
- The elevator becomes stuck between two floors for a significant period
- The manufacturing or design of the elevator has defects
An elevator injury may have devastating consequences on an individual and their family. Medical costs are incredibly high, and besides, the victim may be unable to work because of their fractures.
If you or anyone you know has suffered an injury in an elevator or escalator, don’t hesitate to call a lawyer. The attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center will help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us at (800) 961-8477 for a free case evaluation.