Who Is Responsible for Elevator Accidents?
While exceedingly rare, elevator accidents do occur. If you’ve been injured by a faulty elevator, you should be able to recover compensation. First, though, you will need to know who may be liable for the accident. Below, we’ll look at the three most commonly liable parties for elevator accidents.
Manufacturers & Sellers
Like any other product, the manufacturers of elevators are legally responsible for the safety and quality of their products, even beyond the length of the manufacturer’s warranty. This is known as products liability law, which can apply to several parties involved in the manufacturing process.
Products liability deals with three types of defects:
- Design defects: Problems with the design of a product
- Manufacturing defects: Problems with the components or the way a product was manufactured
- Marketing defects: Problems with the instructions, safety warnings, or other misrepresentations
When a manufacturer doesn’t meet all reasonable design and safety standards, it is possible that they can be held liable for an injury. This doesn’t simply stop at the manufacturer of the elevator itself, however, but can also include design and engineering firms, the manufacturers of components, any sellers, and any transportation companies involved between the first inception of an elevator and its final installation.
Maintenance & Repair Services
Elevator maintenance is an ongoing process, but if an elevator fails due to a faulty repair on inadequate maintenance, it is possible that the company in charge of the repair or maintenance will be held liable for any damages. Elevators have specific maintenance requirements, so if a professional maintenance company neglects to meet those requirements and an accident ensues, your personal injury attorney will likely try to hold that company liable. This is also the case for incomplete or incorrectly performed repairs on the elevator involved in your case.
While it’s necessary that maintenance and repairs be performed, it’s the responsibility of the building owner to ensure that those services are handled in a timely manner. The building owner is responsible for seeing that elevators are:
- Maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications
- Maintained by a qualified elevator maintenance professional
- Are repaired by a qualified repair professional, if the owner knows or has reason to know that repairs are necessary
- Are taken out of service until the appropriate repairs have been performed
If you’ve been injured in an elevator accident, it may be possible to hold one or more of these parties liable for your injuries, Your personal injury attorney will investigate the cause of your accident, and can advise you as to what legal options would be in your best interest.
At Inman & Tourgee, our team of Rhode Island personal injury attorneys are here to support you during this challenging time and ensure that your rights are respected. We have more than 125 years of collective experience, and we will work tirelessly to represent your best interests and fight for the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation to learn more.
Contact our legal team today to begin your case. Call (401) 229-5521 now.