ELEVATOR ACCIDENTS


Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer Reviewing Cases for injured plaintiffs in Ohio and Nationwide
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Protecting The Wrongfully Injured

Elevator hazards may be more common than you think. According to the CDC’s National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH), more than 17,000 injuries each year are attributed to unsafe elevators and escalators. Data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that up to 30 deaths are related to escalator and elevator accidents in the U.S. every year.

“At what point does this become criminal? Asks the father of a boy severely injured by an defect the elevator industry has known about for nearly three-quarters of a century. There’s a trail of dead children and documents showing industry notice, and an easy, relatively inexpensive post-installation fix. But will any manufacturer be compelled to offer it?

It is rarely considered that elevators pose serious risks. However, injuries and deaths reported throughout the nation may change your mind. The equipment involved in lifting people safety may be defective in design or manufacture, and it is possible for materials to fail under weight and pressure. Injuries in elevator accidents are likely to be severe, causing serious trauma, brain injury and death.

You and your children may be at risk. Find out why small children keep dying in elevators long after the problem and the solution was identified. The Safety Record Blog.” (Source: Safety, Research and Strategies, Inc.)

Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio product liability lawyer and premises liability attorney reviewing elevator accident lawsuits for injured plaintiffs nationwide.

Personal injury claims can help compensate for medical expenses, pain and suffering and long term disability. 


Elevator Malfunction Lawsuits


Elevator accidents may be due to human error, though more often there is a defect or mechanical issue involved. Elevators are almost always the age of the building they are in, so the older the building, the older the elevator may be.

Sometimes in newer buildings, old used elevator models are installed to save money. This should not be an issue, though poorly maintained elevators can cause problems.

Common elevator defects may include:

  • Pulley system error or defect
  • Power disruption
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Opening elevator shaft
  • Faulty doors
  • Faulty wiring
  • Electrocution risks
  • Incomplete or improper repairs
  • Lack of Inspections
  • Inspections by unqualified staff
  • Unbalanced leveling
  • Lack of safety features
  • Intercom malfunctions

Power failures are probably the most common source of elevator accidents. During a power failure, passengers can be dropped or injured within the carriage. Sudden stops may occur as a result of power failure or due to a poorly programmed elevator.

Poorly maintained machinery is a concern. Escalators and elevators are complex machines that require regular maintenance to ensure they function properly. Motors, cables, pulleys, motion detectors, intercoms, programming, and other parts can break down and require repairs.


Elevator Safety & Injury Prevention


The CDC has provided recommendations to prevent elevator and escalator accidents injuries for passengers and workers. Seeing as many elevator accidents are work-related, the CDC stresses workplace protective practices and extensive training.

During elevator repairs or maintenance, it is recommended that all power is shut off. De-energizing and locking out electrical circuits is critical when elevators and escalators are out of service or being repaired.

Signage is also important so nobody attempts to use elevators or escalators when they are being serviced. Employers should be providing full fall protection equipment during work in or near elevator shafts. Landlords and employers must have an adequate scheduled inspection and maintenance program. Employers should use only qualified staff for escalator and elevator maintenance.


Elevator Accident & Escalator Hazards


Escalator hazards and elevator accident lawsuits may stem from the result of faulty manufacturing, poor maintenance, or other factors that leave the equipment in a dangerous state. Landlords and property owners may be liable in premises liability lawsuits for any injuries that result from elevator accidents.

Injuries related to an escalator hazard or elevator accident lawsuits may include traumatic brain injuries, neck and spinal injuries, crush injuries, bone fractures, burns, and various orthopedic trauma injuries. If you have or a loved one has been injured, contact the Lyon Firm.

When the landlord, owner or management of a building fails to maintain their property and someone is injured, they may be held accountable for the injury and whatever damages result.

Most elevator accidents and injuries are caused by door malfunction, carriage/floor misalignment with floors, and a lack of passenger safety warnings. Most elevator passenger deaths occur in apartment units, where the malfunction may be due to a lack of maintenance.

Elevator accidents may occur when victims are trapped between the elevator and shaft wall, due to defective wiring, pulley system errors, improper door operation, or a lack of maintenance procedures.

Elevator companies like Thyssen AG, Otis, and Schindler have faced injury claims after preventable elevator accidents occurred. The CPSC does not regulate elevator manufacturers, and companies must self-regulate the safety of their products.

Plaintiffs and victims of elevator accidents who have suffered serious injuries and other losses may file landlord negligence, product liability and premises liability lawsuits.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.

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Questions about Personal Injury Cases

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Are there any limits to what I can recover?

Each state will vary. Under Ohio law, an injured party may recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and punitive damages. The numerical limits are as such:

  1. Non-Catastrophic Injury:   The non-economic award is limited to $250,000 per plaintiff, or three times the economic loss, up to $350,000 per plaintiff. A maximum of $500,000 for each “occurrence.”
  2. Catastrophic Injury: No limits.

The Lyon Firm may be able to file injury claims and recover rightful compensation for clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term disability.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Personal Injury lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 

$1,000,000

WRONGFUL DEATH: DISTRACTED DRIVER

(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.

$495,000

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.

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