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How can people suffer injury in elevators?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2021 | Premises Liability

Elevators are such a common feature of everyday life that it is easy to forget that they might be dangerous. Thanks to the efforts of many property owners and their maintenance workers, most elevators function without incident. Unfortunately, some people do experience accidents on elevators that cause serious injury. 

Elevator accidents can take different forms. As FindLaw points out, you may suffer particular kinds of injuries depending on how an elevator malfunctions. 

Physical injury

Elevator malfunctions can result in slip and fall accidents. An elevator car should align with the floor it stops on to ensure easy passage in and out of the car. However, a malfunctioning car may stop above or below the floor line. In these situations, you could trip because of the misaligned area and fall. 

Some elevator malfunctions are more serious. You may board an elevator car, but then the car plunges a few floors, causing you to slam onto the car floor. These falls can cause broken bones, soft tissue damage and possibly result in permanent disability. 

Psychological distress

You may be fortunate enough to escape any kind of physical injury from an elevator accident, but that does not mean the experience will not leave you with lasting psychological problems. Some older people become fearful of falling again after experiencing a fall and scale back their physical activities to avoid another situation where they could trip or slip. 

You might also have emotional distress if your elevator car stops in the shaft and holds you for a while. If the entrapment lasts for an extended period, you could suffer claustrophobia and anxiety. Also, the conditions inside the elevator car, like smell and temperature, may be unbearable. The experience might leave you with PTSD and make it hard if not impossible to board an elevator again. 

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