You might use an elevator without thinking you may get hurt just from riding in one. This is because the vast majority of people ride elevators without a problem. Still, sometimes a building owner or management fails to take the appropriate action to keep one of their elevators safe. When that happens, serious injury may result.
As FindLaw points out, a faulty elevator can harm a person in various ways. Some people suffer persistent physical problems which may last a lifetime. A defective elevator can also result in someone’s death.
Misaligned elevator cars
When an elevator car stops and its doors open, the car should line up with the floor outside. A malfunctioning elevator may stop inches below or above the floor line. This misalignment may cause you to trip over a raised car floor or fall onto a depressed floor. If you are in older age, a fall can inflict life threatening harm.
Elevator cars that tumble
You do not expect the elevator car you ride in to suddenly drop down the shaft and then come to a sudden halt. Some people have suffered serious injuries by being in a falling elevator car. The abrupt stop of the car could throw you to the floor and break some of your bones or cause serious head trauma.
Getting stuck in an elevator
You may ride an elevator car for a short while, but then the car stops in the shaft, trapping you inside until help arrives. Even if this does not cause you physical injury, the ordeal of a prolonged captivity inside the car can be emotionally taxing. You may develop a fear of ever using an elevator again. If so, the building owner may be liable for your psychological distress.