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Handling personal injury claims for Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos and beyond.
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to take the best course of action after a serious accident

Attorney Jared Pursley
Carlsbad Personal Injury LawyerBlogElevator AccidentLegal Options in Elevator Accident Claims

Legal Options in Elevator Accident Claims


Elevator safety is a serious issue in San Diego County. About half the area’s elevators are overdue for safety inspections. A significant number of these elevators haven’t been inspected in at least two years. Dozens of new, multi-floor buildings open their doors every day in San Diego County. Overworked inspectors cannot possibly keep up with all of them. More significantly, if an elevator hasn’t been inspected recently, that usually means the owner has something to hide.

Elevator accidents often cause gruesome injuries, such as amputations. In-elevator falls are common as well. Many building owners don’t promptly clean up spills and address other such hazards in elevators. These victims have several legal options. In each option, a Carlsbad elevator accident lawyer can obtain the compensation these victims need and deserve.

Workers’ Compensation

Injured employees of the company that owned the elevator, usually the company that built or manages the building, are eligible for these benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits replace lost wages and pay reasonably necessary medical bills.

Lost wage replacement is based on the victim’s AWW (average weekly wage) computation. The AWW calculation accounts for prior and future regular and irregular compensation, such as:

  • Regular wages,
  • 401(k) contribution matching,
  • Expense reimbursement,
  • Lost future overtime opportunities,
  • Missed pre-scheduled pay increases, and
  • Lost performance bonuses.

Most injured workers receive two-thirds of their AWW for the duration of their temporary or permanent disabilities.

The reasonable medical bill payment benefit is comprehensive as well. This benefits usually includes medical costs like:

  • Transportation to a hospital,
  • Emergency care,
  • Follow-u medical care,
  • Ancillary medical expenses, like prescription drugs, and
  • Occupational or physical therapy.

Usually, an insurance company cannot dispute fault in these matters, if the injury was work-related. An Oceanside personal injury lawyer can usually obtain maximum compensation even if a pre-existing or non-work condition contributed to the risk and/or severity of an elevator accident-related injury.

Civil Claim

The duty of care usually applies to building tenants and guests of those tenants. The duty of care is the legal version of the story of the Good Samaritan. This man went out of his way to help an injured traveler. California courts use several factors to determine how far out of the way an owner must go to protect people. These factors include:

  • Owner’s knowledge of the hazard,
  • Likelihood that people would use the elevator,
  • Possibility of serious injury,
  • Cost of preventing that injury, and
  • Type of business.

If an Oceanside personal injury lawyer proves negligence, or a lack of care, substantial compensation is available. In addition to money for the economic losses mentioned above, negligence victims are entitled to compensation for their emotional distress and other noneconomic losses. Additional punitive damages may be available in these claims as well.

These cases are quite complex, procedurally and legally. Procedurally, most building owners are out-of-state conglomerates with vast financial resources. So, the trial may take place in a non-California court, and the attorneys on the other side might charge thousands of dollars an hour.

Legally, these cases often involve the assumption of the risk defense. Usually, a certificate in an elevator shows the last time it was inspected. If the inspection is overdue and the victim gets on the elevator anyway, the victim could be partially responsible for any accident-related injuries.

Work With a Dedicated San Diego County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a confidential consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Oceanside, contact the Pursley Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

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