Many people pass through automatic doors on a daily basis — they can be found everywhere from office buildings, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, movie theaters, supermarkets, hospitals, apartment buildings, and various other public places. While these types of doors are convenient and most people pass through them unharmed, they can sometimes malfunction unexpectedly and cause injury. In the event you were injured in an automatic door accident, you may be eligible to pursue compensation in a personal injury action.
Injuries Caused by Automatic Door Accidents
Many businesses use automatic doors to provide a hands-free entrance into a building. They can be particularly important for businesses that see a high volume of traffic. Each type of automatic door includes different sensors and machinery in order to make the door open and close. However, when the sensors or parts are defective, the doors may open too quickly or fail to open at all, leading to accidents that result in serious injury.
The following injuries commonly arise in automatic door accidents:
- Lacerations — A victim may suffer lacerations if glass on the door breaks or shatters.
- Fall accidents — An automatic door that closes too quickly can cause a person to lose their balance and fall.
- Crush injuries — When an automatic door closes abruptly, a person’s limbs can get caught and be crushed due to the pressure.
- Blunt force trauma — When an automatic door opens or closes suddenly, it can strike a person, leading to blunt force trauma.
If you were hurt in an automatic door accident, it’s vital to gather as much evidence as possible. Have someone take photos of the door and your injuries. Capture a video with a phone that shows how the door malfunctions. It’s also a good idea to get the contact information for any witnesses who may have seen the accident happen. A personal injury lawyer will know how to obtain other crucial evidence for your case, such as maintenance and repair records.
After an automatic door accident, it’s essential to seek medical assistance immediately. Even if you think you have not been hurt, some injuries only appear days or weeks later. By obtaining prompt medical treatment, your doctor can rule out any serious internal injuries. Significantly, your medical documentation will also be vital in any personal injury action you may file to help prove your case and establish the extent of your damages.
Liability for an Automatic Door Accident
Automatic door accidents are typically based on the theory of premises liability. Importantly, the owner of a premises has a legal duty to ensure that the property is safe for invitees. If they fail to take measures to do so, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result. If a property owner knows (or should know, through reasonable inspection) about a dangerous condition that they fail to timely repair or warn about, they may be responsible for damages incurred by a visitor in connection with the hazard.
In addition to ensuring that automatic doors work properly after installation, property owners must perform routine inspections and repairs to ensure the doors are in good working order. Automatic doors can often break down over time and require maintenance or part replacements. However, there may also be parties besides a property owner who are responsible for an accident caused by a malfunctioning automatic door. Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident, other potentially liable parties can include a maintenance company if repairs were negligent, or the door manufacturer if a design defect was to blame for the accident.
If you can prove that another party’s negligence caused your automatic door accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include your unreimbursed medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and other pecuniary losses. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your accident-related injuries — and are often the most substantial portion of a personal injury award.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
In the event you were injured by a malfunctioning or defective automatic door, it’s critical to have a skillful personal injury attorney by your side who can help you secure the monetary recovery you deserve. The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP are committed to representing clients who have been injured due to the negligence of another and working diligently to obtain the maximum compensation to which they are entitled.
The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they secure the monetary recovery they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.