New York Automatic Door Accident Lawyer
Many stores and businesses in New York have automatic doors. You may pass through several on a daily basis when going to work, the grocery store, a restaurant, or a host of other locations. Since millions of people pass through automatic doors each day unharmed, it is common to use them without thinking of the potential risks involved.
Unfortunately, when automatic doors malfunction, they can cause serious harm. Injuries can occur when business owners or managers fail to properly maintain automatic doors on their premises.
Have you or a loved one been injured in an automatic door accident? If so, you may have a valid claim to compensation. Learn what our results-oriented premises liability lawyers can do for you today. Contact us at (212) 668-6000 for a free case consultation.
Types of Automatic Doors in New York Buildings
There are four main categories of automatic door systems:
- Automatic sliding doors: These types of doors have a motorized track and usually two sets of sliding panel doors. When a person steps on the sensor plate, the doors open and allow the person to enter or exit the building.
- Automatic revolving doors: This type of automatic door allows people to simultaneously enter and exit a building.
- Automatic swinging doors: Swinging doors work by moving a door along a hinge rather than sliding horizontally out of the way. These doors will either move inward or outward, depending on the flow of people.
- Automatic folding doors: Folding doors swing and slide into a compact folded position, allowing individuals to pass through.
Some of these door systems open with the push of a button. There is a door motor control that opens the doors for a set amount of time and is reactivated every time the button is pushed.
Other door systems open automatically through the use of sensors. The doors will open automatically when the system notices a person entering or exiting the building.
Common Causes of New York Automatic Door Malfunctions
There are many benefits to automatic doors. For example, these types of doors make it easier for people to enter or exit a property and maintain temperatures in a building. Unfortunately, like most things involving technology, automatic doors have the potential to malfunction.
Common causes of an automatic door malfunction include:
- Lack of maintenance: A door that is not regularly maintained can lead to faulty sensors, malfunctioning sensor mats, and broken motor controls. Business owners should inspect their automatic doors and call for them to be serviced as needed.
- Improper installation: Automatic door injuries can result if the doors were not installed and tested properly. All building owners have an obligation to test their newly installed doors before allowing them to be used by the public.
- Wear and tear: New York can be prone to extreme weather; snow, ice, and even rays from the sun can affect an automatic door sensor. If the sensor is malfunctioning, doors may fail to open, remain ajar, or open erratically when the sensor is triggered.
- Design or manufacturing defects: Some doors malfunction due to a design or manufacturing defect. In these situations, the manufacturer could be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Types of Injuries Caused by Faulty Automatic Doors
Thousands of people are injured each year in automatic door accidents. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there are approximately 30,000 people injured every year in garage door accidents alone.
The most common types of injuries suffered in automatic door accidents include:
- Blunt force injuries: When a door fails to open, closes too soon, or swings in the wrong direction, it can cause blunt force trauma to the person trying to enter or exit the building.
- Pinch point accidents: This painful type of injury occurs when a person’s foot, hand, or other limb gets caught between the moving parts of the sliding automatic door.
- Lacerations: When a door strikes a person hard enough for the glass to break, he or she might sustain deep lacerations that require medical attention.
- Overhead crush: These types of injuries commonly occur with automatic garage doors. If the garage door comes down too quickly or forcefully, a person may suffer a head, neck, shoulder, or another injury.
Establishing Liability Following a New York Automatic Door Accident
All property owners in New York have an obligation to ensure their properties are safe for patrons, visitors, and customers who come visit. In order to ensure all automatic doors are operating safely, a property owner must perform regular inspections and repairs. This might include replacing faulty or broken parts and calling a professional automatic door serviceman.
If a door is broken, the property owner must put up a sign or otherwise warn patrons within a reasonable amount of time. Failure to repair a broken automatic door can lead to the property owner being found liable for any resulting injuries.
An injury resulting from a broken or malfunctioning automatic door can lead to a premises liability lawsuit being filed against the property owner. If the door hazard was foreseeable and the causation and damages of your injuries can be established, then the liability is clear.
Hill & Moin has successfully handled many premises liability claims. We know what is needed to prove the above elements and build a strong case on your behalf.
Steps to Take Following a New York Automatic Door Accident
The steps you take following an automatic door accident can make a difference in your financial recovery.
Consider taking the following steps after being injured in an automatic door accident:
- Take photos: Photograph the door, frame, sensors, and the surrounding area. Property owners may quickly repair a broken door after an accident occurs, erasing evidence of the malfunction. By taking photos, you will have evidence of the condition of the door at the time of the accident.
- Video the door’s function: If your injuries allow or you have a friend or family member with you, get a video of how the door is operating. Try to record the manner in which it is malfunctioning.
- Exchange contact information with eyewitnesses: A property owner may try to dispute that your injuries occurred as a result of the door. Having a witness that saw the incident happen and can testify on your behalf could be invaluable when proving fault.
- Report the accident: Be sure to file an accident report with the property owner or the manager on duty. This creates a paper trail documenting the accident and your injuries.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, it is recommended to go to the doctor and have a checkup. The symptoms of some injuries, such as whiplash or traumatic brain injuries, can take days or even weeks to fully manifest. A copy of your medical bills will be needed when filing for damages.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to ensure that all evidence is well preserved. Your lawyer will be able to determine the value of your claim, file all necessary paperwork, and handle negotiations with the insurance company.
Recoverable Damages Following a New York Automatic Door Accident
A personal injury lawyer can review your case and let you know what damages you may be entitled to receive for an automatic door accident.
Automatic door personal injury claims may include compensation for:
- Medical treatment: This could include compensation for ambulance rides, emergency room visits, diagnostic reports, surgeries, prescriptions, and more.
- Loss of income: You can file a claim for the income you lost while recovering from your injuries including lost wages, bonuses, and more.
- Pain and suffering: You could recover compensation for any emotional or psychological distress you have suffered as a result of the accident.
- Property damage: If your phone, watch, glasses, or other personal possessions were damaged in the door accident, you could be compensated for the loss.
Contact a New York Automatic Door Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love was injured in an automatic door accident, contact Hill & Moin today. There are complex laws surrounding door accidents and premises liability, but an experienced lawyer can help determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible for your injuries.
We are committed to our clients and determined to get you the results you deserve when we take on your case. We have over 40 years of experience representing clients in premises liability and other personal injury cases.
Our law firm takes door accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no upfront costs and nothing out of pocket. Contact us today at (212) 668-6000 to schedule your initial free consultation to learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.
Don’t wonder about your rights!