Have You Been Seriously Injured Due to a Gate Accident?
Gates are meant to keep us safe. And yet, there is increasing recognition that security gates themselves pose a serious safety hazard. Although much stricter safety standards that went into effect in 2000, gates continue to cause serious injury, and even death. Many heavy manual gates are missing the necessary safety stoppers that prevent serious injuries. Without these stoppers, heavy gates continue to fall on people while opening or closing these defective gates. Here’s what you need to know about gate accidents.
The Growing Problem of Manual and Automatic Safety Gates
Manual gate accidents continue to occur despite the growing concerns of safety. These accidents happen regularly because of poor gate components and maintenance. In addition, they can be improperly installed without much oversight. Over time, gates can deform, rust, crack, wear down and break. It is imperative gates are consistently inspected for damages to avoid risks of injuries.
In line with the broader move towards automation in place of more expensive human labor, many private homes, gated communities and apartment complexes, and businesses are installing automatic security gates in place of, or in addition to, hiring conventional security guards.
This is particularly the case in Southern California, where the population is exploding. As population density increases, more and more homes, communities, and businesses rely on safety gates to protect residents and workers from unwelcome intruders.
The United States Consumer Products and Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that there are more than 300 emergency room visits a year due to automatic gates. They have also documented four reports of fatalities related to automatic gates, most of which were young children. This is much lower than a report issued previous to the implementation of the new standards, however gate accidents continue to pose a significant risk, especially to young children.
California Gate Accident Injury Liability
California law provides several avenues for legal recourse for gate accident injury victims, depending on the facts of the specific case. You may be able to file a lawsuit against one or more of the following:
- The property owner or lessee. In California, the individual or entity in control of the property (for example, the property owner or lessee), is responsible for warning people about the existence of any hazardous conditions on the property that they can reasonably be expected to know about. If the gate that injured you is a known hazard, for example has injured other people in the past, you may have a strong case under what is known as ‘premises liability.’
- The installation, maintenance or repair company. If the property owner or lessee contracts the maintenance and repair of the gate to another company, and that company can be shown to have demonstrated negligence while installing or repairing the gate, they may be liable for your injury. For example, if the gate was improperly or unsafely installed by a contractor, they may be held responsible.
- The gate’s manufacturer. In some instances, the gate malfunctions due to design or manufacturing defects, which can cause injuries. If a component part of the gate is found to be defective, or it malfunctions due to an overall design flaw in the gate, the company that designed and manufactured the gate may be held legally responsible for your injury.
In one exemplary case, personal injury attorneys with The Dominguez Firm assisted a security guard to recover $2.5 million in damages related to injuries she suffered when a large iron gate fell while she was at work. The gate was found to be lacking a crucial part, and The Dominguez Firm assisted the victim in filing a successful lawsuit against both the property owner and the property lessee. Both defendants refused to take responsibility, and the case went to trial. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and awarded her multi-million dollar compensation.
If You Have Been Seriously Injured in a Gate Accident, Contact a Gate Accident Lawyer
The Dominguez Firm has helped injured clients win millions of dollars in compensation as the result of gate accident injuries. Our award winning and experienced attorneys are prepared to defend your rights at trial in order to secure the compensation to which you are entitled. Call our firm today for a free consultation at (800) 818-1818.