Automatic Gate Accident
Thousands are injured or killed each year from accidents involving automatic gates. These incidents occur on commercial properties, apartment complexes, and at private residences. The gates range in size and mechanical design – such as swing gates versus sliding or rolling gates. The gates can crush, knock-over, run over, push, and forcefully cause physical injury to those around or using the system. If you or someone you love have been injured, contact our Dallas-Fort Worth gate accident lawyer for help.
When a bodily injury occurs from a mechanical gate, various legal issues arise that need to be addressed by an experienced lawyer. The first question that may arise is “who is at fault or who is liable for the dangerous gate?” This issue can be very nuanced. But generally, the property owner and/or the property manager will likely be primarily responsible for the upkeep and safety of the gate. The landowner and property manager has a duty to inspect, maintain, and fix dangerous conditions with the mechanical gate. At the very least, there is a duty to warn others about potential hazards regarding the automatic gate. A majority of gates in the Dallas Metroplex have no warning signs to warn people of the direction and power of the gate and that the same can cause bodily injury or death. Furthermore, in addition to the property owner and management company, the gate manufacturer or the company or person who installed, repaired, or is hired to maintain the automatic gate could be liable too. This will depend on numerous factors such as the service and repair agreements and how much the gate had been modified since its original installation.
An injured party must demonstrate and prove at the very least that the gate was dangerous and should have been fixed or designed in a way to prevent injury or death. Our Dallas-Fort Worth gate injury lawyer can help you make this determination. Most injuries occur around automatic gates on driveways where someone is pinned or hit by the gate. Current universal standards in the industry attempt to avoid such incidences. This is done mainly through the use of photo-sensors and resistance sensors. Almost all respectable, modern-day manufacturers of swinging or sliding gates require such sensors for the gate to operate. These sensors are designed to detect people and objects that get near or make contact with the gate – depending on the type of sensors used. But older gates may not have these important safety devices. Also, the operator and owner of the gate may have had the gate modified in a way or failed to inspect the sensors to the extent that they don’t work. This poses a dangerous and unnecessary situation for pedestrians, cyclists, and other exposed individuals who are trying to enter or exit the property where the mechanical gate is located. Some governmental and city ordinances may require that these safety features are in place.
The operators, installers, and owners of the gates can be liable for death or injury from various dangerous conditions of the gate other than failure to have sensors. Examples include accelerated gate speeds, improper lighting, electric shock, dangerous parts and structures sticking out from the gate, and sharp edges.
The validity of a claim for those injured by an automatic may also depend on the status of the person injured while at the property (i.e. invitee, licensee, or trespasser). This is explained in further detail on the general premises liability page. These cases can be quite complicated but a competent Dallas-Fort Worth gate accident attorney such as Patrick R. Kelly render effective legal counsel following such an injury.
If you or someone you know has been hurt by an automatic gate system, there may be a viable claim for financial compensation. But don’t delay in contacting our office to discuss this important matter. Under Texas law, there are time limitations to asserting such a claim. Furthermore, it is important to quickly have a legal notice sent to those responsible for the automatic gate so that various pieces of evidence can and will be maintained to prove the case such as videos, photos, inspection reports, and documentation regarding the automatic gate.
Call our office now for a free consultation to discuss your potential automatic gate injury claim.