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Automatic / Revolving Door Injuries

Nothing makes you feel more like a magician as a little kid than motioning for a door to open outside a store and having it obey your command. We know as adults that automatic doors are little more than a mechanism attached to a motion or pressure sensor, but they remain cool devices which enable us to walk in and out of premises with our hands full. However these devices may also malfunction and cause injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by an automatic or a revolving set of doors, contact the Boston-based personal injury experts at Altman & Altman LLP today.

Automatic doors utilize swinging or sliding motions, activated by a motion sensor or a pressure plate – those rubber pads you step on prior to entering or exiting a supermarket, for example – to open automatically. They are a huge help for those with disabilities who cannot open a door manually and for people hauling large loads of things in their arms who are unable to grasp a door handle.

These doors can vary widely in their manufacturing and their sensitivity, however they operate similarly to elevators in how they must be inspected and monitored to ensure that they remain functional and safe. While the mechanics seem relatively simple, a lot more goes into the timing aspect of opening and closing the door than we may think. For example, the door has to be able to “understand” that a person may be taking a long time to get through the entryway, and not close on them by accident.

Accidents are Possible From These Doors

Despite not being particularly common, injuries and deaths have been recorded as the result of automatic door units malfunctioning.

Various elements, such as cold weather, rain, snow and even exposure to the sun over a long period of time, may damage the rubber floor mat pressure sensors, rendering them unpredictable and malfunctioning. This could result in the doors failing to open, causing people to crash into them; fail to remain open long enough, resulting in people being trapped by the door or crushed by them; or a combination of both.

Even more modern systems with more elaborate scanning sensors are not immune from potential malfunctioning. They can act erratically for a number of reasons, and in one particular case an employee had actually taped over one of the sensors to try and keep it open, which resulted in a person becoming injured by the door.

Revolving doors, too, may result in serious injuries. A lot of hotels and businesses which deal with high foot traffic utilize automatic rotating doors to more efficiently streamline people into the lobby. These doors can malfunction as well, causing people to bump into the doors, which are often made of glass, and may shatter and cause devastating laceration injuries.

The most common injuries from these doors may include:

  • Lacerations to ankles, legs or arms as a result of a door unexpectedly closing
  • Broken bones if a hand or foot is trapped in a door that closes unexpectedly
  • Deep contusions or concussions from a door swinging out unexpectedly and hitting somebody
Let Us Help You File a Claim

Since doors are expected to be maintained and inspected for their safety, if you are injured as the result of a malfunctioning door, you may have a good case to file a claim and receive compensation for damages, which can help pay for medical expenses and recoup money that was lost from being unable to work.

If you believe that you were harmed by an automatic or rotating door which was due to the negligence of a property or business owner, contact one of our personal injury experts at Altman & Altman LLP today. We have over 50 years of experience advocating on behalf of injured clients all throughout Massachusetts.

Call us for a free consultation today at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We are available 24/7.

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