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Automatic Door Accidents And Your Legal Rights


It often feels like there are just too many things to worry about these days, but here is one more: automatic doors can malfunction and cause injuries. When that happens, multiple parties could be held liable for the injuries including the proprietor and the company that manufactured or installed the door. In this article, we’ll take a look at automatic door accidents and when you can file a lawsuit.


In order to recover in a personal injury case, a Plaintiff must prove that they have suffered damages, or injuries. In cases involving malfunctioning automatic doors, the potential for serious injury is quite low. Sometimes the doors close too rapidly and knock someone over. Most of the time this does not result in serious injuries. In order to prove that negligence has occurred, you must show injury that is substantial enough to be actionable. In some cases, injuries caused by automatic doors can be quite traumatic, but in the majority of cases, there won’t be “enough” injury to make the lawsuit worth your while.

Premises liability 

Proprietors owe the highest duty of care to customers they invite onto their property for financial gain. However, the rule of foreseeability plays a major factor in determining whether the lawsuit will be successful. If an automatic door suddenly goes on the fritz, the proprietor would have a strong argument for why the accident is not their fault. However, that almost never happens. Instead, the proprietor neglects to fix a door they know isn’t working properly and have to face a lawsuit to provide them enough motivation.

Product liability 

Companies that manufacture goods are strictly liable when their product malfunctions causing injury. Additionally, the company is liable for injuries caused by a product that isn’t malfunctioning but is still dangerous. Strict liability means that the plaintiff does not need to prove negligence. They need only establish that they were not using the product in a manner that could not be anticipated by the company. While children sometimes hurt themselves playing with automatic doors, most folks don’t use automatic doors inappropriately.

Types of accidents caused by automatic doors 

By and large, the most dangerous automatic doors are those on garages or those that are positioned overhead. However, the majority of lawsuits involve automatic doors at places like Walmart or Target where there is heavy customer traffic.

  • Pinch point accidents – These occur when a door closes abruptly. Hands, heads, feet, and more can be crushed under the pressure of the door.
  • Fall accidents – Malfunctioning automatic doors can easily knock an adult person to the ground. This can result in spine, knee, wrist, or head injuries.
  • Blunt force trauma – Doors that open or close suddenly can cause blunt force trauma injuries to an unsuspecting victim.

Largely, injuries sustained in these accidents occur because the injured party is taken completely unaware and may be carrying groceries or something else that would compromise their balance. You can sue for damages if you are injured by an automatic door. The Tampa personal injury attorneys at Palmer | Lopez can help you file a lawsuit against the proprietor who negligently maintained the door or the company that manufactured and installed the door. Call today for more details.

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