A comprehensive look into automated entry gates, gate injuries, gate maintenance, and gate service providers. How to determine responsibility of involved parties and understand what leads to a claim. Specific technical aspects associated with motor controllers and gate functions are intentionally omitted from this article. This article is not intended to be a training manual for automatic gate operators for the general public. It is derived from many years of personal experience as an installer, service provider, and retained gate expert witness.
Property entry gates that are automatically operated by adjacent motor controllers are responsible for a myriad of different types of claims ranging from vehicular damage to wrongful death.
In this article, generic automated motor controlled devices and related triggering mechanisms will be explained, products and their applications and installations will be examined, and reasons for injuries and property damage will be explored. Requirements for service providers and service contract agreements will be addressed. Personal injuries associated with both defective and properly working gate products will be discussed.
Typical gate injuries and property damage occur in a variety of ways. It is not uncommon to have a swinging, sliding, or pivoting gate come into contact with a vehicle in the gates path of travel. Many personal injury and property damage claims have arisen from physical contact with a PROPERLY operating gate system or the way that the particular gate system is used or abused. Other personal injuries and wrongful death claims have been the result of an IMPROPERLY maintained and malfunctioning gate system.
Two distinct categories of damage and injury claims can result from either PROPERLY operating and functioning systems or IMPROPERLY and unsafely maintained systems.
PROPERLY OPERATING GATE SYSTEMS
Property damage or personal injuries resulting from inappropriate usage of a properly operating gate system. Three examples of different types of incidents that can occur due to poor personal choices.
Multiple vehicles attempt to exit a parking gate designed for single vehicle function. The subsequent vehicle, sometimes referred to as a “piggy back”, attempts to exit through a gate that is set up to allow only one vehicle to exit with each cycle. The gate closes on the unauthorized car and damages both the vehicle and the gate system.
A pedestrian attempt to enter an area through an already moving closing gate meant for vehicles only. The gate makes contact with the pedestrian, continues to close and severely injures the person as the closing cycle is completed.
An uninformed or unaware workman fails to disable a motor controller. An irresponsible action of a person in close proximity to an automated gate or operator mechanism is severely injured, crushed, or killed. Inappropriate entanglement with a properly functioning gate mechanism is usually directly attributable to the personal responsibility of the injured party.
IMPROPERLY OPERATING GATE SYSTEMS
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