FAQs for Elevator and Escalator Injuries

Posted by josephfranks on March 26th, 2020

About 30 people die because of elevator or escalator accidents in the U.S per year; additionally, around 17,000 people face serious injuries. Statistically speaking, elevators are far more dangerous for commute as compared to escalators. Surveys and studies show that 90% of deaths and 60% of injuries in this scenario are associated with elevators. People working in or near elevator shafts are more susceptible to the accidents.

There are almost a million elevators in the U.S, whereas the total number of escalators is less than 40,000. However, escalators can carry a greater number of people at once, so it is not surprising than they have over 100 billion passengers per annum; on the contrary, elevators have less than 20 billion passengers. Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneyanswers a few significant questions that victims of elevator/escalator accidents may bear in mind:

Who is Liable for the Injuries?

Elevator and escalator accidents are commonly caused due to repair or maintenance issues. In most cases, the owner of the building is presumed at fault, but the maintenance company or manufacturer can also be held responsible. The property owner is supposed to make sure that all the elevators and escalators are properly installed, regularly maintained, and repaired when necessary. Some maintenance crews work independently, so the blame may come upon them. If a newly installed elevator malfunctions due to defected parts, the manufacturer appears as the primary culprit. Several cases are subject to shared fault, so two or more parties may contribute to the compensation.

What are the possible causes for elevator and escalator accidents?

Main causes for elevator accidents:

  • Defective parts or design
  • Door sensor failure
  • Falls/drops due to brake or cable failure
  • Unleveled with floors
  • Sudden floor shifts
  • Entrapment
  • Short circuit/electrical failure

Main causes for escalator accidents:

  • Defective parts or design
  • Loosened screws
  • Broken/missing steps
  • Stair movement malfunction
  • Caught clothes or shoes at the end of the steps
  • Electricity issues

What kind of injuries qualify for a lawsuit?

Escalator and elevator accidents can lead to dire injuries, which require immediate medical attention.

  • Fractures
  • Cuts/abrasions
  • Backbone injuries
  • Dislocated joints
  • Broken bones
  • Head wounds
  • Amputations

How does the Law categorize these accidents?

Escalator and elevator accidents are typically connected to violation of safety codes. The victim has the right to file a civil suit for corporal negligence. All cases are heard and investigated by the state court.

Is there a statute of limitations in these cases?

The statute of limitations is two years for filing against a private organization and one year for a public entity. In case of the latter, the claim shall be reported within 180 days.

Who files a wrongful death claim?

The deceased’s immediate relatives including a spouse, parents, and children are eligible for a wrongful death claim.

How to secure my personal injury claim?

  • Hire a personal injury attorney
  • See a doctor
  • Gather proof of the incident, i.e. document or photograph the scene, medical reports and pictures of injuries, contact info of witnesses, etc.
  • Immediately report the accident to the building’s management
  • Do not directly converse with your opponent’s lawyer or insurance provider
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