You may not think taking an escalator or elevator could pose a safety hazard, but accidents involving these machines are very common. Escalators in particular cause thousands of accidents each year. Unfortunately, these incidents are usually serious because they often involve elderly people or small children. If you’ve been hurt by an elevator or escalator, call an experienced attorney to discover if you are eligible for compensation.
One recent study looked at 305 reported escalator accidents worldwide. 29% of these resulted in fatalities. A safety consultant involved in the study stated that the vast majority of industry professionals “[fail] to realize that this is a major problem.” The study found essentially two types of falls that occur on escalators: falling on the escalator and falling over the escalator. Contributing causes can include:
While many accidents involve passengers acting inappropriately, such as sitting on the handrails, there are still cases where an incident occurred through no fault of the passenger. Getting a shoe caught in the steps or clothing caught in a cracked handrail are possible accident causes. Children with caught fingers or toes in the tracks are another way injuries occur. People who understand their disabilities will likely use the elevator, whereas the elderly may feel able-bodied and assume they can use escalators without incident, leading to an injury.
One of the most common causes of escalator accidents are issues with escalator. While using the escalator inappropriately can contribute to accidents and injuries, even the correct use of an escalator could go wrong if the equipment contains a dangerous defect or the escalator malfunctions. Proper escalator care and maintenance are critical for passenger safety. A mistake in an escalator’s production, assembly, installation, repair or maintenance could make it unreasonably dangerous for users. Identifying the cause of your escalator accident is necessary so you can file a claim against the correct defendant.
If the escalator defect traces back to the equipment’s design or manufacture, the manufacturing company could be liable for a related accident and/or injury. You might have a product liability lawsuit on your hands in this case. If, however, the owner of the property was negligent in inspecting, repairing and maintaining the escalator, you might have a premises liability claim instead. Our attorneys at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert can help you identify the proper defendant in your escalator accident claim.
While not as common as escalator accidents, elevator accidents do occur. They often result in serious or fatal injuries. One study found elevator accidents cause about 27 deaths per year, but that doesn’t account for non-fatal injuries. Additionally, an OSHA report found employees in the elevator industry are at risk for falls, electrical shocks, and other injuries. Elevators do have many more safety features than escalators, which is why accidents are less common.
Elevator accidents can happen for many of the same reasons as escalator accidents; namely, human error and negligence. Elevators are complex pieces of equipment with many moving parts and pieces. If any piece does not function as intended, the entire elevator could malfunction or break down – potentially causing worker or passenger injuries. While working on an elevator, many issues could lead to accidents.
As an elevator passenger, problems with the elevator’s construction, design, manufacture or installation could lead to malfunctions that cause injuries. Poor installation may lead to elevator mis-leveling, for example, or stopping in between floors. A passenger could trip on the lip of the floor and suffer an injury in this situation. It often takes a lawyer and a team of investigators to fully understand the cause of an elevator or escalator accident. If negligence played a role, the lawyer may be able to bring a claim against the at-fault party.
Negligence is often to blame for escalator and elevator accidents.
Negligence is often to blame for escalator and elevator accidents. Many of these disasters are preventable with due care and attention to detail by the parties involved – including device manufacturers, installers, repair teams and users. Someone might owe you compensation if that person or entity negligently caused your escalator or elevator accident. There are several situations where this is the case:
These examples boil down to the fact that property owners and escalator/elevator manufacturers must ensure passenger safety. Failing to do so, whether through improper maintenance or flawed design, constitutes negligence. If you believe someone else’s neglect caused your accident, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
A personal injury attorney will help you file a claim against the appropriate party. It can be hard to file a claim on your own. You might miss an important filing requirement, for example, or settle for less than your injuries are worth. An attorney can assist you with every stage of the claims process, from the initial filing of the claim to negotiating for fair compensation.
An escalator or elevator accident can lead to medical bills, lost time at work, pain and suffering, and other repercussions. You don’t have to manage these difficulties alone. A personal injury claim may get you the compensation you need to pay medical bills, restore finances, and get peace of mind to recover.
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, based in Dallas, helps clients who are suffering throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. We are proud to be part of the 2% of Board Certified Personal Injury attorneys in the state. Our firm will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation and there is no fee or expense unless you recover. Contact us today to discuss your case.