Elevator and Escalator Accidents

Elevators and escalators can be found in many places, such as in offices, malls, and other buildings with multiple floors. These places are often accessible to the public, in the form of employees, businessmen, customers, and bystanders. Since they are accessed by a lot of people, property owners and equipment manufacturers should ensure that their elevators and escalators are in top condition to prevent accidents.

Still, elevator and escalator accidents happen. According to the website of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, elevator and escalator injuries may be subject to premises liability cases. The issue is serious enough that there are lawyers who specialize on them.

Elevator Accidents
Those who use elevators often do not have an idea how complex elevators are. These machines require incredible engineering disciplines, adequate materials, and proper maintenance to ensure that they are in their most optimal condition. The most common elevator accidents occur because of the following:

  • Abrupt opening and closing
  • Defective controllers
  • Failure to detect passengers in the doorway
  • Failure to stop adjacent to the floor of the building
  • Stopping in between floors
  • Sudden decrease in speed
  • Sudden increase in speed
  • Sudden stopping
  • Other defects due to maintenance issues

Escalator Accidents
Like elevators, escalators should be regularly maintained and inspected to prevent defects, malfunctions, and accidents. The most common causes of escalator accidents include:

  • Clothing and other materials getting caught in recess areas
  • Debris and trash that may cause slip and fall accidents
  • Getting trapped in escalator end-plates
  • Slippery substances
  • Sudden stopping
  • Shoe laces and other materials getting caught in escalator teeth

Possible Damages
Injury: The most common damage that can be sustained in these kinds of accidents is injury, particularly in small parts of the body that can be trapped between elevators and escalators, such as fingers, toes, and hair. But other more devastating injuries can also occur, such as traumatic head injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures in the arm, leg, and hip area, and even death.

Medical Costs: Most injuries sustained from these accidents require serious medical attention. Of course, medical professionals and hospitals are not without fees. A typical employee or family may not be able to afford the proper medical needs.

Loss of Earning Capacity: If you are injured, you will most likely lose your ability to earn money, temporarily or permanently. This can result into financial problems and lifestyle changes. This is particularly damaging if the victim is the primary earner in the family.

Medical Malpractice in the U.S.: A Sad and Scary Reality

Believe it or not, but many worst and life-threatening mistakes are committed by some of the most trusted, well-trained and licensed individuals in world; sadly, many of these mistakes are also committed in places where safety and quality care are supposed to be prime priorities, especially for those who are suffering from serious illnesses. Many of these people guilty of committing life-threatening mistakes are doctors and nurses (some of whom have been practicing for decades) and the places where these mistakes are committed are in hospitals, specially surgery rooms.

It may be absurd to hear or read about three different doctors injuring their respective patients because they committed the grave mistake of operating on their patients’ wrong side of the brain; however this medical error did happen. While accidentally leaving a medical instrument inside a patient’s body (and finding out about it days after the operation has been concluded when the patient begins to experience unexplainable pains) may already be a common, but how about a case wherein a patient, while being operated on, was accidentally set on fire? Or a patient whose healthy kidney, instead of the damaged one, was removed, the wrong testicle getting removed, or a wrong leg getting amputated.

At least 200,000 thousand cases of errors, resulting to serious injuries or patient death, are registered in the list of medical malpractices every year, according to an article posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The real number can be much greater, though, as many other cases are said to be kept hidden by hospital administrators themselves.

Likewise, thousands of doctors have been reported to have committed, and still continue to commit, medical errors, as investigations that will prove them either innocent or guilty, are still pending. Meanwhile, patients could only pray that they do not end up under the care of negligent or careless doctors.

“Personal injury law,” as explained by the Ali Mokaram law firm, “is a wide branch of tort law that encompasses civil cases brought against other citizens. These cases typically arise when the negligence of one person causes injury to innocent party. This negligence can be created through action or inaction either directly or indirectly. Frequently these cases result in compensatory damages to assist with the injuries incurred. Compensatory damages are designed to help the plaintiff to pay for the costs of recovering after the injury. These damages often include things such as lost wages, property damages, and lawyer fees.”