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.