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Elevator Accident & Escalator Accident Personal Injury Attorneys

Elevator and escalator injuries can involve passengers as well as those who work on elevators and escalators. Elevator accidents and escalator accidents can cause serious injury or death. If you have been injured or a death has occurred due to a safety violation injury incident involving an elevator or escalator, the responsible parties should be held accountable in court to prevent it from happening to others. The personal injury lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, P.C. have the experience and resources necessary to handle elevator accident or escalator accident cases.

Causes of Elevator Accidents & Related Elevator Injury

Elevators are used by people every day as a mode of transportation as well as a means to transport goods. We get on and off elevators regularly not giving much thought to the complicated pieces of machinery we are utilizing. Regular and appropriate maintenance of elevators is a necessity to ensuring they operate safely and correctly. Elevator accidents can occur for various reasons as listed below:

  • Lack of maintenance
  • Defective elevator parts
  • Elevator suddenly stops
  • Elevator suddenly drops
  • Elevator gets stuck for long period of time
  • Elevator unexpectedly slows down or speeds up
  • Elevator doors get stuck
  • Elevator doors unexpectedly open or close
  • Elevator doors do not open level with the floor surface
  • Elevator cables snap or mechanical problems cause elevator to free fall down the car passage
  • Elevator doors hit people
  • Elevator doors open into empty elevator shafts
  • Open unprotected elevator shaft
  • Faulty elevator wiring

Depending on the severity, the injuries sustained from elevator accidents can be traumatic and devastating. Everyone from children to the elderly passengers and elevator installation and maintenance workers are subject to elevator accidents and related injuries. Elevator injuries can range from minor trip and fall injuries to asphyxiation, bone fractures, lacerations, back injuries, head injuries and even death.

Escalator Accident Victims | Causes of Escalator Accidents & Related Escalator Injury

As with elevators, escalators are commonly used by people of all ages, ranging from children to the elderly, and are located in a myriad of locations such as malls, department stores, arenas, theaters, office buildings, subways, airports, and hospitals. Also as with elevators, those who utilize escalators do so without much thought, unfortunately until an accident occurs. Escalator accidents are caused by various reasons as listed below:

  • Sudden stop
  • Surface is wet causing a slip and fall accident
  • Clothing, hair, shoes or fingers are caught in escalator steps or side wall
  • Limbs are trapped between closing steps
  • Loose, missing or collapsing escalator steps
  • Lack of safety features (e.g., emergency stop button)
  • Unsafe building specifications of escalator
  • Mechanical malfunction
  • Unexpected movement and/or speed change

Although escalators accidents are not very common in comparison to other personal injury accidents, the injuries sustained are usually quite serious. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (SPSC) estimates that approximately 6,000 hospital emergency room visits occur annually due to escalator accidents.* Seventy-five percent of these escalator accidents are due to falls, and another 20% occur as a result of hands, feet or shoes trapped in escalators.*

Because escalators have very powerful motors and because of their design (i.e., area where the moving stairway enters the recess area) injuries can be extremely painful and traumatic. Escalator accident injuries include:

  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Avulsion
  • Head injury
  • Back / spinal cord injury
  • Digit or limb fracture
  • Digit or limb amputation
  • Tendon and nerve damage
  • Lacerations
  • Death

Elevator Accident & Escalator Accident Liability

Various parties can be held liable for elevator accidents and escalator accidents, including but not limited to elevator and escalator manufacturers, maintenance companies, property owners and/or operators, and building management and maintenance staff. Elevator accident and escalator accident injury lawsuits will primarily fall under premises liability law or product liability law depending upon the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Premises Liability

In cases where personal injuries are sustained due to an elevator accident or escalator accident caused by unsafe conditions and/or lack of proper elevator or escalator maintenance, premises liability law would apply because the owners/operators of the building are responsible to ensure the elevator and/or escalator operates properly and safely.

Product Liability

In cases where personal injuries are sustained and are caused by a defective elevator or defective escalator, product liability law would apply because the elevator or escalator was either designed, constructed or manufactured improperly. In addition, if the elevator or escalator was not inspected or tested before it was sold, or there was failure to adequately warn against risk associated with their use, there would also be grounds for a product liability lawsuit in the event injuries were sustained.

Escalator Safety Tips

Below is a list of safety tips that can be utilized to help prevent escalator accidents:

  • Be aware that loose shoe laces, drawstrings, scarves and mittens can get caught in escalators
  • If you child’s clothing still has drawstrings, remove them
  • Hold children’s hand
  • Do not let children sit or play on escalator
  • Do not bring children on escalators in strollers, carts, or walkers
  • Always face forward and hold hand rails
  • Avoid edges of steps where entrapment can occur
  • Learn where escalator emergency shut off is located *

Experienced NJ Personal Injury Accident Attorneys at the Clark Law Firm, PC Handle Elevator Accident or Escalator Injury Safety Violation Cases

Expert testimony can be a critical component of preparing for your elevator accident or escalator accident claim. Their expertise and testimony can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Also, determining the type of liability and liable party or parties responsible for your elevator accident or escalator accident injuries can be a challenging process. This entire process requires experienced accident lawyers with the knowledge and resources necessary to handle the complexities of this type of case. If you have suffered injuries from an elevator or escalator accident due to someone else’s negligence, justice demands the responsible parties be held accountable and make up for the harms and losses. Otherwise they will be more likely to repeat the dangerous conduct, thereby making the community less safe. Harms and losses that can occur in a safety violation injury case include your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, disability and loss of enjoyment of life. If you or a loved one have been a victim of an elevator or escalator accident, contact the NJ personal injury lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, P.C., today to see to it that justice is served.

* http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5111.pdf

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