Elevators and escalators are common conveniences that many of us take for granted (until they are out of order!) at places like malls, airports, apartment buildings, hospitals, department stores and hotels.
Although both inventions seem rather harmless, malfunctions can result in serious injuries such as brain damage, broken bones, back injuries, lost limbs and even wrongful death.
Property owners have an obligation to keep their premises safe. If you have been injured due to an elevator or escalator that has malfunctioned, contact the elevator and escalator accident attorneys at the Mann Law Firm to handle your claim. Our office in Macon serves all of Middle Georgia, including Dublin, Warner Robins and Milledgeville. Contact us for a thorough case evaluation by calling (478) 742-3381 or by filling out this form.
In the U.S., there are an estimated 900,000 elevators, each serving an annual average of 20,000 people and making 18 billion passenger trips per year. The vast majority of these elevators are located within properties with an average rise of 4 to 5 floors, and each elevator averages about 5 people per trip. Injuries from elevators affect about 10,200 people per year and about 27 people are killed in elevator accidents each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Accidents happen despite the fact that there are specific regulations governing elevator installation and that every elevator is subject to routine inspection and maintenance requirements. Elevator accidents occur unexpectedly and can affect anyone.
Injuries may occur when an elevator:
- Suddenly drops, stops or speeds up
- Gets stuck
- Stops between floors
- Fails to open or close its doors
- Closes its doors on a rider
- Falls due to strained cables or brake failure
- Fails to level with the floor, causing riders to trip when entering or exiting
- Has faulty wiring that electrocutes riders.
In the U.S., there are an estimated 35,000 escalators, each serving an average of 12,000 people per year. Collectively, U.S. escalators make 105 billion passenger trips per year. In a study of escalator deaths from 1992 to 2003, the CPSC reported 24 non-work-related escalator deaths of passengers in the U.S., for an average of about two deaths per year. The CPSC estimates that falls cause 75 percent of the 6,000 escalator injuries per year in the U.S.
These accidents occur despite the fact that escalators are subject to state safety code regulations. Accidents may be caused by improper installation, neglected inspections, or improper maintenance. Most cases involve falls, or body parts or clothing articles being sucked into the point where the moving stairway enters the recess area. Injuries may occur when an escalator suddenly stops, has a wet surface, or has loose metal teeth that may hook onto clothing, fingers, or toes. Escalator accidents can result in horrific injuries, such as loss of skin, permanent scarring and bone fractures.
Escalator and elevator accident cases can be complicated. The kinds of financial compensation you can collect will vary, depending upon liability, how the accident occurred, the nature of the injuries and the damages sustained. In general, compensatory damages for an elevator accident or an escalator accident can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Current and future medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death.
In order to receive any money damages, you need an experienced lawyer who can clearly establish that the injuries were someone else’s fault.
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