Whenever you are in a highly populated indoor area, you’re likely to come across elevators and escalators. These handy devices help us get from Point A to Point B quickly and efficiently, whether we’re walking through a train station, shopping center, airport, or an office building. Unfortunately, these widely used modes of transportation are far from foolproof. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 17,000 people are injured in elevator or escalator incidents each year. While escalators may seem trickier, elevators are actually far more dangerous, statistically speaking. Of the reported injuries, 60% of all serious incidents occurred in and around elevators, and 90% of the fatalities were due to elevator accidents.
If you or someone you love was injured in an elevator or escalator accident, make sure you know what to do to stand up for your rights and seek fair compensation for the damage you sustained. Read below to discover what you can do after an elevator or escalator incident.
Recognizing the Issue
There are several different ways an escalator or elevator could become dangerous. Because these machines are so commonplace, it’s easy to forget how destructive and dangerous they can be. Both elevators and escalators are very complex machines and if they are not properly taken care of, using them could be extremely risky.
The issues that cause escalator and elevator accidents vary, but they often involve problems associated with the electrical systems and the leveling on which the device was installed. Elevators installed over uneven or unstable flooring could have dangerously unbalanced levelling or issues lining up with the elevator shaft. Other elevator accidents might include pulley system malfunctions, wiring issues, and incidents involving open elevator shafts.
Accidents with escalators usually involve some type of entrapment, because of either the moving steps or the handrails. Loose clothing, hair, or other possessions might catch in the escalator, which could result in serious injuries or loss of a limb.
Identifying the Liable Party
Once you have identified the cause of the injury, the next step is to figure out who is liable for the damage you sustained. In most cases, the property owner where the escalator or elevator sits will be found responsible , though the device manufacturer or maintenance crew might also be to blame.
Potential problems with escalators and elevators include:
- Improper maintenance
- Unsuitable repairs
- Hazardous design
- Faulty equipment or parts
- Lack of proper safety response equipment
Depending on the reason for the accident and the circumstances of the injury, you, along with the wxperience of your attorney should be able to determine which party was responsible for the act of negligence that led to your injury.
One of the best ways to strengthen any personal injury case is to gather as much information about the incident as you can. If you were wrongfully injured, you will need to show insurance companies, and potentially the court, what injuries you suffered and how. The evidence you collect can include pictures of the accident site, recent medical records, photos of your injuries, witness testimonies, and the contact information of the building manager, owner, maintenance company, and manufacturer. If you are not sure what information you should collect, contact your personal injury attorney for further guidance.
Calling an Attorney
Once you’ve done your part, it’s time to seek professional help. If you or someone you love was injured in an elevator or escalator incident, you need to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will be able to determine if you have a case and help you seek justice and fair compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Do you think you have a case? Contact Samster Konkel & Safran today to discuss your elevator or escalator accident case with our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys.