Elevator and Escalator Accident

Serving Daytona, Deltona and Palm Coast

(updated 2/22/2017)

Florida has thousands of escalators and elevators operating throughout the state, generally getting people from floor to floor without incident. Unfortunately, these devices are occasionally involved in accidents, sometimes resulting in serious bodily injury. Because of the inherent risk that these vehicles pose, both elevators and escalators are regulated by both state law and administrative regulations. These rules require both elevators and escalators to be inspected on an annual basis by a certified elevator inspector.

In addition, the regulations applicable to escalators and elevators set certain standards regarding device safety and operation. If a victim is injured by an escalator or elevator that is not compliant with the relevant regulations, it may be sufficient to establish legal liability on the part of the individual or party responsible for the maintenance of the device. As a result, people who are injured in an elevator or escalator accident should be certain to discuss their case with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as they can.

Common Causes of Elevator and Escalator Accidents

As with other types of personal injury cases, victims must be able to establish that their accident was the result of someone else’s negligence in order to be able to recover. In the context of elevators and escalators, there are many potential ways that negligence could lead to an accident. For example, negligence on the part of the company that designed the elevator itself could result in mechanical failure, as could negligence on the part of the company that installed and inspected the elevator. 

In addition, if routine inspection failed to spot an issue with one of these devices, the inspector or his or her employer could potentially be held liable for any injuries that occurred as a result. Some of the more common ways that elevator and escalator accidents occur include:

  • Improper installation
  • Sudden stops
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Entrapment between moving parts
  • Improper design
  • Equipment failure
  • Elevator stopping between floors
  • Defective safety devices
  • Elevator drops or falls
  • Missing or broken railings

In addition to actions based on negligence, the legal doctrine of Negligence per se may be implicated in elevator or accident cases. Negligence per se, states that statutory or administrative regulations may be used to establish the relevant standard of care. In other words, if an elevator or escalator was not in compliance with the applicable regulations and an accident occurred as a result, this might be sufficient to establish legal liability and allow victims to recover for their injuries.

Injuries Caused by Elevator or Escalator Accidents

Elevator and Escalator accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries, including broken bones, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and emotional trauma. Fortunately for victims, these and other types of injuries may be compensable by filing a personal injury claim. The types of damages available after an accident in Florida include:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Loss of consortium

Cases involving elevator and escalator accidents can be very complicated, often involving highly technical and specific regulations. As a result, it is advisable for anyone injured in one to discuss their case with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Call us at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation.

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