Elevators and escalators are a commonplace convenience for all of us. According to data from ConsumerWatch.com, elevators in the United States make 18 billion passenger trips a year. While escalators make an average of 105 billion passenger trips yearly. Despite the relative safety of these devices, accidents on elevators and escalators can cause serious injury if they are not properly maintained or if they are operated unsafely. Data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that accidents on elevators and escalators injure approximately 17,000 individuals per year in the United States.
The law requires that elevators must be professionally installed, repaired, maintained, and inspected. In Nevada, contractors and companies must be licensed in order to work on elevators throughout the state, and they must follow industry standards and recommended practices.
In addition, property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that elevators and escalators are safe for use. Routine inspections must be performed and any issues must be corrected by a contractor licensed by the State of Nevada to perform inspections and maintenance.
If you are injured on an elevator or an escalator, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries not only from the building’s owner, but from the repair and maintenance contractors, inspection companies, as well as equipment or parts manufacturers. Even if you were partially responsible for your injury, Nevada’s comparative negligence laws allow you to recover damages as long as the defendant was at least 50% at fault.
There are many reasons why elevator and escalator injuries occur:
- A design defect
- A manufacturing defect
- Lack of appropriate warnings/warning defect
- Improper installation
- Inadequate inspections and poor maintenance
- Inadequate training for maintenance personnel
- Mechanical/electrical failure such as faulty wiring leading to electrocution or entrapment
- Sudden stops
- Sudden reversals
- Sudden drops or falls
- Tripping hazards due to unbalanced leveling
- Lack of fall protection
- Inadequate handrails
- Too much space between escalator steps and sides causing shoelaces or pant legs to catch
- Missing or defective steps, leading to trip, slip and fall accidents
- Missing or broken teeth on the escalator track, causing trip and fall accidents.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in an escalator or elevator accident include:
- Strains and sprains
- Fractures or broken bones
- Electric shocks/electrocution
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Crushed limbs
- Head and traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Contusions and lacerations
- Degloving a digit or limbs
The Legal Process Can be Complex: We Are Here to Help
Recovering compensation for an elevator or escalator injury is complex and can involve multiple areas of personal injury law. If you are injured in an elevator or escalator accident, you may be entitled to bring claims for premises liability, negligence, as well as products liability.
A premises liability claim can arise when the property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the property, such as a defective elevator, and failed to correct or warn you about the condition.
A negligence claim may arise in situations where the property owner failed to properly maintain or inspect an elevator or escalator resulting in an accident that injured you. You may also be able to bring a negligence claim against inspectors or contractors that failed to properly inspect and maintain the elevator or escalator.
A product liability claim may be made against the manufacturer of the elevator or escalator, or any of its parts. This claim arises if there is evidence of a design, manufacturing, or warning defect that resulted in a condition that caused you harm.
An attorney can help you determine which claims that you may bring against the people or companies that caused you injury. If you were injured in an incident with an elevator or escalator an attorney can assist you in receiving compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, and the inability to live a normal life following your accident. At Van Law Firm, we have a team of people ready to assist you with documenting your expenses, filing your claims, hiring experts in the relevant fields, and representing your interests in a court of law.
We Can Help You Get Compensation For
- Emergency room care
- Doctor’s visits
- Physical Therapy
- MRI’s, X-rays, and other medical tests
- Medical Equipment: crutches, braces, wheelchairs, walkers etc.
- Reimbursement for child-care expenses
- Lost wages from work
- Compensation for pain and suffering including: PTSD, anxiety, depression, change in lifestyle, and loss of the use of body parts
Free & Confidential Consultation
Being injured is stressful enough. The accident you suffered could have impacted your ability to go to work, drive a car, and even pay for your bills. Here at Van Law Firm we have experienced attorneys in both Nevada and Washington that will help you determine if you have a claim against the property owner or responsible party for your injury. Our blogs, like the one you are reading right now, are designed to help you understand the legal process and the steps necessary to win. Please contact us for a free legal consultation at 702-529-1011.