What would life be without elevators and escalators? Getting to the high floors in those skyscrapers would be a nightmare. Shopping in large malls would be unbearable. You would have to lug heavy bags up and down hundreds of stairs. It would be enough to discourage even the most ardent shopper.
While escalators and elevators are life savers, they can also present a threat to our safety. Though not very common, elevator and escalator accidents do occur. If you’ve been injured in such an accident, you may be wondering who can be held liable and how to seek compensation for your injuries.
Common causes of escalator and elevator accidents
The causes of elevator and escalator accidents include:
- Mechanical breakdown
- Faulty wiring
- Incomplete or poor repairs
- Improper or lack of frequent inspection
- Lack of or failure of safety devices
- Entrapment on an escalator
- Sudden stops, drops or reversal of direction
- Design flaws
Duty of care
Millions of people use elevators and escalators on a daily basis. Most people take it for granted that escalators and elevators will function properly. However, when something goes wrong with these contraptions, it can be a catastrophe.
There are detailed laws that cover elevator and escalator installation, maintenance and inspection throughout the country. Different states and local authorities have laws that are specific to elevator and escalator installation, maintenance and inspection. Specialized training is required to ensure that these codes and laws are not violated.
Despite the stringent laws and codes, incidents still do occur. When these incidents occur, there are several parties that can be held liable.
- The property owner: property owners are responsible for ensuring that elevators and escalators on their property are safe to use and operating properly.
- Property managers: many property owners rely on property managers to manage their buildings. These professionals are responsible for the maintenance, inspection and repair of the elevators and escalators on the property.
- Servicing company: these companies are employed to inspect, maintain and repair escalators and elevators. They are responsible for ensuring that they are working correctly.
- Manufacturers: you can hold a manufacturer liable for an accident if it is found that a component they were responsible for manufacturing was faulty, resulting in the accident.
A thorough investigation is required in order to determine the cause of the escalator or elevator accident. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in an elevator or escalator accident, you will have to prove that the negligence of one or more parties caused your accident in order to recover damages.