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Elevator and Escalator Accidents

Contact Our Premises Liability Lawyers in Los Angeles

If you are like most people, you take elevators and escalators regularly. They smooth out and accelerate the process of getting up and down a multi-level building. When you use one of these devices, you expect it to be safe. You should not have to worry for your personal well-being. The management of the building in which you ride an escalator or elevator is responsible for the care and maintenance of the machine. If this does not happen, things will go wrong and people will end up injured.

It is estimated that escalator and elevator accidents cause about 17,000 injuries every year in the U.S. and cause nearly 30 deaths annually. Elevators accidents constitute about 90% of these fatalities and 60% of the injuries. Construction and maintenance workers are especially at risk, in that they must use specially designed elevators on site. However, everyone who uses one of these machines is at risk.

If you were injured on an escalator or elevator, then you should hold the company responsible for its maintenance to account. Hiring a Los Angeles personal injury attorney is the first step in doing so. An injury lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve for your elevator or escalator accident.

How Escalator and Elevator Accidents Occur

Gears, pneumatic devices, and electrical wires of all kinds come together to make these machines work. Escalators and elevators are designed to operate slowly and smoothly in order to give users a seamless ride. When they break down, stop and jerk abruptly, or collapse completely, they can cause serious injury.

Here are some of the most common reasons why these machines fail and cause accidents:

  • Design defect
  • Manufacturing defect
  • No caution signs
  • Improper installation
  • Lack of maintenance and inspection
  • Inadequately trained maintenance people
  • Faulty wiring
  • Mechanical and electrical failure
  • Inadequate handrails

Any of the above failures can cause sudden stops, reversals or drops or falls. They can also cause trip hazards. The company that owns the building in which the escalator or elevator runs is responsible for the maintenance. They are the ones that you should hold accountable for your injuries.

Dealing with the Consequences of the Accident

An elevator or escalator accident can cause serious injuries. You should always have yourself examined by a medical professional after you have been in one. It is the only way to know for sure how badly you were hurt. You will also need the notes taken by your physician if you are to submit a valid claim.

Here are some of the most common injuries sustained in such an accident:

  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Scrapes, cuts, and other contusions
  • Strains and sprains
  • Fractured bones
  • Crushed fingers and limbs
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Electric shock

It is especially easy for children to be injured in an elevator or escalator that is not working properly or does not have the proper safeguards in place. Children will be children: they will run, play, and fidget no matter how close you keep them. The company that runs the elevator or escalator must take into account the natural behavior of children before they operate it. They must order a design that is child proof, and that makes it impossible for children to be injured in the course of normal behavior.

If you have been seriously injured as a result of such an accident, then you may need to be hospitalized for some time. You may be forced to undergo a series of extensive and invasive medical treatments. You may be on your back and out of work for weeks and months. The cost of your injuries will add up over time. At some point, you will need to deal with the expenses.

Your Legal Claims

To get justice, you need an advocate. An attorney will help you take on the company that operates the escalator or elevator you were injured in. A premises liability attorney will sit down with you and work through the facts of your case and the demands you have of the company responsible for the accident.

Your property injury lawyer will ask you to recall the events leading up to the accident. It is okay if you don’t remember all the details. Your property injury liability lawyer needs just enough to establish the basis upon which you will pursue the case. They will launch an independent investigation into the accident and gather all the facts themselves.

Your lawyer will employ private investigators to investigate the situation and determine whether there is evidence of design, manufacturing, or product warning defect. If such a flaw is discovered, then you will have a foundation for pursuing a product liability claim.

Your attorney will also have the people responsible for operating and maintaining the machine investigated. If they failed to do their duty, then you can launch a premises liability claim against the owner or manager of the property. If your injury owes to the negligence, inattention, or recklessness of an operator or building worker, then you can file a personal injury claim against their employer.

In some instances, a combination of defect, maintenance failure, and worker negligence come together to cause an elevator or escalator accident. In such cases, you can file separate suits for all three things.

In your suit, you can seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of capacity to earn
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of consortium

Were you hurt on someone else’s property in Los Angeles? Attorneys who handle premises liability claims can help you get the compensation you deserve, and they will make it their sole purpose to get you the most money possible. And this is the important thing to remember. The job of a personal injury attorney is not to win cases in court; it is to get their clients compensation that is commensurate with their pain and suffering, and to do so in the least stressful and strenuous way possible.

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