Mechanical escalators and elevators are used every day by millions of people in stores, hospitals, shopping malls, and office buildings around the world. These devices we’ve come to rely on must be properly maintained, however, or serious accidents may occur. If you were hurt on an improperly maintained escalator or suffered an injury while riding or disembarking an elevator, you have a legal right to seek compensation for your costs.
How Escalator or Elevator Injuries May Impact Your Life
For the vast majority of elevator or escalator rides, you can expect to reach your destination without even worrying about being hurt. Unfortunately, negligence on the part of a property owner could make your ride one of those few that aren’t safe. Due to the movement of the heavy mechanical parts involved, an injury can be extremely severe when an elevator malfunctions or a victim slips and falls on an escalator. Those injuries can be been caused by:
- Failing to regularly inspect and then service and maintain the elevator or escalator
- Handrails or steps on an escalator that are defective or damaged
- Tripping and falling if the elevator bottom or escalator stair don’t line up properly with the floor’s surface
- Sudden jolts in movement or fast drops between floors due to faulty, poorly maintained, or improperly repaired equipment
Broken bones are common in these types of accidents, with hands, arms, feet, legs, shoulders, pelvis, ribs, and more susceptible to breaking when you are injured. In more serious cases, elevator accidents can also lead to disfigurement, lacerations, spinal cord damage, and even traumatic brain injury. The latter often includes a host of associated problems that can require extremely expensive treatment for a prolonged duration.
Regardless of how the injury occurred, medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses can rack up to huge numbers very quickly that may drain your bank accounts, but that’s just the beginning. Depending on how you were hurt, you may have difficulty returning to work. In some cases, you might be unable to work at all.
Steps to Take After an Escalator or Elevator Injury
Unfortunately, you’ve still got bills to pay even while you can’t earn a wage after an escalator or elevator accident. Here’s where the law is on your side, though. You can recover compensation for your injury itself, emotional pain and suffering, and economic damages.
The two main routes to go here are seeking an insurance settlement or taking the negligent party to court to recover damages directly. In either case, you need an attorney backing you up to make sure you receive the full amount you deserve. A premises liability attorney works to protect your legal rights by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation to present compelling evidence of fault and negligence. The goal is to prove a negligent party was aware of the problem and failed to take reasonable steps to rectify the situation in a timely manner. This process may include sifting through photo and video evidence, obtaining employment and maintenance records, interviewing eyewitnesses, and consulting with experts in various fields.
- Determining who is specifically liable, whether that’s the property owner, store manager, a maintenance crew, or someone else.
- Utilizing medical records, eyewitness testimony, and employment experts to show the specific amount of compensation you are legally owed. An attorney can help here even if you had a pre-existing medical condition that was exacerbated by the injury.
- Taking the burden of the legal side of your recovery off your shoulders so you can focus on your physical recovery.
Get in Touch With an Experienced Premises Liability Attorney
Were you or someone you love seriously injured in an accident on an escalator or elevator? Give us a call or send the basic details of your case through our online contact form. We want to discuss the specifics with you and find out if a personal injury suit is the right way forward for your recovery.