Have you ever been on an escalator that seemed like it was moving far too fast to be safe? Or one that "stuck" at points, throwing you off balance and causing you to grip the handrail for dear life. One incident like that is enough to make you hunt down the nearest elevator instead.
Except that may not be much safer. Have you ever tripped and fallen (or nearly fallen) getting on or off an elevator because it wasn't quite level with the floor when it came to a stop? Or have you ever been on an elevator that "bounced" suddenly after you thought it was stationary?
Slip-and-fall accidents and trip-and-fall accidents on escalators and elevators can be devastating. Victims can suffer broken arms, broken hips, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and death as a result of an elevator or escalator accident. While there are situations where the injured party may be wholly or partially responsible for an accident, there are also plenty of times where the victim is merely a victim -- who couldn't have avoided the accident if he or she tried.
So, who can be held liable for an elevator or escalator accident? Here are some possibilities:
- The property owner -- Property owners are supposed to maintain a reasonably safe premise for their patrons and guests. If the elevator or escalator had been having problems, the property owner should have had it shut down and repaired before an accident happened.
- The maintenance company -- Sometimes, elevators and escalators are badly maintained. The property owner may not know that a maintenance company isn't really doing the proper inspections or repairs.
- The manufacturer -- Sometimes, an elevator or escalator is badly designed. A manufacturer may have paid more attention to "form" than "function" and opted for an eye-pleasing aesthetic design that just wasn't safe. Escalators that don't have emergency stop buttons in easy reach are a prime example.
If you or a family member slipped, tripped or fell due to a malfunctioning or badly designed elevator or escalator, find out more about your potential right to compensation for your injuries.