Elevators and escalators are commonly used throughout Ohio. They’re not just convenient—they provide access to people with limited mobility and facilitate moving physical items between floors. Over the previous decades, elevators and escalators have been tested, improved and regulated. As a result, accidents are relatively rare—but they do happen, and can cause serious injury or death.
How do these accidents happen? Who is legally at fault when someone is injured on an escalator or elevator?
Common causes of escalator and elevator accidents
Thousands of people are injured on escalators and elevators each year. Common causes of elevator accidents include open shafts and door malfunctions, forced enclosure, pulley malfunctions (leading to rapid descent) and electrical damage. Falls down open shafts are especially dangerous, and often fatal.
Escalator accidents are often due to broken “teeth” or steps, missing components and faulty electrical wiring. When fingers, toes, clothing or other items are caught between the moving steps, severe injuries can occur.
Who is responsible for an escalator or elevator accident?
Liability depends on the individual facts of each claim. Often, these types of injuries are litigated as a premises liability claim, which is a type of negligence action. The plaintiff must prove that the property owner or manager had a duty to keep the premises safe. Next, they must show that the owner or manager knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, failed to fix it or warn others in a timely manner and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual injuries.
Sometimes escalator and elevator accident claims are filed against the manufacturer or a third-party maintenance and repair company. For example, if a manufacturer sold a defectively designed or manufactured product, the plaintiff could sue the manufacturer for their injuries. Similarly, if the machinery was improperly installed, maintained or repaired, the maintenance and repair company could be held liable.
Plaintiffs may also contribute to their accident (for example, riding an escalator while intoxicated), but that isn’t necessarily a bar to recovering compensation.
The best way to determine who’s responsible for your escalator or elevator accident—and whether you have grounds to file a claim—is to talk to the Law Offices of Tim Misny.
Consult with an Ohio personal injury lawyer today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your elevator or escalator accident claim. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.