In California, there are hundreds of thousands of elevators and escalators in all types of buildings including apartment buildings, commercial office buildings and retail stores. Even though there are about twenty times more elevators in the state than escalators, the number of people injured or killed by these two modes of transportation are just about equal.
In California, operators of public escalators and elevators are considered “common carriers” because they move and guide people to and fro. Under law, common carriers must ensure that their passengers and the public are safe. They must use the utmost care and diligence to ensure passenger (and public) safety while making sure that the elevators and escalators are safe and fit for their intended purpose which is to move people.
When a common carrier such as an escalator operator does not maintain an escalator so that it is “safe and fit” as law dictates, that operator has failed to act with the greatest degree of safety, making the company liable for any injuries or deaths which take place on the poorly maintained or broken escalator.
Unfortunately, children are drawn toward escalators as they often look at these mechanical stairs as play things. Sadly, many children have been seriously injured on escalators as their tiny fingers were caught in the rail belts or their shoestrings or clothing were pulled into the step grates. Even when parents are being attentive and holding a child’s hand, there is still a risk of a child being injured while on an escalator as there are many moving parts which pose a hazard.
Hand and foot injuries are common in escalator accidents. An escalator that stops abruptly while people are using it can result in a victim falling and striking their head wherein he or she suffers a traumatic brain injury. Sometimes amputations happen when escalator riders and especially children get their fingers caught in the rail belt or step grates.
Hogan Injury helps individuals and their loved ones who have been severely injured in escalator accidents. The victims we assist typically have had their fingers, toes, shoes or articles of clothing stuck in the belts, grates, trusses, handrails and tracks wherein they’ve been badly hurt.
While taking an elevator is common practice and especially for those working or living in high-rise buildings, accidents do occur on elevators wherein people sustain serious injuries. It is common for elevator accident victims to injure their hands, arms, feet or legs when elevator doors slam shut unexpectedly. The owner or building manager is responsible for keeping the elevator inside the building in good working order. If the owner or building manager neglects to do so, anyone injured by the poorly-maintained or malfunctioning elevator can file a negligence lawsuit against the responsible party.
Slip and fall accidents happen frequently when people are getting on and off elevators when the chamber or cage of the elevator is not flush with the building floor. It is also common for people to become seriously injured when riding elevators as they attempt to hold the doors open for people getting on or off. Loose clothing, fingers, feet and hair often becomes trapped in the elevator doors, resulting in serious injuries.
Poor Maintenance of Elevators and Escalators
Equipment malfunction due to poor maintenance is a leading cause of elevator and escalator injuries. It is all too common for public and private building owners and property managers to fail to keep accurate, up-to-date maintenance records for their elevators and escalators.
When an elevator or escalator is maintained poorly, accidents can happen in which innocent people are injured. Doors on elevators can malfunction wherein victims sustain crush injuries to the hands, fingers, feet or toes. Abrupt, sudden stops on elevators can cause passengers to become hurt when they slam into the walls or fall to the floor. Someone using an escalator that is not maintained and repaired as needed, can fall down and become injured when the escalator suddenly speeds up or comes to an abrupt stop.
The San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Hogan Injury know how to successfully obtain compensation for their clients who’ve been injured in elevator and escalator accidents. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to collect important evidence in these types of cases which includes inspection reports and maintenance records. Call us today so we can speak with you about the accident and your injuries. We will provide you with honest answers to your questions and will inform you of all the legal options you have.