Orange County Elevator and Escalator Accident Lawyers
Elevators and escalators are everywhere. From the local mall to your apartment building, you’re likely to ride these machines thousands of times throughout your life. Unfortunately, like all machines, elevators and escalators can be faulty, and ultimately lead to harm and injury.
The attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have seen just how dangerous both elevators and escalators can be. If you or someone you loved one has been injured on an elevator or escalator due to an act of negligence, then you are likely feeling at a loss on what to do next. Call us at (949) 752-7474. With our decades of experience, we’ll be able to guide you through the claims process. Hold those who caused your injury accountable for their actions. Contact us today.
In the movies, elevators fall seemingly all the time. The cord snaps and the elevator plummets down the shaft. The truth is, however, that most elevator accidents don’t happen this way. There are countless safety measures in place in order to prevent elevators from falling. Generally, there is more than one cord holding an elevator up, so that if one snaps, the others can still hold the elevator up. The shaft also has brake systems, designed to slow the descent of the elevator down considerably. More than likely, if a cord were to snap, you would not plummet to your demise.
However, that does not mean that elevators don’t still pose a risk. Elevator injuries happen all the time, they just may not be what you imagine them to be. Some of the most common causes of injuries are trip and fall accidents, which occur when the elevator doors opening before the elevator is fully lined up with the floor.
Doors can also close with too much force. If you stick out a hand or foot in order to keep the doors from closing, maybe so you can catch an elevator that is about to leave or because you wanted to help someone else get on, and the doors close too quickly or with too much power, then your hand or foot could be crushed.
Of course, the elevator can also become stuck, trapping you between floors. When this happens, you will need assistance immediately, but sometimes the call box within the elevator is not operating, leaving you unable to get help. While there may not be any immediate danger in this case, if you are left there for a long period of time, you may experience psychological trauma. Not to mention, if the elevator is crowded when it becomes stuck then the box can quickly become overheated, and potentially lead to issues such as heat stroke.
There are many injuries you can suffer from due to elevator accidents. Some of the most common ones we have seen in our clients are:
- Broken, fractured, and crushed bones
- Brain injuries
- A fractured skull
- Spinal injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Crush injuries
Unlike elevators that wait between floors until they are called, escalators are on a constant rotation, allowing people to get on immediately, rather than wait for it to begin moving. Because of this, escalators experience a great deal of wear and tear. The property owner may not bother with regular maintenance, since that would require stopping the escalator and taking it apart. There’s no telling how long a repair will work, and the longer an escalator is out of service the more congested the other methods of going floor to floor become.
An elevator provides a secure environment for riders. While a sudden stop can cause you to lose your balance and fall, there isn’t any metal machinery where you are about to land When escalators suddenly stop or jolt, however, there are dozens of sharp, metal stairs that will cause incredible injury should you lose your balance. Children and older people are particularly susceptible to falls on escalators. Children are often not tall enough to hold on to the handrail, and elderly folk can be weaker and have a harder time staying stable.
Common injuries victims of escalator accidents suffer are:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Severe bruising
- Traumatic brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal damage
One of the first steps when filing an Orange County personal injury claim is figuring out who is liable for your injuries. A good attorney will be able to investigate this issue for you and find out who should be held accountable. For elevator and escalator accidents, there are a few parties that are commonly found to be at fault, including:
Property owner: The owner of the property that you were injured on has a certain level of duty of care. Guests should be able to expect that they stay safe while riding an escalator or elevator. If the owner neglected to provide proper maintenance or regular inspections to their escalators and elevators, and if a guest is hurt on one of these machines, then the owner could be considered responsible for the injury.
Mechanic: If a mechanic fails to provide proper maintenance, perhaps missing an obvious malfunction, and that malfunction goes on to cause injuries, then they may be responsible for said injuries.
Manufacturer: There is always the chance that the manufacturer of the escalator or elevator did a poor job building it. This could result in there not being proper safety mechanisms in an elevator to prevent it from falling, or in an escalator that rotates too quickly, making it difficult for riders to keep their balance. If the manufacturer failed in their job of creating a safe machine, then they may be held liable for the injuries that that machine causes.
In premises liability cases, which elevator and escalator accidents fall under, there are two areas that you can recover damages from. The first is economic. Economic damages include anything that impacted your life financially. Often, this means some sort of monetary loss. When filing a personal injury claim, people will often seek out damages for medical bills, lost wages due to time they had to take from work, and, if their injuries have made it difficult or impossible to continue working in their field, the loss of job opportunities.
On the other hand, there are also non-economic damages you may be able to claim. Non-economic damages refer to anything you suffered that did not impact you monetarily. That can include things such as emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and a lowered quality of life. Non-economic damages are meant to help you with the burden that the injury caused, and not all burdens are financial. Winning non-economic damages can help ensure that your life remains as comfortable as possible.
Escalator and elevator accidents are no laughing matter. They’re serious and can have a severe impact on your life. If you have been injured on an elevator or escalator due to someone else’s bad choices, then you need an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney by your side, fighting for you and your rights. We at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie know the ropes, and know-how to provide strong legal help for our clients. Don’t hesitate, contact us today at (949) 752-7474.
Elevator Injury Verdicts and Settlements
- $200,000 - Elderly woman and son injured
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