You can find escalators and elevators all over, in malls, apartment buildings, and offices. Despite the relative safety of these machines, accidents can still happen. Elevator or escalator accidents, while rare, can cause serious injury to those involved. According to the CDC, these accidents kill about 30 people every year and injure about 17,000 people.
Michigan building owners have a legal duty to ensure their premises are safe for employees, visitors, customers, and guests. If you were injured because of an escalator or elevator accident, it’s best to speak with a personal injury attorney. They can investigate your claim and help calculate your losses.
What Causes Elevator or Escalator Accidents
Technology is deeply rooted in our lives. Over the years, it’s become more reliable, but escalators and elevators can still break down from time to time. For the most part, these breakdowns are just an inconvenience, but they can lead to a catastrophe.
Causes of Elevator Accidents
Elevator accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. A person may fall into the shaft if the elevator doors malfunction and open before the elevator arrives. There are even rare cases where someone becomes trapped at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Other injuries can come from the elevator doors closing on a passenger or when a car is mid-leveled, causing a passenger to trip as they enter or exit the elevator.
Causes of Escalator Accidents
The most common cause of an escalator accident is when the machine stops unexpectedly, causing people to fall forward or backward. The escalator step may also stop short of the floor, causing the person to take an unexpected large step to the ground, resulting in injury.
Who’s Liable in an Escalator or Elevator Accident?
When an injury results from an escalator or elevator, it’s crucial to determine who’s liable for the accident. However, determining liability may not be as straightforward as it would be in a car crash. There are different parties you may be able to hold responsible.
- Property owner: The property owner is typically the one responsible for escalator and elevator accidents. The building owner is responsible for all installation and maintenance operations. If there’s an issue with the installation, or they fail to check the installation company’s credentials properly, they could be liable.
- Maintenance company: Similarly, the people who installed the escalator or elevator may be responsible for any injuries. While property owners are usually in charge of maintenance, there are some cases where the maintenance company operates separately. In this case, there may be shared liability between the maintenance company and the property owner.
- Manufacturing company: Manufactures may also be liable for an accident. These cases typically involve defective parts and require an investigation of the machine.
If you were not trespassing and had a legal right to be on the premises, you have a legal right to seek compensation for your injuries. The escalator and elevator accident attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who is at fault for your accident.
What to Do after an Elevator or Escalator Accident
After an elevator or escalator accident in Michigan, you should first contact an attorney. To seek damages for your injuries, you must prove that the responsible party was negligent and their negligence caused your injuries. Our experienced team of attorneys will work to prove:
- The property owner, maintenance company, or manufacturer had a reasonable duty of care
- The duty of care was broken through negligence
- Your injuries were a result of that negligence
- Those injuries resulted in lost income or other damages
You have three years to file a personal injury claim after an accident in Michigan. But don’t wait to contact us. The sooner you do, the more help we can be.
Obtain Legal Representation from Skilled Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one was involved in an elevator or escalator accident, you need the help of a trusted attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at the Michigan Legal Center will fight for you to obtain the compensation needed to cover medical bills or lost wages. With more than 20 years of experience, we consider it a privilege to fight for Michigan residents.
Call (248) 886-8650 or complete a contact form to schedule a free consultation.