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Elevator & Escalator Accidents

 Statistics 

Every day during the workweek, literally millions of Americans utilize elevators and escalators to access their offices in multi-storied buildings. Additionally, countless numbers of people ride escalators to take them from floor to floor inside department stores and malls; while condominium and apartment residents often opt to take the elevator to and from their units.

There are approximately 600,000 elevators in the United States, which is about twenty times the number of escalators. However, the numbers of individuals injured by the two modes of transport are almost equal. This means that you are twenty times more likely to be injured when you step onto an escalator as compared to riding in an elevator. Nevertheless, these numbers can be somewhat misleading because elevators are responsible for approximately 90% of the deaths and 60% of the serious injuries.

Overall, an average of 30 people are killed and more than 17,000 are injured each year in the United States due to elevator and escalator accidents. Injuries to those working on or near elevators account for almost half the death toll each year. These include the individuals who install, repair, and maintain the elevators as well as those working in or near elevator shafts.

Liability 

When riders are injured on an elevator or escalator, an investigation often reveals more than one potentially responsible party. First and foremost, the property owners have a legal duty to ensure that the elevator or escalator is in safe operating condition. They must conduct regular inspections and immediately alert the maintenance contractor of any issues that might otherwise be overlooked.

Many commercial properties are managed by a professional management company that has been hired by the property owner. The management company usually assumes the responsibility to ensure the safe condition of the property, including the elevators and escalators. If they fail to have these machines maintained properly, they may be held liable.

Lastly, because most property owners, and even management companies, do not have an in-house staff capable of elevator and escalator maintenance, they usually rely on an outside contractor. If there are shortcomings found in the maintenance of the elevator or escalator, much of the liability will fall to the contractor.

Shea Law Group

At Shea Law Group, our experienced legal team has handled hundreds of premises liability cases, with many involving elevator and escalator accidents.  If you or someone you love has been injured by an elevator or escalator, give us a call at (877)-365-0040 today. You have nothing to lose as you will never incur a fee unless we win your case for you.