Accidents in Escalators and Elevators Happen More Frequently Than You Might Imagine, Sometimes Resulting in Serious Injuries
Escalators and elevators undoubtedly make getting around easier. They can also be helpful for elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities or limited mobility. However, elevators and escalators are sometimes the source of serious and unexpected injuries.
The Center for Construction Research and Training analyzed statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Center found that approximately 17,000 people are seriously injured and dozens are killed by elevators and escalators every year. Elevators were found to be the main culprit, responsible for about 90% of the total number of deaths and 60% of the serious injuries. Additionally, research published by the National Library of Medicine found that 10,000 escalator-related injuries are serious enough to result in emergency department visits in the United States each year. Because these injuries can be catastrophic, it is essential that you work with an experienced elevator and escalator accident lawyer if you have been harmed in an accident of this nature in New Jersey.
Cohen & Riechelson has spent the last 5 decades helping injured victims and their families all over New Jersey with recovering financially and obtaining justice through personal injury lawsuits and successful settlements against negligent parties. Whether it’s a property owner, a management company, a building security company, a maintenance company, or another entity that is responsible for your escalator or elevator accident injuries, we can help. Call (609) 528-2596 for a free discussion and case review to go over your options for filing a lawsuit.
Frequent Causes of Elevator Accidents in NJ
Elevator accidents often occur because of malfunctions, such as dropping suddenly, unexpectedly stopping between floors, broken cables, jammed or malfunctioning doors, doors failing to close, broken elevator brakes, gaps between the elevator car and the shaft, failing to sense a person or body part in between closing doors, elevator platform collapse, and an unengaged door safety switch.
Many of these accidents occur because the building owner failed to adequately maintain the elevator or the elevator service company did not make repairs properly. Other instances of negligent maintenance and repairs may include failing to adequately train repair personnel, failing to put up clear signs and barriers for malfunctioning elevators, and continuing to allow out-of-service elevators to be operated by the public.
Leading Reasons for Escalator Accidents
Escalators can also cause serious injuries. Some of the most common causes of escalator accidents include abrupt acceleration, deceleration, or change in direction; speed is set too fast; unexpected movements; large gaps between escalator steps where clothing, jewelry, or body parts to get caught; low escalator rails; steep escalator angles; open sides
Typical Injuries Resulting from Escalator and Elevator Accidents
Most people drastically underestimate the potential danger that escalators and elevators can represent. However, accidents involving these contraptions can result in catastrophic and fatal injuries like crush injuries, including amputations or loss of fingers or toes. These accidents can also lead to skull fractures, concussions, and other traumatic brain injuries, along with fractured vertebrae and spinal cord injuries. Additional potential injuries include traumatic asphyxia, nerve injuries, organ damage and other fall injuries, disfigurement, sprains, strains, soft tissue injuries, and broken body parts. A catastrophic escalator or elevator accident could even result in death.
Proving Negligence that Caused an Escalator or Elevator Accident
Escalators, elevators, and walking sidewalks are present in many types of buildings, including hotels, airports, schools, malls, and government buildings. Accidents involving these apparatuses often cause significant damage, resulting in exorbitant medical bills, gruesome injuries, permanent disability, and considerable pain and suffering. You may have the right to recover compensation from the party responsible for your injuries, but you must first show the defendant was negligent.
In elevator and escalator accidents, one way to show negligence is by showing a maintenance failure. Elevator and escalator accidents are sometimes caused by faulty equipment after the property owner or service company has failed to maintain or regularly inspect the equipment. Many people frequently use escalators and elevators on a daily basis, so they can quickly become worn and need regular maintenance. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Elevator Safety Unit is responsible for regulating these apparatuses. If they are not regularly inspected and maintained, people can become injured as a result, and those entities can be held responsible for the harm victims suffer.
Some examples of failure to maintain equipment include not having equipment regularly inspected or letting certificates of compliance lapse. Failing to correct a problem with equipment once the property owner becomes aware of it or continuing to allow dangerous equipment to continue to be operated could result in serious injuries to those using the escalator or elevator.
Contact CR if You Have been Injured Using an Elevator or Escalator in New Jersey
If you were injured in an elevator or escalator accident, our experienced personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson can help. Our attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation to determine why the accident occurred and the factors that contributed to it. We can also demand documentation related to the inspection and maintenance of the equipment in question to determine if the property manager or equipment servicer failed to properly maintain the equipment. We will demand the fair compensation you deserve and never let intimidation or evasive tactics derail our quest for the highest possible financial award in your case.
Our lawyers handle accident claims for elevator and escalator injuries in Hamilton, Burlington, East Windsor, Pennington, Ewing, Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, and across Mercer County and the state of New Jersey. Contact us at (609) 528-2596 if you believe you may have a valid claim for an accident while riding on an escalator or using an elevator and someone else was at fault. Don’t delay in finding the legal advice and aggressive advocacy you need.