When you need to move from floor to floor, elevators, and escalators are an immense convenience, and sometimes they’re the only feasible solution (when you’re carrying a child and hauling a massive shopping bag, for example). Elevators and escalators are naturally complicated machines with carefully calibrated moving parts that require scheduled upkeep and maintenance. When property owners fail to employ the necessary vigilance in relation to their elevators and escalators, dangerous accidents can be the result. If you have been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced elevator/escalator accident lawyer in your corner.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents Happen
The fact is that elevator and escalator accidents happen far too often, and they are often exceptionally dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the following statistics:
- Accidents involving elevators and escalators leave about 17,000 people injured in the United States every year.
- There are about 30 fatal elevator and escalator accidents every year in the United States.
- Elevators are responsible for about 90 percent of all fatal elevator and escalator accidents and for about 60 percent of all elevator and escalator accidents that lead to serious injuries.
- About half of all elevator-related deaths are workers engaged on or near an elevator, including workers engaged in installing, repairing, or maintaining an elevator – or who are working on or in an elevator shaft.
Elevator and escalator accidents are all too real, and if you’ve been so injured, don’t wait to reach out to an experienced elevator accident lawyer or escalator accident lawyer.
The kinds of accidents that are often associated with elevator and escalator accidents are falls and crushing accidents – both of which are extremely dangerous accident categories that can lead to very serious injuries.
A broken bone is an extremely painful injury that is slow to heal and vulnerable to secondary health concerns if the break fails to heal correctly. Complications can include chronic pain and a seriously decreased range of motion.
Spinal Cord Injuries
An injury to the spinal cord is associated with serious pain and decreased range of motion. If the spinal cord is either severed or seriously damaged, the results are paralysis, which is a life-altering injury that requires ongoing treatment and care.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are generally the result of a blow to the head, and the consequences of a serious TBI can be devastating. The psychological damage involved can be even more significant than the physical damage.
Injuries to internal organs, which are common to crushing accidents, are exceptionally dangerous, and because these injuries sometimes hide in plain sight (with no discernable symptoms), they can evolve into even more serious injuries before the necessary medical treatment is obtained.
The Elements of Your Claim
There are generally four basic elements to any accident claim, but the first element – duty of care – is almost guaranteed in elevator and escalator accidents. If you are a customer, shopper, client, patient, or any other kind of guest at a commercial property that has elevators and/or escalators, the property owner or manager owes you a duty of care that includes keeping the elevators and escalators up to safety standards that are set by legal code.
In order to bring a successful elevator or escalator accident claim, the property owner or manager must have breached the duty of care owed to you. If the elevator or escalator is not up to code, is not properly maintained, presents a slipping and falling risk, or involves any other danger that is outside the range of what is reasonable, the property owner or manager’s duty of care owed to you and every other guest is breached.
The next element is that the property owner or manager’s breach must be the cause of your injury-causing accident. For example, if the door on an elevator you enter is not calibrated correctly and it entraps you when it slams shut, the injuries you experience are related to the property owner’s breached duty of care.
Finally, in order to bring an elevator or escalator accident claim, you must have experienced legal damages (or losses) as a result of your injuries. These legal damages include economic damages, such as your medical bills and lost earnings, and non-economic damages, such as your physical and emotional pain and suffering.
The damages you suffer as a result of an elevator or escalator accident can be immense.
The medical costs you face are likely to be extensive and may be ongoing. Consider the following:
- Emergency treatment and transportation
- Surgical care and follow-up care
- Treatment and care from doctors and specialists
- Medical tests and procedures
- Prescription medications
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Home health care
- Adaptive physical devices
The recovery process after an elevator or escalator accident can be lengthy, and while you are tending to your health and well-being, you will likely be off the job, which typically means lost earnings. If your ability to do your job is permanently altered, it can translate to lost earning potential into the future and immense financial losses.
Pain and Suffering
Being injured in an elevator or on an escalator is a terrifying experience that can lead to considerable physical and emotional pain and suffering. While this non-economic damage is more difficult to assign a value to, it is nevertheless very real and should not be discounted.
An Experienced Florida Elevator/Escalator Accident Lawyer Can Help
The seasoned elevator and escalator attorneys at Iscoe Law Firm – proudly serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County – are well acquainted with the complexities inherent to elevator and escalator accident claims and have the legal insight to help you. We are here when you need us and are available to take your call 24/7 (365 days a year). To learn more, please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 800-800-6500 today.