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Although elevators and escalators provide a convenient, efficient, and expedient service to pedestrians and the handicapped, they are oftentimes the cause of catastrophic accidents. Elevator installation, maintenance, and inspection are highly scrutinized by each state, but horrible accidents still happen. Data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and analyzed by The Center to Protect Workers' Rights indicates that accidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 people and seriously injure about 17,000 more each year in the United States.
Although some injuries are undoubtedly caused by the actions of the victim, there are other times when a third party may be held liable for the injuries caused in an accident. Landlords, maintenance companies, inspectors, and individual repairmen may be held legally accountable for their involvement in serious elevator or escalator accidents.
Have you or someone you know been injured in an accident involving an elevator or escalator? If you are, you may have a chance to file a lawsuit and possibly recover monetary remuneration for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Receive a free consultation from one of Morgan & Morgan's knowledgeable Memphis premises liability lawyers by filling out our free case review form.
How Elevator and Escalator Injuries Occur
There are numerous reasons why elevator and escalator accidents occur. At Morgan & Morgan, we investigate each case brought before us to determine what caused the accident, and who should be held liable for the damages. These are some of the most common causes of injuries on elevators and escalators.
- Loose-fitting items: Loose items often get stuck in the machines, including shoelaces, long jeans, long hair, luggage, fingers, toes, and soft shoes like "Crocs."
- Broken escalator teeth: When the teeth at the bottom of an escalator are broken, they create larger gaps and put patrons at a greater risk.
- Faulty machinery: Elevators and escalators are sometimes not manufactured or installed correctly, leading to product defects that could harm passengers.
- Unsatisfactory maintenance: Outside maintenance companies are contracted to make sure elevators and escalators stay safe and up to code, but sometimes they fail. Because of maintenance problems elevators and escalators sometimes plummet, get stuck, and rapidly accelerate unexpectedly, catching loose items and limbs in the process.
- Insufficient inspection: Landlords and maintenance companies often rely on the judgment of inspectors to determine whether their premises are safe, but these inspections are sometimes late, too hasty, or downright incorrect. These insufficient inspections can lead to serious accidents that otherwise could have been avoided.
People who encounter these types of problems sometimes experience debilitating injuries, including amputated limbs, broken bones, head trauma, spinal injuries, neck problems, serious abrasions, and extensive contusions.
How a Memphis Elevator Attorney Can Help
After an elevator or escalator accident, it is important to determine what entity is at fault for the incident. Although the landlord is responsible to maintain the safety of his or her patrons, an outside manufacturer, maintenance company, or inspector may also be held liable for their roles in an accident.
An individual injured in an elevator or escalator accident in Memphis or anywhere in Tennessee may be eligible to file a lawsuit seeking damages for medical bills (present and future), lost wages, and pain and suffering. Fill out the free, no-obligation form on the right to receive a consultation and have a powerful legal advocate on your side.