Elevator & Escalator Accidents
Any slip and fall accident has to prove liability in order to payout to the defendant. If you are the victim of a slip and fall injury on an elevator or escalator on a company’s property, you could be entitled to compensation if you gather the right evidence. To do this, you have to know what a successful accident case looks like.
Working with your accident lawyer, you will use this information to defend your injury case. Consider the different possible causes of an elevator or escalator slip and fall accident before starting the lengthy process of assembling an injury case. Knowing what is eligible for compensation and what isn’t will help you determine your course of action.
Define Premises Liability
Premises liability is the key concept to understand when talking about elevator and escalator slip and fall accidents. This means that as a visitor to someone else’s property, the injuries you sustain on that property which are the fault of the owner’s negligence are their responsibility.
For example, if you trip over a loose floorboard in a store, the store could be liable for your accident. If you punch their window and cut your hand, however, the accident is not due to their negligence, even though it technically happened on their property. This is the line that has to be drawn in civil claims cases that determines who is liable.
If the injury is the result of something that the manager could have reasonably prepared for, you have a much stronger case than if it’s something that took them by surprise. If an elevator is broken, for instance, you have a stronger civil claims case than if someone spilled something and you tripped in it.
before you can know if your accident can be financially compensated.
The first is whether you were on the property legally. If you’re trespassing, no injury you sustain on that property can be compensated by an accident injury case. This also applies if you’re simply wandering around in areas that you shouldn’t be. If you go to an employees-only area of a building and injure yourself by slipping and falling in an escalator or elevator, you will not be compensated.
Types of Malfunctions
The main reason you might slip and fall on an elevator or escalator is related to the machinery, which we’ll go over below. Slipping because of rainwater, spilled drinks, or other hazards is possible and will be treated with the same procedure as any slip and fall accident claim. Namely, this means that your accident lawyer will have to prove that a manager or janitorial staff member was aware of the hazard and simply didn’t respond responsibly.
More often, a viable accident claim related to your slip and fall injury in an elevator or escalator will be related to a malfunction or negligence involving the mechanisms themselves. One common problem is an elevator that isn’t leveled properly, making the step uneven with the floor, which can cause you to trip when entering or exiting the cabin.
Mistakes like these are often accompanied by missed or failed inspections, which will show negligence on the part of the property owner when it comes to light in your case. Unqualified inspectors may be liable themselves if their work causes a malfunction that is not the fault of a manager who technically followed the right procedures in accordance with city regulations.
An escalator can also have design flaws such as a defective step or a handrail that is built too low or prone to getting caught on hair and clothes. There is also a mandated safety measure that escalator steps have to be close enough to the walls to prevent people from stepping in, getting caught on, or tripping over the gap.
If any of these elements are out of place, your accident attorney will try to prove that the property owner had a reasonable amount of time to recognize and fix the problem. Proving this reasonability will also prove their negligence.
How an Accident Attorney can Help
In cases involving accidents, concrete evidence is often very temporary, related to eyewitness accounts, the state of the buildings at the time, and temporary things like malfunctions or spills. Therefore, an accident attorney has to move fast to get the evidence you need in your case.
They will also acquire inspection reports and maintenance histories on the machines in question to try and sniff out negligence on the part of the property owner. By having such an attorney on your side, you don’t have to worry about these time-sensitive procedures while you’re trying to heal from an injury.
After you have a slip and fall accident in an elevator or escalator, you want to have an accident attorney in your corner as soon as possible so you don’t have to deal with the mess of records, reports, and evidence that you will need to prove your case. You should just focus on getting better since that’s what’s important in the end.
Contact a lawyer When It Wasn’t Your Fault
Liability can be a difficult issue to navigate in slip and fall cases involving an escalator or elevator. Not all falls are related to the property manager’s negligence so this has to be proven before you can get compensation for your injury. Proving mechanical malfunction or negligence requires finding the right inspection and maintenance reports that support your version of events.
Since evidence is time-sensitive and complicated to retrieve, you need an accident injury lawyer on your side to prepare your case while you recover from your injuries with your family, which is the most important thing you should be thinking about.
Using this information, you will know what you have to prove to receive compensation for your injury on a company’s escalator or elevator and what you and your accident injury lawyer will discuss once you get your case in motion.