Elevator / Escalator Accident Cases

Q: Who is liable in an elevator and escalator accident injury claim?

In most instances of elevator accident injury cases, the property owner, property manager or elevator maintenance company is the responsible party for elevator accidents.

Q: Under what category of law do elevator and escalator accidents fall?

Elevators and escalators are typically regulated by the municipality or local government.  Elevators and escalators typically are inspected annually and periodically.  When an elevator or escalator accident occurs there is often a violation of safety codes.  A victim of an elevator or escalator accident often files a civil suit for negligence seeking money damages for their injuries.

Q: What are the statute of limitations involving elevator and escalator accidents?

Most elevator and escalator injury cases involve negligence claims.  In Arizona, the statute of limitations is typically two years except in the case of claims against public entities; in that case, a notice of claim is due within 180 days from the accident and the lawsuit must be filed within one year of the elevator or escalator accident.

Q: What are some of the most common elevator incidents that result in an injury?

Elevator accidents occur when doors malfunction and sensors close on a person is entering or exiting the elevator.  Also, elevators sometimes do not stop level with the floor and passengers sometimes trip or fall out when entering or exiting the elevator.  In more rare instances, elevators fall or the outer doors open when the elevator is not at the floor causing a person to fall through the elevator shaft.

Q: What are some of the possible injuries resulting from elevator accidents?

Elevator accidents cause a wide variety of injuries including broken bones.  Accidents that involve a person falling in an open elevator shaft often result in catastrophic injuries or death.

Q: Who can file a wrongful death claim in an elevator accident-related death?

The family members of the deceased, including the spouse, children or parents, can file a wrongful death action.

Q:  How do escalator injury accidents occur?

Escalator injuries often occur when a body part, often extremities, like a hand or foot, is trapped in the escalator.  Often, these injuries are shearing or lacerations.  Additionally, children are disproportionately injured in escalator accidents.  These accidents often occur because the escalator is not properly maintained, safety equipment is broken or missing, or the escalator does not have state of the art safety equipment.