Elevator and Escalator Accidents
Every day, throughout the state of Texas, thousands of people use elevators and escalators every day, often as a normal part of their work week, and they do so without a problem, which should always be the case. Everyone who uses one of these devices should arrive at their destination safely and securely without incident every time. Unfortunately, some people have a problem and are seriously injured using an elevator or escalator, and it’s usually because someone was negligent somewhere.
Despite the fact that all elevators within the state of Texas are subject to many regulations and building owners are required to conduct periodic certified inspections and filed the results with the state, people are injured by elevator accidents on a regular basis.
Some of the more common elevator problems that result in injury include the following:
- Doors are set to close too quickly, or their sensors are defective, causing doors to fail to retract as someone tries to enter
- The elevator speeds up suddenly and significantly, without warning
- Elevator gets stuck between floors
- Stops suddenly
- Elevator doesn’t line up with the building’s floor
- Poor lighting
- Slippery floor surfaces
These types of problems can lead to injury to people of all ages, including children and the elderly, and often happen because building owners don’t meet their responsibility to maintain their elevators to federal, state, and local standards for regular inspections, or because they fail to perform proper repairs or maintenance due to cost, all of which can lead them to fall into serious disrepair.
Likewise, Texans ride up and down on escalators every day and they, too, have every right to expect the escalator they ride to be as safe as possible. Like elevators, escalators are also subject to strict regulation, including regular tests and inspections, to make sure they are running properly and safely.
Among the most common reasons for escalator accidents are:
- Failure to conduct regular inspections
- Failure to properly repair or maintain an escalator
- Defective parts, equipment or design
- Sudden stops
- Surfaces that are slippery
- Metal pieces protruding and catching clothing, untied shoelaces or even fingers or toes in them
- Clothing or shoe laces becoming caught in the recessed area between the step and the wall of the escalator
Injuries from elevator and escalator accidents can vary widely, from very minor scratches and cuts to very serious injuries, like broken bones, torn muscles and ligaments, and even spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Too often, the victims are small children, the elderly and the disabled, which may require a lot of special medical care on top of treatment for their injuries. These cases tend to be extremely complex, requiring experts with engineering and complex medical knowledge, and they also require looking through years worth of paperwork, including building permits, manufacturers’ specifications, maintenance logs inspection reports. There are also a copious number of laws that apply to every aspect of elevator and escalator issues, from installation to operation to inspection and maintenance. And while there are Texas state and federal laws and regulations that apply, many municipalities also have their own set of regulations.
Texas Escalator and Elevator Injury Lawyers
Anyone in an accident involving an elevator or escalator needs an attorney with special training and the requisite background, experience and knowledge to be able to litigate your case for its greatest benefit. The attorney you hire must be able to determine not just that a violation has occurred, but that the violation itself caused the elevator accident and your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accident involving an elevator or escalator, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Blizzard Law PLLC as soon as possible, so that we can analyze your case and help you protect your rights.