Elevator and Escalator Accident Attorneys in OC (2024)

Home Personal Injury Elevator and Escalator Accidents
  • Representing Those Injured on Defective Equipment
  • How Injuries Happen on Elevators
  • How Injuries Happen on Escalators
  • Liability in Escalator and Elevator Accidents
  • Recoverable Damages
  • Working With a Skilled Attorney

Representing Those Injured on Defective Equipment

Elevators and escalators are everywhere. From the local mall to your apartment building, you’re likely to ride these machines thousands of times throughout your life. Unfortunately, like all machines, elevators and escalators can be faulty, and ultimately lead to harm and injury.

The attorneys at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie have seen just how dangerous both elevators and escalators can be. If you or someone you loved one has been injured on an elevator or escalator due to an act of negligence, then you are likely feeling at a loss on what to do next. Call us at (949) 752-7474. With our decades of experience, we’ll be able to guide you through the claims process. Hold those who caused your injury accountable for their actions. Contact us today.

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How Injuries Happen on Elevators

In the movies, elevators fall seemingly all the time. The cord snaps and the elevator plummets down the shaft. The truth is, however, that most elevator accidents don’t happen this way. There are countless safety measures in place in order to prevent elevators from falling. Generally, there is more than one cord holding an elevator up, so that if one snaps, the others can still hold the elevator up. The shaft also has brake systems, designed to slow the descent of the elevator down considerably. More than likely, if a cord were to snap, you would not plummet to your demise.

However, that does not mean that elevators don’t still pose a risk. Elevator injuries happen all the time, they just may not be what you imagine them to be. Some of the most common causes of injuries are trip and fall accidents, which occur when the elevator doors opening before the elevator is fully lined up with the floor.

Doors can also close with too much force. If you stick out a hand or foot in order to keep the doors from closing, maybe so you can catch an elevator that is about to leave or because you wanted to help someone else get on, and the doors close too quickly or with too much power, then your hand or foot could be crushed.

Of course, the elevator can also become stuck, trapping you between floors. When this happens, you will need assistance immediately, but sometimes the call box within the elevator is not operating, leaving you unable to get help. While there may not be any immediate danger in this case, if you are left there for a long period of time, you may experience psychological trauma. Not to mention, if the elevator is crowded when it becomes stuck then the box can quickly become overheated, and potentially lead to issues such as heat stroke.

There are many injuries you can suffer from due to elevator accidents. Some of the most common ones we have seen in our clients are:

  • Broken, fractured, and crushed bones
  • Brain injuries
  • A fractured skull
  • Spinal injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Crush injuries

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How Injuries Happen on Escalators

Unlike elevators that wait between floors until they are called, escalators are on a constant rotation, allowing people to get on immediately, rather than wait for it to begin moving. Because of this, escalators experience a great deal of wear and tear. The property owner may not bother with regular maintenance, since that would require stopping the escalator and taking it apart. There’s no telling how long a repair will work, and the longer an escalator is out of service the more congested the other methods of going floor to floor become.

An elevator provides a secure environment for riders. While a sudden stop can cause you to lose your balance and fall, there isn’t any metal machinery where you are about to land When escalators suddenly stop or jolt, however, there are dozens of sharp, metal stairs that will cause incredible injury should you lose your balance. Children and older people are particularly susceptible to falls on escalators. Children are often not tall enough to hold on to the handrail, and elderly folk can be weaker and have a harder time staying stable.

Common injuries victims of escalator accidents suffer are:

  • Lacerations
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Severe bruising
  • Traumatic brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal damage

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Liability in Escalator and Elevator Accidents

One of the first steps when filing an Orange County personal injury claim is figuring out who is liable for your injuries. A good attorney will be able to investigate this issue for you and find out who should be held accountable. For elevator and escalator accidents, there are a few parties that are commonly found to be at fault, including:

Property owner: The owner of the property that you were injured on has a certain level of duty of care. Guests should be able to expect that they stay safe while riding an escalator or elevator. If the owner neglected to provide proper maintenance or regular inspections to their escalators and elevators, and if a guest is hurt on one of these machines, then the owner could be considered responsible for the injury.

Mechanic: If a mechanic fails to provide proper maintenance, perhaps missing an obvious malfunction, and that malfunction goes on to cause injuries, then they may be responsible for said injuries.

Manufacturer: There is always the chance that the manufacturer of the escalator or elevator did a poor job building it. This could result in there not being proper safety mechanisms in an elevator to prevent it from falling, or in an escalator that rotates too quickly, making it difficult for riders to keep their balance. If the manufacturer failed in their job of creating a safe machine, then they may be held liable for the injuries that that machine causes.

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Recoverable Damages

In premises liability cases, which elevator and escalator accidents fall under, there are two areas that you can recover damages from. The first is economic. Economic damages include anything that impacted your life financially. Often, this means some sort of monetary loss. When filing a personal injury claim, people will often seek out damages for medical bills, lost wages due to time they had to take from work, and, if their injuries have made it difficult or impossible to continue working in their field, the loss of job opportunities.

On the other hand, there are also non-economic damages you may be able to claim. Non-economic damages refer to anything you suffered that did not impact you monetarily. That can include things such as emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and a lowered quality of life. Non-economic damages are meant to help you with the burden that the injury caused, and not all burdens are financial. Winning non-economic damages can help ensure that your life remains as comfortable as possible.

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Working With a Skilled Attorney

Escalator and elevator accidents are no laughing matter. They’re serious and can have a severe impact on your life. If you have been injured on an elevator or escalator due to someone else’s bad choices, then you need an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney by your side, fighting for you and your rights. We at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie know the ropes, and know-how to provide strong legal help for our clients. Don’t hesitate, contact us today at (949) 752-7474.

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Elevator Injury Verdicts and Settlements

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Elevator and Escalator Accident Attorneys in OC (2024)


Can you get compensation for being stuck in an elevator? ›

Depending on the details of what happened, you can get compensation for being stuck in a hotel elevator. However, to prove your right to compensation, you must have damages. Consider this situation to learn more.

How rare are elevator accidents? ›

Despite advancements in mechanics and safety protocols, elevators cause thousands of injuries per year. The above report estimates: An average of 27 deaths per year are attributed to elevator accidents. More than 10,200 people are injured yearly in elevator accidents.

What are the 5 different injuries and accidents involving elevators and escalators? ›

Causes of death and injury related to elevators and escalators are many ranging from falls (down the shaft), caught in between, struck by, collapse and others.

How common are escalator accidents? ›

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates an average of 6,000 people per year are injured on escalators.

What is elevator compensation? ›

Compensating cable gets its name because it compensates for the weight of suspension ropes to balance (dynamically and mechani- cally) the elevator system. Specifically, it compensates for the weight of the suspension means as it is played out to move the car up and down the hoistway.

How long can you be stuck in an elevator? ›

How long can you be stuck in an elevator? In most cases, the elevator door will be open within several minutes. Especially in busy buildings, other people will notice the malfunction and contact maintenance or emergency services quickly.

What's the worst thing that can happen in an elevator? ›

Electrocution – This is is caused by improper wiring. Drowning during a fire – When the elevator becomes stuck below the street level. General failures – Such as moving with doors open can cause serious injuries including decapitations and amputations if the victims try to exit the elevator when moving.

What happens if you fall into an escalator? ›

Generally, escalator falls happen in two ways. The person may trip and fall on the escalator itself, which can result in broken bones and other severe injuries. The other fall situation is one in which the passenger falls over the side of an escalator. This can result in severe injury or even death.

What was the worst elevator accident in history? ›

At 8:46 a.m., on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked Flight 11 struck the North Tower during elevator rush hour for thousands. The attacks on 9/11 led to worst passenger elevator disaster in history, causing the deaths of an estimated 200 of the victims at the World Trade Center site.

Which is safer, an escalator or an elevator? ›

Elevator Related Fatalities and Injuries

While an average of just three people per year are killed in escalator-related incidents, the average annual number of elevator-related fatalities is about 25. About 60% of these deaths involve people working on or near the elevator.

Why do escalators break so often? ›

Modernization: Each elevator/escalator is made up of thousands of moving parts; and with heavy usage over time, the parts become less reliable despite regular preventive maintenance. Elevators/escalators should be modernized every 20-25 years and replaced after 40-50 years.

What is the lifespan of an escalator? ›

More than 40 years, if properly maintained.

Can you claim if you get stuck in a lift? ›

If you've been stuck in a lift or sustained any kind of elevator injury, we are here for you. Whether you've been trapped or injured in a lift at work, a shopping centre or car park, you could still be entitled to claim compensation. It is rare that any kind of lift or elevator injury will be your fault.

What happens if you get stuck in a home elevator? ›

Every elevator should be equipped with an emergency call button or phone. When you press the call button or pick up the receiver, you'll be connected to an elevator monitoring company. The operator on the other end will ask you a few questions to determine how they can best assist you.

Is being stuck in an elevator a 911 emergency? ›

SHOULD YOU CALL 911 IF YOU'RE STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR? Use the elevator phone or your cell phone if you get stuck to call 911. The emergency services team you can contact from inside your elevator expects to handle your specific situation.


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