Elevator and Escalator Accidents in California: Who’s Liable For Your Injuries?

Elevators in the United States account for more than 18 billion passenger trips annually, while escalators are responsible for a whopping 105 billion passenger trips in our country. These figures may seem surprising, but let’s not forget that both elevators and escalators are far more popular among the U.S. population than stairs.
In fact, you have probably taken at least a couple of trips on an escalator (going to work) and elevator (to leave and then get back home, and to get to the office floor and then leave the office at the end of the day).

Elevator and escalator accident statistics in the US

Considering how many Americans use elevators and escalators on a daily basis, it begs the question: “How common are elevator or escalator accidents in the U.S.?”
Each year, accidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 and seriously injure about 17,000 Americans in our country. More often than not, elevator and escalator accidents lead to severe injuries. But why is this happening, and who can you sue for an elevator or escalator accident in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California?
This is the question we asked our Los Angeles premises liability attorney from the Compass Law Group, LLP.

Causes of elevator and escalator accidents in California

Elevator and escalator accidents are just as common in California as in other states across our nation. These are the most common causes of elevator accidents in the U.S.:

  • Negligent maintenance;
  • Inadequate manufacturing;
  • Defective components and parts;
  • Malfunctioning wiring;
  • Failure to provide balanced leveling;
  • Faulty doors or open shafts;
  • Defective or improperly maintained pulley system, which can cause falling to the lowest floor at an extreme speed;
  • Inadequate repairs and maintenance; and
  • Failure to do regular or proper inspections, maintenance and repairs.

Causes of escalator accidents in the U.S. can include:

  • Inadequate inspections, maintenance and repairs (the property owner’s failure to properly and in a timely manner inspect how escalators operate on his/her premises);
  • Loose clothing, untied, shoelaces, high heels, long hair, jewelry getting caught in an escalator due to too much space between escalator steps and sides (there are state regulations as to how much space is required to avoid such escalator accidents);
  • Items getting stuck on the escalator track, causing a trip and fall accident;
  • Escalators coming to an abrupt halt, causing falling;
  • Malfunctioning or defective escalator equipment;
  • Missing or broken steps;
  • Poorly lit steps;
  • Poorly designed handrails.

Who is liable for elevator & escalator accidents?

If you get injured in an elevator or escalator accident in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, do not worry. Premises liability laws are on your side, and you can recover compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. Our Los Angeles premises liability lawyer explains that if you have been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, the owner of the property where the accident took place will most likely be held liable for your injuries (though there may be exceptions to this rule).
Generally, property owners are responsible for the injuries and damages caused by escalators and elevators on their property. This is because under California’s premises liability laws, property owners owe their visitors and customers a duty to ensure a safe and properly maintained environment free of any hazards and dangerous conditions.
Failure to ensure a safe environment is punishable by law. Find out how to file a premises liability lawsuit and recover damages in your particular case by consulting our best attorneys in California. Contact the Compass Law Group, LLP today.

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