Stepping onto an elevator or escalator should not end in catastrophic injuries, yet this is exactly what happens to hundreds of victims each year. Elevator and escalator malfunctions can lead to disasters such as falls down shafts or limbs stuck in escalator belts. Defective and dangerous equipment, poor maintenance, and negligent property owners contribute to these preventable accidents. Victims with serious injuries from elevator or escalator accidents may be able to file lawsuits on several different grounds to recover damages in Nevada.
Common Elevator/Escalator Injuries
The nature of elevator and escalator malfunctions leads to a high risk of serious injuries. Elevators may fall down shafts or never arrive at their destination floors – creating risks of passengers stepping out into open air. Escalators may have dangerous designs that increase the risks of passengers falling over the railing or getting their clothes caught in the belts. These are a few examples of many possible defects that could lead to a serious elevator or escalator injuries in Las Vegas.
- Bone fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Slip and Fall injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Limb crush injuries
- Pinch injuries
- Pulled muscles
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
When an elevator or escalator has a defect, it could cause mechanical failures and related tragic accidents. Equipment malfunctions and machinery defects can result in many life-changing injuries for victims. It is up to elevator and escalator creators and owners to properly design and maintain these devices for proper, safe use. Otherwise, survivors or loved ones may be able to bring claims against the party or parties that contributed to the preventable accident. You should consult a Las Vegas personal injury attorney especially if you are injured at a casino or a hotel, they can help you make the right decisions after an accident.
Who Is At Fault?
The police, insurance companies and law firms may all need to investigate an elevator or escalator accident to determine fault. These cases can be complex. Recognizing the cause of the accident is necessary to pinpoint the identity of the defendant. The cause of the accident will also determine what type of civil lawsuit the victim will have the right to bring in Nevada. A personal injury lawsuit will start with naming the defendant.
- The elevator/escalator manufacturer (product liability claim). If the malfunction happened due to an inherent defect in the design, manufacture or installation instructions of the elevator or escalator, the manufacturing company could be liable. The victim may not need to prove negligence to win compensation in this type of claim.
- The maintenance crew (negligence claim). Federal laws make regular elevator and escalator inspections mandatory. If a maintenance crew makes a mistake during installation or repairs, the company could be liable for related accidents or injuries.
- The property owner (premises liability claim). A property owner may be liable for a tragedy if he or she contributed to the elevator/escalator malfunction through negligent ownership, such as ignoring federal safety regulations or failing to schedule routine maintenance.
A lawyer can help the victim of an escalator or elevator accident to identify the cause of the incident. The identity of the defendant(s) will follow. In Nevada, the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit depends on the type of claim. Claimants have two years from the dates of the elevator/escalator malfunctions for personal injury and premises liability claims or three years for product liability claims. Missing the deadline will mean losing the right to file in most situations.
Contact an Attorney
Most elevator and escalator accidents are preventable. Due care by the manufacturing company, installers, maintenance teams and property owners can help ensure user safety. Negligence or carelessness at any phase of an escalator/elevator’s installation or use can contribute to breakdowns, malfunctions and related personal injury accidents. If you suffered a serious injury or a relative died in an elevator or escalator accident, contact a Las Vegas premises liability attorney at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm for a free consultation. Someone else could owe you compensation for your damages.