Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading cause of accidents and hospital visits in America. Every day, we use elevators and escalators in shopping malls, airports, train stations, office buildings, hotels, apartments and more.
Most of the time, you don’t even think about stepping into an elevator or onto an escalator. But every day there are serious injuries caused by our own negligence and sometimes poor maintenance or malfunction of the property owner or maintenance team.
Escalator Slip and Fall Accidents
Escalators are regulated by strict guidelines for maintenance and inspections. When property owners fail to do this, it can lead to severe injury or even death. If you have fallen on an escalator or entering and exiting one, you need to consult an attorney that specializes in slip and falls immediately.
The escalator needs to be checked for changes in speed, sudden starts or stops which can throw you off balance and lead to a fall. The handrails of escalators are also something that can be the cause of your injury, handrails that are unstable or broken in spots should have been repaired immediately or at least noted in the inspection.
There are also the inner workings that are not readily visible but can cause you to lose your balance. An experienced slip and fall attorney will pull the inspection records and maintenance reports to make sure the appropriate steps have been taken to ensure public safety. They will also view surveillance footage if available to help you get the money you deserve to pay for medical expenses and loss of work.
When you slip and fall on an escalator, it is common to blame yourself. It is always a best practice to have the entire situation checked out before coming to that conclusion. Often it is the negligence of the property owner or even the inspector. Don’t assume the property owner is the only one at fault. There could be many parties involved in your claim.
Inspection companies whether state or private assume responsibility for the safety of the public. It is essential for them to be thorough in their inspection to make sure to call attention to any possible hazard or problems that need to be addressed. They are often the last line of defense for public safety. Inspectors should catch things like improper spacing between the handrails and steps, note any missing teeth, and any other potential issues that may arise. It is up to them to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to address the issues brought up in their report.
Property owners often outsource the maintenance of escalators. These are sophisticated machines that require expert level knowledge to work on and diagnose any issues. The maintenance companies can and will assume responsibility for making sure that the escalators are functioning correctly and that they are performing routine checks to check for any underlying issues. One of the main things your personal injury attorney will look for is the consistent maintenance records of the escalator.
Occasionally, a severe accident can occur that has nothing to do with the negligence of the property owner, maintenance company or even your own lack of grace. Parts have been known to malfunction, and if they do, they are liable for the defect.
Slip and Fall in an Elevator
Like escalators, elevators are commonplace for serious injuries. Many of these injuries involve slip and falls. Property owners need to make sure to do their due diligence in providing safe passage for the public they serve. When elevator injuries happen, they can be due to many different factors, and many of them are 100% avoidable. Elevators need to be regularly maintained and regularly inspected to avoid causing serious injury. Something as simple as spilling a drink in an elevator and not cleaning it all the way up can cause the next patrons to fall and cause injury. It is the responsibility of the property management, to make sure the elevators are clean and in good working order.
One of the most common causes of falls in elevators is an unlevel entry/exit point. When the elevator fails to align correctly with the floor, this can cause you to trip and fall. Unfortunately, this is a common yet preventable accident. If you have tripped and collapsed due to improper alignment, you need to contact a trip and fall lawyer immediately. The best slip and fall attorneys will quickly go to work for you pulling maintenance records and building your case so you can get the money you are entitled to. Being injured in an elevator usually means negligence, and you need an attorney to help. Just like with escalators you cannot assume responsibility. Your attorneys will check with them;
Elevator inspection companies are held to very high standards. When these standards are not met, you may be entitled to pay. It is the responsibility of the inspector to foresee any potential hazard that could cause injury or even death. If you have slipped in a store elevator and fallen, you may be entitled to compensation.
Elevator maintenance companies are subjected to the highest standards of quality control. Buildings and stores that require elevator services are expected to have either in-house maintenance or outsource maintenance companies to make sure that the elevator is safe for public use. Elevator repairman and maintenance contractors are highly paid and highly skilled workers that can diagnose and repair any issues that may arise from the functionality of the elevator. A property manager should keep excellent records of service and will be required to produce these documents in the event of an unforeseen accident.
The ultimate responsibility lays with the property management. It is the sole responsibility of the manager to make sure that all machinery in their place of business is running smoothly and not causing any hazards to their customers and the public that uses them. If an injury happens, it will fall on management to produce the documents showing that they took steps to maintain equipment and address any problems that are brought to their attention. If they fail to do so, they will need to make the situation right and cover medical expenses, loss of wages and pain and suffering that was a result of their negligence.
What to do if you’ve had a slip and fall accident in an escalator or elevator?
If you find yourself in a situation of being injured by an escalator or an elevator, the most crucial step you can take is to consult an expert immediately. Not just any attorney will do, you need an attorney that is an expert in the slip and fall field. These attorneys will go to bat for you and get you the most significant settlement because of their experience in working with all the various facets involved.
Even if you do not feel like your fall was significant, you can have delayed the onset of symptoms. As soon as your fall happens, do not give your statement to anyone without representation. You are well within your rights to refuse comments and request to seek counsel before giving a statement.
This is especially important when coming off an injury that may impair your ability to provide a report that is in your best interest. Comments like, I’m such a klutz, I’m always falling, etc. are things that could really damage your case if forced to go to court.
Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
If you are not sure about the extent of your injuries and are at all in doubt, proceed immediately to seek medical treatment. Many times, when a slip and fall happens, your adrenaline is running high, and you cannot see or feel the extent of your injuries until it is too late.
When you are shopping, traveling or conducting your daily business, you are dependent upon property managers and other experts to make sure that all equipment is safe for use. When corners are cut, that is when serious injuries can occur.
Get Contact Information
If you find yourself in this situation, aside from consulting an attorney, make sure that you collect any contact information from potential witnesses or other victims that can help you build your case. The more information that is, the better your case will be.
Take Time to Heal
When you consult an attorney, you take steps to allow your body to heal and can make sure that you get the compensation that will enable you to cover your expenses while recovering. Pain and suffering is an authentic thing.
If you suffer a head injury, this could impact your future earnings and could change the quality of the rest of your life.
Don’t pay for other people’s negligence contact your expert attorney now to help secure your future. If the management has failed to do the job they were hired to do, then they are responsible for the injuries incurred while in charge. Likewise, faulty inspections and mismanaged maintenance must assume responsibility.
If this has happened to you, don’t hesitate, contact us now to receive an expert consultation. We are indeed the best slip and fall attorneys in the Philadelphia area.