Columbus Elevator and Escalator Injuries Attorneys
There are around 600,000 elevators and 30,000 escalators across the United States, and an estimated 120 billion trips on both elevators and escalators every year. Many people will use these devices several times per day due to their convenience, but if they are not maintained properly, they can cause severe accidents.
Each year there are around 10,000 severe injuries in the U.S. that involve elevators.
- Slips, trips, and falls are common in elevators. If the car does not stop correctly, it may not be aligned properly with the floor outside of the elevator, leaving a dangerous ledge that is easily tripped on.
- Automatic elevator doors are also liable to shut on a person, perhaps crushing a limb or appendage. Most elevators have new safety features that are made to prevent them from closing on an object or a person, but if this equipment malfunctions, a person may be injured.
- A sudden drop of an elevator car is considered the equivalent of a car crash and, without seatbelts to help secure passengers, elevator drops can cause serious and long-term injury to patrons.
Elderly persons, children, and teenagers are often the most vulnerable to elevator accidents. An estimated 2,600 elderly persons are injured each year, and an additional 2,000 young people end up in the emergency room each year due to elevators. Most elderly persons injured in elevators are over 65 years of age, and most injured children are under the age of five. For both of these groups, many injuries were to limbs and appendages, the head, and hips.
Throughout the United States, there are an estimated 3,000 people at any given minute riding an escalator due to the reduced strain of climbing stairs.
Escalators are often intriguing to children and look more like a carnival ride, rather than a convenient device. However, small hands, feet, and fingers are easily trapped and crushed in the moving parts of these devices. In 2006, The Ohio State University published a study on escalator accidents involving children, and they found that from 1990-2002, there were 26,000 accidents involving young children and escalators. Their research found that falling was the most common cause of injury, and children ages five and younger accounted for more than half of the injuries. 833 injuries resulted in amputations or avulsions, and 71.4% of these cases were children under five. Unfortunately, better design could have prevented many of these injuries by simply reducing gaps and adding guards.
The elderly are also susceptible to escalator injury due to balance issues, limited mobility, and vertigo. Between 1995-2002, an estimated 40,000 elderly persons were injured while riding an escalator.
Ohio Elevator and Escalator Maintenance Laws
There are strict laws that regulate elevator and escalator safety and maintenance. In the state of Ohio, the Ohio Fire Marshall oversees construction, maintenance, and the use of elevators throughout the state. The Elevator Safety and Regulation Act has more specific safety regulations and standards that all those who work on elevators must adhere to. If a person is injured due to poor maintenance or non-functioning safety features, it is possible that they have grounds for a personal injury case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the owner of the building, the elevator manufacturer, maintenance company, or installer may be liable for injuries sustained in an elevator accident.
Contact an Attorney
While elevators and escalators are two different modes of transportation between floors, they can often lead to the same types of injuries. Poor maintenance and poor design attributes to a large percentage of preventable injuries. Business owners and managers are responsible for ensuring a safe environment for patrons, and when this duty is breached, the owner can be held liable—along with manufacturers and maintenance workers. If you were injured while riding an elevator, escalator, or moving walkway in Ohio, you may be able to receive financial compensation for your injuries. The Columbus premises liability attorneys at the Rinehardt Law Firm are experienced, and can help determine what you are entitled to receive for your injury. Contact us at (419) 529-2020 for a free consultation.
Rinehardt Law Firm is the answer to your personal injury. Our team of attorneys and case managers have represented clients in in Columbus and throughout central and north central Ohio for years. We treat every new client as if they were part of our family by providing clear communication, building a strong relationship, and using our experience to provide legal guidance that’s in their best interests. We offer free consultations with no obligation, so don’t hesitate to contact our team about your legal matter.