Slip and Falls in Elevators and Escalators

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Residents and visitors in New York City use elevators and escalators on a daily basis. According to the New York City Department of Buildings, the city is home to an estimated 60,000 elevators and 2,200 escalators.

Even though these machines are designed to save time and effort, elevators and escalators can pose the risk of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. Young children and seniors are especially vulnerable to accidents on these devices. But the fact is that anyone could be injured by an elevator or escalator that is poorly maintained.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a New York slip and fall or trip and fall accident on an elevator or escalator, the personal injury attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are here for you. Call us today or contact the firm by filling out our online contact form. The initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation.

Factors in New York City Elevator Accidents

New York City requires all elevators to pass inspection on a regular basis. Yet that still does not stop faulty elevators from being the cause of serious slip and fall and trip and fall accidents.

One of the most common causes of these fall injuries is the improper leveling of an elevator car with the floor. Even just the slightest misalignment can cause fall accidents when passengers enter or exit an elevator.

In addition, slippery elevator floors can be the cause of serious injuries. Passengers may also fall if an elevator unexpectedly speeds up or stops suddenly. Some of the worst, even fatal, accidents take place when the doors of an elevator open while the car is situated on another level, leaving an open elevator shaft that people can accidentally step into.

Statistics on Elevator and Escalator Accidents

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), elevator and escalator accidents cause approximately 30 fatalities and 17,000 injuries nationwide each year. Of the two transportation devices, elevators are the location of the majority of deaths and severe injuries.

Older adults are especially prone to being involved in New York City elevator incidents. Web MD Health News estimates that more than half of elevator accidents among this age group occur due to slips, trips or falls. Soft tissue injuries and hip fractures are counted as some of the most common types of injuries from elevator and escalator accidents.

Children and teenagers may also be susceptible to elevator accidents, and these types of dangerous situations usually occur when the doors are in the process of closing. The New York City Department of Buildings documented 109 injuries and one fatality among children in elevator and escalator accidents over a recent 10-year period.

But people of all ages can suffer injuries in an elevator accident. If any area of the body is caught in the elevator’s mechanism, “de-gloving” may be the result. This type of injury occurs when flesh is stripped from the limb. A nationally certified elevator safety inspector describes an injury of this sort as being similar to a shark bite.

If an individual of any age is severely injured in a New York elevator slip and fall accident, there are several people or entities that may be liable. This group includes the building’s owner, the building’s manager, the company that maintains the elevator and the elevator’s manufacturer.

About Escalator Accidents in New York City

Escalators are usually considered a safer mode of transportation than elevators. But serious accidents have occurred on New York City escalators. And, as is the case with elevators, children and the elderly are more often the victims of this type of accident. The CPSC reports that approximately 11,000 escalator accidents happen on an annual basis.

Based on the results of recent CPSC research, almost 40,000 elderly adults experienced injuries on escalators between 1991 and 2005. The report lists slips, trips and falls as the most common causes of escalator injuries.

Young children are also a high-risk group in escalator incidents, especially when shoes or other types of clothing get caught in the escalator’s mechanism. A legal treatise called Elevator and Escalator Accident Litigation and Reconstruction, 3rd Edition, determined that more than 1,000 escalator accidents involving children under the age of 4 occur every year.

Although older and younger people are the most in danger on escalator rides, people of any age can suffer from injuries on these devices. Falls can create a domino effect that forces other people to fall on a crowded escalator. People who fall backwards on an escalator may hit the hard metal stairs and sustain serious wounds, including traumatic brain injuries.

Although New York City requires escalator inspections, a lack of maintenance is often to blame for escalator accidents. Some of the most common flaws include excessive gaps between the stairs and the sides of the escalator. Missing “teeth” in the grates at escalator entrances and exits can also be to blame for falls, if shoelaces or articles of clothing get caught. Protruding screws have been known to snag clothing items and trigger a fall as well.

Call Our New York City Elevator and Escalator Accident Lawyers Today

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a New York elevator accident or escalator accident, and someone else was at fault, you could be entitled to compensation. The NYC personal injury attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are skilled at evaluating slip and fall accident claims and have a record of getting results for our clients. Call our firm today or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.