What are the different injuries and accidents involving elevators and escalators?
Elevators and escalators are essential parts of modern buildings, enabling efficient movement across different floors. While they’re generally safe, accidents can happen, leading to various types of injuries. Here are some common types of accidents involving elevators and escalators:
- Trips and Falls: These are the most common type of escalator accidents. They can occur when a person trips over an uneven or broken step or when they lose balance while getting on or off an escalator.
- Entrapment: This occurs when a part of a person’s clothing, footwear, or body is caught in the moving parts of an escalator or elevator. In escalators, the gaps between steps or between steps and sidewalls are common entrapment points.
- Elevator Free Falls: Although rare, this is one of the most dangerous types of elevator accidents. It happens when an elevator’s brake system fails, causing the elevator to plummet down the shaft.
- Misleveling: This term refers to when an elevator does not properly align with the floor, causing a tripping hazard for passengers entering or exiting the car.
- Abrupt Stops: Elevators and escalators can sometimes come to an abrupt halt due to mechanical failure. This sudden stop can cause passengers to fall or be jolted violently.
- Faulty Doors: Doors that close too quickly or with too much force can injure passengers. Similarly, doors that do not open or close properly can result in accidents.
- Escalator Reversals: While rare, escalators can occasionally reverse direction unexpectedly. This can result in multiple passengers falling and possibly being injured.
Common injuries from these accidents include:
- Fractures and Broken Bones: Falls can result in fractured or broken bones, particularly in the wrists, arms, or ankles.
- Strains and Sprains: Sudden stops or falls can cause muscles, tendons, or ligaments to overstretch, resulting in strains or sprains.
- Cuts and Lacerations: These can occur if a person’s skin comes into contact with sharp metal edges on an escalator or elevator.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Serious falls can lead to traumatic brain injuries, which can have long-term effects on a person’s cognitive and physical abilities.
- Crushing Injuries: Entrapment accidents can lead to crushing injuries, which can be severe and potentially life-threatening.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Falls, particularly from significant heights, can lead to spinal cord injuries that may result in temporary or permanent paralysis.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately, and then consider contacting a personal injury attorney to explore your legal options.
Elevator injury is surprisingly common
An elevator accident may seem like a rare occurrence, but these incidents are actually quite common. Elevator accidents are one of the rarest forms of accidental death, causing fewer than 30 deaths across the nation each year, but elevator injury is much more common. Broken elevator doors. Dysfunctional elevator doors are another common cause of elevator accidents. Passengers get often injured by a door closing too suddenly or doors that refuse to reopen or become jammed. If you have been injured due to the malfunction of an elevator, you are not alone. Many people have been victims of elevator accidents, causing serious injuries.
While elevators are, in general, a safe and convenient way to reach different levels of a building, they can pose a danger to people when they malfunction or if they are not well maintained.
On average, elevator accidents are responsible for nearly 30 deaths and around 17k serious injuries annually. Severe injuries in elevator accidents are often caused by:
– Falls inside the elevator or into an open shaft
– Breaks, sprains, crushing injuries from being caught in/between or struck by malfunctioning doors
– Fall injuries due to unbalanced leveling with the floor when entering or exiting the elevator
– Electrocution from faulty wiring exposed electrical or unprotected electrical controls
– Injuries can also occur when passengers collide with one another or against the wall of the elevator cab
– Injuries can result from abrupt stops as well as free-falls