Florida Elevator / Escalator Accident Lawyers

Many of us use elevators and escalators on a daily basis without any problems. We take their safety for granted—until something goes wrong. And, things do indeed go wrong. The morning ride into the office or a simple trip to a shopping mall can end in disaster.

Malfunctioning or inadequately maintained escalators and elevators harm thousands of Americans each year. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, an average of 31 people are killed and 17,000 are injured annually in incidents involving escalators and elevators in the US.

Here in Florida, vertical conveyances such as elevators, escalators, and moving walks are overseen by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Between 2019 and 2020, the department found 549 accidents involving mostly escalators and moving walks in Florida. This coincided with 1,399 citations for delinquent licenses and 106 administrative complaints involving vertical conveyances that year.

When an escalator or elevator accident occurs due to the property owner’s negligence, injured victims may be entitled to compensation. Talk to us for free at Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney to see your legal options after your accident.

How Do Florida Elevator and Escalator Accidents Occur?

Elevators and escalators are quite complex. Even a small defect or a simple malfunction can lead to a major accident. An elevator or escalator accident may occur because:

  • The elevator cables break – Riders may plummet to the lowest level in the building.
  • The elevator doors malfunction – A person’s arm or leg may get trapped.
  • The electrical or operating systems malfunction – The elevator may drop too quickly or change direction without warning.
  • The elevator lands between floors – Victims may fall when they attempt to exit the elevator. 
  • The elevator stops when it is not completely level with the floor – Riders may stumble and fall as they exit. 
  • An open elevator shaft is left unguarded and without warning signs – An unsuspecting victim may fall into the shaft. 
  • A gap develops on an escalator between the stairs and the side of an escalator – A rider may get trapped in this gap. 
  • The escalator’s comb tugs a person’s shoes or clothing – This can trip a rider. 
  • The escalator’s comb sucks a child’s shoes, shoelaces, or even fingers under it – Many children must be rushed to emergency rooms to receive treatment for injuries received on escalators.

Common Injuries in Florida Elevator and Escalator Accidents

While accidents involving elevators and escalators occur infrequently, when they do occur, the injuries may be severe. Common injuries include:

  • Amputations
  • Lacerations
  • Decapitations
  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Suffocations.

An elevator or escalator accident victim may wonder who can be held legally responsible. To determine who may be held accountable, inspection logs, maintenance records, operating permits, insurance policies and other documents must be reviewed.

In many elevator and escalator accidents, the property owner may be held responsible. A Florida property owner must provide a safe environment for visitors. This duty requires a property owner to ensure that elevators and escalators are safe. A property owner has an obligation to have all escalators and elevators inspected routinely and to address any safety issues promptly. If the property owner failed to do this and an accident happened, the property owner may be held liable on a premises liability claim.

In some cases, the elevator or escalator itself is defective or contains a defective part. In these situations, the company responsible for placing the product into service may be held legally responsible on a product liability claim.

Contact a Florida Elevator / Escalator Accident Lawyer Today

A victim who is injured in an elevator or escalator accident may be entitled to significant compensation for his injuries. Likewise, the family members of a victim who is killed in an elevator or escalator accident may be entitled to compensation for their losses. An experienced Florida elevator and escalator accident lawyer can initiate the recovery process.

Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, is a Florida elevator and escalator accident lawyer. He represents clients throughout South Florida and have offices in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Okeechobee, Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach.

Call toll free or fill out our online contact form for more information. We can schedule a free initial consultation with you.


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