There are literally thousands of elevators and escalators in both private and public buildings all across Philadelphia. While elevators and escalators are an unhealthy alternative to stairs, they are also quite dangerous when inadequately designed or improperly maintained.

Given that elevators and escalators pose serious risks to consumers and visitors in buildings where elevators and escalators are installed, Pennsylvania law imposes strict regulations to govern the manner in which escalators and elevators must be designed, manufactured, installed, inspected, and maintained.

“While manufacturers are usually to blame for elevator and escalator accidents caused by defective or faulty components and parts, owners of the property where these machines are installed can be held accountable for any accidents caused by negligent or improper installation, inspection, and maintenance,” explains our Philadelphia escalator & elevator accident attorney at Dan Doyle Law Group.

Elevator and escalator accidents in Philadelphia

Elevators and escalator can cause injury or death to two categories of people: repairmen or maintenance workers responsible for repairing, inspection, and maintenance of these machines, as well as residents, visitors, and consumers who choose to use elevators and escalators instead of using the stairs.

Determining the cause of an escalator or elevator accident is no easy task. In fact, more often than not, the injured will have to seek legal help from an experienced escalator & elevator accident attorney in Philadelphia to determine what caused or contributed to the accident.

Causes and types of elevator accidents

Let’s review some of the most common causes of elevator accidents:

  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Incomplete or improper repairs or inspection
  • Defective elevators or their parts and components (malfunctioning pulley, broken cable, faulty door operation, defective safety strips on doors, etc.) and
  • Elevator car landing incorrectly (above or below designated floor)

Obviously, this is not the full list of causes of elevator accidents. These are the most common types of elevator accidents, which can cause injury or even death:

  • People falling into an empty elevator shaft, not realizing that there is no car when the doors open
  • Sudden elevator stops, drops, or free falls (due to broken or malfunctioning elevator cables or pulleys)
  • An elevator stopping above or below the designated floor, causing people to trip and fall
  • Loose clothing, objects (such as a backpack), and body parts becoming caught in closing doors
  • Doors suddenly closing when a person is entering or exiting the elevator and
  • Electrocution, heat or water damage from faulty wiring

Causes of escalator accidents

You may be surprised to hear this, but escalators are responsible for more injuries than elevators. As a matter of fact, you are 15 times more likely to sustain an injury while riding an escalator than while riding an elevator.

Fact: Each year, more than 10,000 Americans sustain injuries while riding an escalator.

Let’s review some of the most common causes of escalator accidents in Pennsylvania:

  • Broken steps or broken metal teeth of the escalator
  • Missing screws
  • Electrical malfunction
  • Inadequate installation
  • Defective parts or components
  • Missing parts and side panels
  • Sudden stops, causing passengers to fall
  • Negligent inspection and maintenance
  • Clothing or shoes becoming caught in the escalator’s metal teeth and
  • Slippery steps causing slip and fall accidents

Determining liability in an elevator or escalator accident is not as easy as it might seem. Seeking legal advice from a premises liability attorney is your best course of action to recover damages and get compensation for your injury sustained while riding an escalator or elevator. Get a free consultation by contacting Dan Doyle Law Group.