Escalator & Elevator Injuries
Escalator and elevator injuries are very complex cases. Owners owe a duty of extraordinary care to customers using an elevator of escalator. However, the owner is not liable just because an injury occurs. The owner is only liable if they know of a device malfunction and does not take precautions or repair the malfunction. Georgia law requires that all elevators and escalators be inspected every six months and must comply with strict safety codes. And elevator or escalator implicated in an accident must removed from service and cannot be repaired or placed back into service until inspected by a certified inspector. If the owner fails to adhere to this rule then the claimant is entitled to a rebuttable presumption that the owner was negligent in the maintenance of the device. Furthermore, the owner must have been able to discover the problem prior to the malfunction in order to hold the owner liable for the resulting injuries.
People use elevators and escalators on a regular basis in shopping malls, hotels, office buildings, private residences and schools. However, the leading victims of elevator accidents are maintenance and building service workers. These employees often fall into the elevator shaft, get caught in between moving parts, or are injured by collapsing elevators. Elevators and escalators are also sources of injuries. The majority of elevator related injuries and deaths involved falls into empty elevator shafts. “Caught in/between” and “struck by” injuries often involved getting caught in the elevator door or between the elevator door or shaft. Owners of elevators and escalators have a legal obligation to properly maintain equipment and regularly inspect and service the elevators and escalators. Additionally, the property owners, inspection companies, maintenance and service companies, equipment manufacturers can be held responsible for elevator or escalator accidents that lead to injury or death of a passenger.
Georgia law mandates that owners and operators of elevators are “common carriers”. As a common carrier, they must implement extraordinary diligence. A building owner owes a duty of extraordinary diligence to elevator passengers. The owner of an office building with elevators has the same duty to passengers as a common carrier.
If you have been injured by a malfunctioning elevator or escalator it is very important to seek legal representation for your injuries. Please contact Atlanta accident attorney Bryce Angell to get the legal assistance you need and the money you deserve.