Escalator and Elevator Accident Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve ridden escalators and elevators countless times without injury, but this time was different. This time you were hurt and left with many questions about your recovery. You can begin getting the answers that you need right now by reading our law firm’s answers to commonly asked questions.
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  • What Is the Settlement for an Elevator Accident?

    Many variables can affect how much you will get in settlement for an elevator accident, and no two cases are identical, so we cannot tell you how much compensation you might receive for you elevator accident without getting more information from you. There are, however, several factors that can impact the amount of the settlement.

    Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804, to get your free consultation for your elevator accident.

    The Severity of Your Injury

    The worse your injury, the more compensation you may recover:

    • More severe injuries tend to come with higher medical bills.
    • You usually miss more work while recuperating from a severe injury than from a minor one, so you may have higher lost wages.
    • People often suffer more pain and emotional distress from significant injuries than from smaller ones.
    • Severe injuries are more likely to have long-term impacts on one’s life.

    By way of example, the elevator at a shopping mall did not line up perfectly with the second floor of the building, and you tripped as you exited the elevator. You threw out your hands to break your fall and sprained your wrist. Your damages may be far less in this scenario than if you fell and sustained a severe concussion.

    Long-Term Effects of Your Injury

    Recuperating from an elevator accident can have several different outcomes, including:

    • A quick healing period with full recovery of all functions.
    • Life-changing catastrophic impairment after a long road of medical procedures and rehabilitation.
    • Anything in-between these two options.

    Accident victims at the more dire end of these possibilities may recover higher compensation in a settlement of their personal injury claims.

    Your Non-Economic Damages

    When you sustain physical injuries, you can also suffer non-economic damages like:

    • Physical pain
    • Mental distress
    • Loss of enjoyment of life; depression
    • Loss of consortium (a potential claim for your spouse)

    How Comparative Negligence Will Affect Your Settlement Amount

    Let’s say that you held the door for someone else to catch the elevator – using your arm instead of the “Open Door” button. The door closed on your arm, fracturing two bones. The building owner may argue that you caused your injury. If the jury agrees and assigns 25 percent of the responsibility for the injury to you, the law will still allow you to collect some compensation.

    Georgia follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means that the law will reduce your damages in proportion to your part of the total fault. If your damages were $40,000 and you were 10 percent at fault, your compensation will be $36,000 after the 10 percent reduction for comparative fault.

    It Matters Whether You Were on the Job When Injured

    If your elevator accident happened when you were at work, it is likely that you will have to pursue workers’ compensation benefits instead of a personal injury claim. In that situation, the Georgia laws on workers’ compensation will govern how much money you will get. For other elevator accidents, Georgia personal injury law will apply.

    Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804, to get your free consultation for your elevator accident.

  • How Do Escalator Injuries Happen?

    When an escalator malfunctions, it can severely injure people using it. These injuries can occur in a many ways, but many of them occur as a result of escalator defects and poor maintenance. Anyone who suffers injuries while riding an escalator may make a claim to recover their medical expenses and other accident-related costs.

    If you suffered injuries as a result of an incident on an escalator, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz P.C., can help you file a claim against the responsible parties. Call us today at 404-474-0804.

    How Do Escalator Injuries Happen?

    Escalator injuries occur because the escalator was defective or malfunctioned due to poor maintenance. Some common escalator defects include:

    • Broken or missing steps
    • Missing teeth on escalator track
    • Excessive space between moving steps and stationary sides and railing
    • Mechanical malfunction
    • Loose or missing screws

    These defects can cause accidents such as slips and falls or entrapment.

    Slips and Falls

    Some people fall when getting on and off an escalator or moving from one step to the next. Children and the elderly are especially prone to this type of accident. Slip and fall accidents on escalators occur because of broken steps, sudden stoppage, or change in the direction of the steps.


    Entrapment occurs when a part of the body becomes caught in the escalator mechanism. Children are especially prone to finger entrapment due to their small hands. It is also important to note that entrapment does not always have to include a body part. Personal effects (e.g., hair, clothing, shoes, shoelaces) may also become lodged in the space between stationary siding and moving steps.

    Who Is Responsible for Escalator Injuries?

    Many escalator accidents occur due to the negligence of one or more parties, such as the escalator manufacturer, maintenance company, or even a mall or shopping center where the escalator is located. This negligence may include:

    • Poor design or using defective parts during the manufacturing process
    • Property owners and maintenance personnel’s failure to perform routine maintenance on the escalator
    • Property owners’ and repairmen’s failure to fix faulty machinery within a reasonable amount of time.

    If You Sustained Injuries on an Escalator, Call Us Today

    The attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz P.C. will evaluate your claim for free and advise you of your options for recovering your damages. Call us at 404-474-0804 to arrange your consultation. 

  • Can you sue for getting stuck in an elevator?

    Yes, you can sue for getting stuck in an elevator — if you were injured.

    Who can I sue for my injuries from being stuck in an elevator?

    You can sue whoever is responsible for the malfunction that caused your injuries. This can include:

    • the owner of the building
    • the management company
    • the elevator maintenance or repair company
    • the elevator manufacturer

    What injuries can result from being stuck in an elevator?

    There are several injuries that can result from being stuck on an elevator. You could suffer injuries if:

    • The elevator doors jam, then close on part of your body
    • The doors eventually open when the elevator is not level with a floor of the building, you could fall when exiting the elevator
    • The elevator is stuck, then falls and plummets down to lower levels of the building
    • You fall when trying to climb out of the escape hatch
    • You have a stress-related medical episode, such a cardiac arrest

    How do you prove your injuries or other damages were caused by being stuck in an elevator?

    Proving injuries from being stuck in an elevator can be difficult. While you might be able to recover compensation for an emotional injury (e.g., development of claustrophobia, onset of panic attacks), it will be much easier to recover compensation if you suffered a physical injury (e.g., head injury from falling when the elevator plummeted, crushing injury from an arm or leg getting trapped in the doors).

    As with any injury claim, you need to prove negligence and damages. To prove negligence, we will need to obtain the elevator’s maintenance records, look for any recalls of defective parts, and determine whether there were any recent complaints about the elevator.

    You can prove your injuries with medical records, official reports, and witness testimony, including your own testimony. The official reports can be a police report or records from the fire department. Make sure all records include a statement of your injuries and that they were caused by the incident.

    How can I prevent getting injured while stuck in an elevator?

    Being stuck in an elevator can be scary, but you must remain calm to prevent an injury to you or any other occupants.

    If you are stuck in an elevator, keep your arms and legs away from the doors at all times. Call for emergency help, either by using the call button in the elevator or using your cell phone to call 911.

    Do not run and do not jump up and down. This can cause the elevator to plummet.

    When the doors open, look carefully before stepping out. When elevators malfunction, they can go out of alignment, which means the doors will open when the elevator is not properly lined up with the floor. If you step out without looking, you could fall and be injured.

    Do not try to climb out of the escape hatch unless directed to do so by emergency personnel.

    Being stuck in an elevator can be stressful. Stay calm, and realize that it can take a long time for emergency personnel to be able to free you from a stuck elevator. Visit with fellow passengers, meditate, do breathing exercises, etc.

    How can I get help?

    If you have been injured from being stuck in an elevator, you should speak with an elevator injury lawyer. Our team at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. will help you with your elevator injury claim. Call us at 404-474-0804 today for your free consultation.

  • Is the mall responsible for injuries that occur in an escalator accident?

    A mall potentially could be liable for injuries that occur in an escalator accident when victims file a premises liability case. However, it may be possible to hold more than one party responsible, depending on the circumstances.

    The Mall’s Liability for an Escalator Accident

    The mall is accountable for injuries that take place on its premises. So if the case establishes that an escalator caused injuries, the claimant then would need to prove the mall's property managers acted in a negligent manner.

    One example is when an escalator isn’t working, yet there are no barricades or signs warning not to use it. Or if it malfunctions because of a broken part, resulting in injuries, the mall owner likely would be liable.

    The mall may argue that the injured person caused the accident; for instance, by running down the steps of the escalator. Because of this, it’s critical to prove the source of the problem was the mall.

    Of course even if the mall is found liable, any negligence on behalf of the injured person may affect the amount of damages recoverable. Let’s say the person was walking backwards on the elevator, but a mechanical failure still caused the accident. The mall isn’t exempt from responsibility, but compensation could be reduced.

    Others Parties’ Liability for an Escalator Accident and Injury

    Liability may extend to others. For instance, if an accident was caused by a defect in the design of the escalator, which may cause a mechanical failure, the manufacturer also could be held responsible. If the company hired to maintain the escalator failed to inspect or fix a problem on the escalator properly, it also could be liable.

    These types of cases can be complicated, especially when it comes to determining responsibility. Contact an attorney at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz if injured on an escalator. We can determine the viability of a case and the types of damages that may be available.