ElevatorEscalator Accidents

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Elevatorescalator Accidents

Brien Roche

ElevatorEscalator accidents can result in long term injuries. There are hundreds of thousands of elevators in across the U.S.  However the number of escalators is less.  In addition the CPSC says there are about 20,000 elevatorescalator accidents per year in the U.S.

In looking at elevatorescalator accidents the first issue is who to sue. The first person is going to be the owner of the building where the device is. Also the service company that maintains the device may have to be sued. Finally the maker of the device may also have to be joined. It is fairly common that all three of these may point the finger at the other. The owner of the premises may have a duty to people on the premises that cannot be be delegated. That is, even though they hire a property manager or service company to maintain the device, the owner is still liable.

Suing for Damages in ElevatorEscalator Accidents

In suing the service company you need to find out quickly if there is an indemnity agreement between that outfit and the building owner.  Such may exist within the contract between these two. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

What Is The Standard

Another issue that exists in these types of cases is whether the common law standard of a common carrier applies to these devices.  If an elevator or an escalator is deemed to be a common carrier, then the standard of care is higher than if the devices are not a common carrier.  That is considerably to the benefit of the plaintiff.  There is case law in Virginia that the operator of a passenger elevator in a hotel is a common carrier. A common carrier owes the highest degree of care to the people in the elevator. The same should apply to an escalator.

Res Ipsa Loquitur

The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur may also apply. That doctrine says that with certain types of injury the defendant may be presumed to be at fault.If that doctrine applies in your case then you have a huge advantage

All Records

In pursuing these types of claims you need to obtain all of the records relating to the device for at least three years before the accident. This includes all records of any accidents, all maintenance records and all records of any “callbacks”.  Some states perform governmental inspections of these devices.  If that is so then you need to obtain those records through a FOIA request.


The actual inspection of the elevator or escalator must be done.  This needs to be done with  your expert witness.  An elevator is simply a car that travels up and down in a shaft.  The shaft is called a hoistway.  At the bottom of the hoistway there is a pit.  You need to inspect the pit, the hoistway and the car itself.

These claims are never simple but if thoroughly vetted they can result in a good outcome for the client.

ElevatorEscalator Accidents Generally Require a Liability Attorney

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Brien Roche stands ready to assist with your elevator or escalator specific premises liability claim. Mr. Roche has helped many in the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. area win claims regarding premises liability.

See elevators for a review of Virginia case law on elevatorescalator accidents

For more information about elevators see the pages on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

ElevatorEscalator Accidents

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation