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Escalator and Elevator Injuries:
The worst escalator injuries occur when a foot is caught between the side of the escalator and the moving step (side step entrapment) or when a foot is dragged in between two steps. These can lead to brutal injuries called "degloving" injuries. Most modern escalators have black bristles (like on a brush) on their sides. These brushes are designed both to discourage people from standing right on the edge and to make it less likely that clothing and feet will get dragged into the space between the sides and the steps. Some rubber shoes or sandals are especially likely to drag a foot in between two steps if the foot and shoe are placed in contact with the vertical part of the escalator step.
The worst elevator injuries involve people falling into elevator shafts, elevators falling out of control, and door closures which severely injure hands or other parts of the body.
Other injuries result when escalators or elevators suddenly stop. Unfortunately, there is often a dispute as to whether or not this happened and, if so, with what force. If it is at all possible to get the names of witnesses to such an event you should do so because the elevator company will try to deny that the event happened.
Likewise some elevator claims involve fall injuries because the elevator did not stop level with the floor. Again, there is often a dispute as to whether this in fact happened. Keeping in mind that the elevator company will automatically deny that the elevator stopped below or above floor level, it is very helpful to snap picture proof of this with a cell phone camera. A picture showing an elevator with open doors and an elevator floor that is not level with the hallway floor is highly suggestive of a malfunctioning elevator. Elevators require frequent and specialized maintenance.
Usually escalator and elevator companies deny liability and hope the victim's lawyer won't want to spend many thousands of dollars to hire specialized elevator or escalator experts on top of spending thousands of dollars on medical experts. In such cases our fee is 40% of the gross recovery. However, if liability is admitted, for example, a casino escalator suddenly stops causing many people to fall, then our fee will be 25% of the gross recovery.
Automatic Door Injuries:
Doors that automatically open and close need periodic maintenance and occasionally they close on people. For example, we had a case in which a very elderly lady was going into a medical building to visit her doctor and the doors shut on her, causing serious shoulder injury. These can be long drawn out cases as it may be necessary to sue the landlord who schedules and pay for the maintenance, all maintenance companies recently involved in working on the door, and the manufacturer of the door. We look for a reasonable serious injury in such a case and charge 40% of the gross recovery.