When Can I Claim For An Escalator Or Lift Accident Injury?

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 18th April 2024. When moving around large buildings like hotels, shopping centres or airports, lifts and escalators can make things quite a lot easier. That’s especially true if you are using a pushchair, carrying a suitcase or if you are in a wheelchair. In most situations, these devices operate without any problems and don’t cause any issues. However, accidents can happen that cause the user to become injured. Therefore, we’ve written this article about how escalator and lift accident claims work.

Two women chatting on an escalator in a shopping center

If you have suffered an injury whilst using an escalator or lift, we can help. Our team offers free legal advice on beginning a claim after reviewing your claim on a no-obligation basis. If your case seems to be feasible, we could pass it to one of the personal injury solicitors on our panel. Should your case be accepted, your lawyer will represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you would like to start the claims process right away, please call us on 0161 696 9685. Alternatively, to find out when you could seek damages for injuries caused by escalators and lifts, please read on.

Select A Section

  1. Escalator And Lift Accident Claim Compensation
  2. Can You Claim For An Escalator Or Lift Accident?
  3. How Could A Lift And Escalator Accident Happen?
  4. How Do I Prove A Personal Injury Claim?
  5. Personal Injury Claim Time Limits For Escalator And Lift Accidents
  6. Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor For A Lift Or Escalator Injury
  7. Related Guides

Escalator And Lift Accident Claim Compensation

If you make a successful personal injury claim for an escalator and lift accident, your compensation could consist of two parts. These are known as general and special damages.

General damages compensate for the physical injuries and mental harm that have been caused by the accident. To help arrive at a figure for general damages, those responsible for valuing lift injury claims may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document lists guideline compensation amounts for different injuries.

In our table below, we provide a few figures that could be relevant to escalator injuries from the 16th edition of the JCG. We also look at how compensation could be awarded for multiple serious injuries and expenses in the top row. This figure is not taken from the JCG.

InjurySeverityNotesCompensation Guideline
Multiple Serious Injuries and Special DamagesVery SevereSettlements may include compensation for multiple injuries of a very serious nature and associated costs, including lost wages and mobility aids. Up to £1,000,000+
Brain DamageVery SevereThe injured party needs full time nursing care to cope with symptoms including double incontinence, lack of language function and little meaningful environmental responses. £344,190 to £453,000
Leg Injuries - AmputationsLoss of Both LegsThis bracket applies where both legs are lost above the knee or one leg above with the other below. £293,850 to £344,150
Neck InjuriesSevere (i)This applies to incomplete paraplegia, permanent spastic quadriparesis or the injured party having little to no neck movements alongside severe headaches due to a neck injury.In the region of £181,020
Arm InjuriesSevere (i)These injuries fall short of amputation, but they are extremely serious with the injured party little better off.£117,360 to £159,770
Hip and Pelvis InjuriesSevere (i)The claimant suffers substantial residual disabilities such as complicated arthodesis, sexual dysfunction, or hip deformity.£95,680 to £159,770
Foot InjuriesVery SevereInjuries in this bracket produce permanent and severe pain or really serious permanent disability. £102,470 to £133,810
Back InjuriesSevere (ii)These back injuries have special features, which include loss of sensation, mobility impairments and impaired bladder, bowel and sexual functioning.£90,510 to £107,910
Hand InjuriesSerious Hand InjuriesThese injuries reduce the hand to about 50 percent capacity. £35,390 to £75,550
Wrist InjuriesLoss of FunctionThis bracket applies to a complete loss of wrist function.£58,110 to £73,050

You may also be awarded special damages as part of your compensation. Special damages compensate for any out-of-pocket expenses you experienced due to your lift injury. You could claim compensation for:

  • Your loss of earnings.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Mobility aids.
  • Home help.
  • Nursing care.

You should submit evidence of your expenses, such as invoices for home help, wage slips and receipts.

If you have any questions about how compensation could be awarded in a successful personal injury claim or if you would like a free valuation, please contact a member of our advisory team.

Can You Claim For An Escalator Or Lift Accident?

Escalators and lifts are an integral part of modern life, but if they aren’t properly maintained, they can be extremely dangerous.

However, not every injury sustained in an escalator or lift accident will result in a successful compensation claim. This is because you can only make a valid claim if you can prove that negligence occurred. For the purposes of a personal injury claim, negligence occurs when:

  • Someone else owes you a duty of care.
  • This duty is breached.
  • You suffer an injury because of this.

A duty of care is a legal responsibility for someone else’s health and safety. When you are in a public place, the controller of that space owes you a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (OLA). 

This legislation outlines the steps that the people in charge of public spaces need to take to keep you safe. 

For example, many hotels have lifts and escalators to help guests move between floors. The person in control of the hotel knows that one of the lifts is faulty, but they let guests use it without making them aware. One day, the lift breaks down, and the emergency breaks fail, causing the lift to drop to the bottom of the shaft. This causes the guests inside to sustain serious injuries. 

In this case, the guests may be able to claim compensation, as they were injured as a result of a breached duty of care. 

If you’d like to find out if you could make a compensation claim, contact our team of expert advisors today.

How Could A Lift Or Escalator Accident Happen?

There are many ways that lift accidents could occur. In this section, we will look at some of them. They include:

  • Door malfunction allowing limbs to become trapped.
  • Where the lift stops suddenly due to malfunction causing you to fall and injure yourself.
  • Trip hazard within or around the lift such as loose carpet tiles.
  • The emergency stop button failing to operate during an emergency.
  • Lifts stopping between floors causing you to be trapped.

While these occurrences are rare, if you have been injured because of any of these, call our advisors to see if you could make a claim. To find out if we could help you, please speak to a specialist today.

Again, escalator accidents are relatively rare. Some scenarios that could lead to an accident include:

  • Loose or damaged safety rails.
  • Poorly fitted safety Perspex allowing limbs to become trapped.
  • Where the escalator stops suddenly for no reason.
  • Damage to the escalator’s track.

Later on, we’ll show what evidence you could use to help prove what happened. The most important could be CCTV footage and photographs. If you have evidence available to show that an escalator accident was caused through no fault of your own, why not give us a call to see if you could claim compensation?

How Do I Prove A Personal Injury Claim?

In personal injury claims, the onus is on the claimant to prove everything. You’ll need to supply evidence that shows what happened, how you suffered and who was to blame. To achieve this, you could use some or all of the following:

  • An accident report form. You should report the accident and ask for a copy of the report as it could help to prove times, dates and locations.
  • Witness details. Your lawyer may contact any witnesses to obtain a statement of what they saw.
  • Medical records. You should have your injuries assessed at a hospital or GP surgery. The medical records can be obtained later to show the extent of your injuries.
  • Photos or videos. Where possible, you should try to capture the accident scene before the cause is removed or repaired.
  • CCTV footage. Many establishments that use lifts and escalators will be covered by CCTV cameras. You are entitled to request copies of footage following an accident. Act fast, though, as recordings aren’t retained forever.

If you would like us to assess your evidence, for free, please get in touch. We’ll discuss your accident with you and let you know if you could proceed to a claim.

White Notebook With The Word Evidence Being Held Over A Table.

Personal Injury Claim Time Limits For Escalator And Lift Accidents

If you have strong grounds to make a personal injury claim for an escalator or lift accident, you must make sure you start proceedings within the relevant time limit. The Limitation Act 1980 states that you’ll typically have three years to start a personal injury claim from the date of the accident that injured you.

Within certain circumstances, the time limit can work differently. For example, if a child is injured in an escalator or lift accident, then the time limit is paused until their 18th birthday. Before that day comes, a court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim on the child’s behalf. If a claim has not been made before the day of the child’s 18th birthday, then the injured party will have three years to start their own claim from that date.

If the injured party lacks sufficient mental capacity to make their own personal injury claim, then the three-year time limit is indefinitely suspended. A litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf. However, if the injured party later regains enough mental capacity to make their own claim, and one hasn’t already been made, then the time limit will begin from the date of recovery.

Contact our advisors on the phone or online today for more information about escalator and lift accident claims.

Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor For A Lift Or Escalator Injury

A No Win No Fee lawyer could offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement. This agreement can be beneficial as it could potentially see you work with a solicitor without:

  • Having to make an upfront payment
  • Making any ongoing payments for their services during the claims process
  • Paying them if the claim is unsuccessful

A success fee is taken out of your compensation award in the event of a successful claim. However, there is a legal cap in place, limiting the percentage they can take.

If you had suffered psychologically after being stuck in a lift or were injured in another form of lift accident, then please reach out to one of our advisors for a free assessment of your potential claim. To do so, you can:

Two Men In Suits Sit Across From Each Other At Table That Has Scales And A Gavel On It.

Related Guides

As we are almost at the end of this article, we are going to link to some resources that you might need to refer to during a claim. Please let us know if you require additional information.