Can I Claim For An Escalator Or Lift Accident Injury?

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 14th June 2023. 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.

Escalator and lift accident claim guide

Escalator and lift accident claim guide

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. A Guide On Making An Escalator And Lift Accident Claim
  2. Stuck In A Lift Compensation In The UK – Example Payouts
  3. Lift Accident – Other Payout Examples
  4. What Are Escalator And Lift Accidents?
  5. Why Do Lift Accidents Happen?
  6. Why Do Escalator Accidents Happen?
  7. Slips, Trips And Falls Using Escalators And Lifts
  8. Claims For Being Trapped In An Elevator
  9. How Do I Claim Compensation For My Accident?
  10. Personal Injury Claim Time Limit For Escalator And Lift Accidents
  11. Stuck In The Lift – Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  12. Related Guides

A Guide On Making An Escalator And Lift Accident Claim

If you have been injured whilst using a lift or an escalator, you could seek compensation for your suffering. To be eligible to make a claim, you will need to demonstrate that:

  • You were owed a duty of care; and
  • As a result of their negligence, an accident occurred; and
  • You suffered an injury or injuries in the accident.

Later on, we’ll look at what evidence you could supply to help prove those things. We’ll also explain how much compensation could be paid for some relevant injuries.

While some injuries caused in such accidents may be minor, others can be life-changing. For example, falling from the top of a tall escalator could lead to head injuries, fractures, back injuries, cuts and bruising. On top of the physical injuries, you may also suffer psychologically too. If the accident that caused such injuries can be proven to have been caused by negligence, then a compensation claim might be possible.

As we progress through this article, we will show what sort of negligence could entitle you to claim. This can include poor maintenance, failing to repair faults or poor installation.

Stuck In A Lift Compensation In The UK – Example Payouts

Your compensation will depend on the type of injury you suffered in the lift accident and the effect the injury has had on your life.

The effects of your injury will be assessed under two categories. The first is the pain and distress your injury may have caused you. The compensation amount awarded for this is known as general damages.

To show you examples of payouts for general damages, we have included a list of injuries a person might suffer in a lift accident along with example amounts for compensation. The list, and table, is created from figures found within the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) released in 2022. While it is not a guarantee of what you will be awarded in your claim, the JCG is the publication commonly referred to by legal professionals when assessing compensation.

InjuryLevel of SeverityCompensation RangeAdditional Comments
NeckModerate (i)£24,990 to
Fractures or dislocated neck injuries causing severe symptoms.
Back Moderate (ii)£13,740 to
Soft tissue injury resulting in chronic pain
BackMinor (iii)£4,350 to
Soft tissue injuries which are resolved in around 1 to 2-years without surgery.
ArmAmputation£96,160 to £109,650A below the elbow amputation of one arm.
ArmSevere£96,160 to £130,930Permanently disabling the arm
FingersAmputation£61,910 to £90,750The amputation of the index and middle (or ring) fingers.
FingersSevere FracturesUp to £36,740Permanently affecting use of fingers
LegSerious£39,200 to £54,830Serious fracture affecting use of the leg for a long period
Psychological Moderate£5,860 to £19,070Although the claimant will have had problems with relationships, work and dealing with life generally, there will have been some big improvements.
Psychological Less severe£1,540 to £5,860The amount awarded will depend on how long daily activities, including sleep, were affected.

The second effect that will be assessed is the financial losses you may have suffered because of your injury. We offer more information about this below, but if you were injured in a lift accident caused by negligence, please reach out to one of our advisors to find out if you are eligible to make a claim. They could offer you more information about claims and how you could be able to claim compensation in the UK if you were stuck in a lift.

Lift Accident – Other Payout Examples

As mentioned in the section above, you could also seek compensation for any financial losses caused by the injuries you sustained in the lift accident. This is known as special damages.

For example, you may be able to request compensation for:

  • Affected income
  • Treatment costs or medical expenses
  • Care costs
  • Any adaptations you need to help you cope with your injury

You should collect supporting evidence of the costs and losses you wish to claim for. Evidence could be receipts, bank statements or payslips.

If you would like to learn about what you could claim for if you have been injured in a lift or escalator accident, then please reach out to one of our advisers.

What Are Escalator And Lift Accidents?

There are many different ways that lift or escalator accidents can happen. They range from being trapped in lift doors to falling down an escalator. When such an accident occurs, you might be able to seek compensation for any injuries that result.

When making escalator and lift accident claims, you need to prove that you were owed a duty of care. This is derived from legislation such as The Occupiers Liability Act 1984. After you have proven the duty of care, you will need to move on to prove that negligence caused the accident to happen.

There are several ways this can be achieved including gathering your own evidence which we will discuss later on. Another way of proving negligence is for a personal injury solicitor to request copies of maintenance schedules for the lift or escalator. If it can be proven that poor maintenance led to equipment malfunctioning, you could be eligible for damages.

We can help if you are considering making a claim. Our team of specialists can review your case for free and let you know what needs to be done next. If your case is deemed suitable, we could pass it to a solicitor. If they agree to work for you, it will be on a No Win No Fee basis.

Why Do Lift Accidents 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.

Why Do Escalator Accidents Happen?

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?

Slips, Trips And Falls Using Escalators And Lifts

While the more dramatic types of accidents that can happen in lifts are often depicted in films, the more common are simple trips or falls. They can happen on a lift or escalator:

  • Operates in a jerky fashion.
  • Comes to an unexpected halt.

Furthermore, where a lift fails to stop level to the floor, it could create a trip hazard for anybody entering or exiting.

Importantly, not all lift or escalator accidents will entitle you to compensation. For example, if there is a power cut to the building, the operator would not necessarily have much control over it so might not be liable for your injuries.

If you suspect that an accident was caused by negligence, though, we could help you. If you speak to a specialist advisor today, they will run through everything for you and assess your case for free.

Claims For Being Trapped In An Elevator

Being stuck in a lift can be a scary event. As well as being stuck in a small place, it is likely to get very hot very quickly. The longer you are stuck, the more you might panic and experience feelings of anxiousness.

If you do get stuck in a lift, for any amount of time, it might be possible to seek compensation for any psychological injuries caused by the event. Again, for that to be the case, it will need to be shown that the lift operator was negligent in some way.

To find out whether you might be entitled to claim, why not ask for free legal advice today? If your case is suitable, a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could help seek damages for you.

How Do I Claim Compensation For My Accident?

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.

Personal Injury Claim Time Limit 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.

Stuck In The Lift – Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

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:

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.

Passenger Lifts And Escalators – An explanation of the relevant safety rules from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – This guide provides an overview of the causes and treatments of PTSD.

Anxiety UK – This UK charity provides support and therapy to anybody who suffers from anxiety.

Trip, Slip And Fall Claims – Free advice on how to claim for injuries that result from a fall.

Finger Injuries – Details of how to claim for injuries such as crushed or amputated fingers.

Head Injuries – This article discusses concussion, bruising or brain damage claims.