Deadlines to File Elevator/Escalator Accident Claims
The deadline for most Elevator/Escalator Accident Claims in Hawaii is two (2) years from the date of the injury Deadlines caused. It should be noted, however, that there are exceptions to this rule- for example, claims against the City and County of Honolulu and the various other Counties must be filed with the appropriate agency within six (6) months of the date of the accident. There are also some other exceptions which may provide some additional time in certain cases. You must file your claims in court prior to the expiration of such deadlines, or your claims may be lost—regardless of their merit.
Elevator/Escalator Accident Claims Information
Generally an elevator/escalator claim arises where a defective elevator/escalator has caused injury. An elevator/escalator may be defective in design or in manufacture. The definition of a product under Hawaii’s product liability doctrine is pretty broad, and the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii has even found that components of a building such as an escalator may be products for the purposes of products liability doctrine. Leong v. Sears Roebuck and Co. Hawaii Supreme Court Case No. 20865 (December 14, 1998).
The absence of a warning of danger may also be a basis for liability for an elevator/escalator accident. This may be caused by a building which fails to warn that an elevator/escalator is malfuncioning, by service personnel who fail to rope off their work area or otherwise. However, if a victim is found to have been negligent in using an elevator/escalator (ie. to have failed to use ordinary care), it may reduce or completely defeat any recovery available.
Pursuing Elevator/Escalator Accident Claims
Escalator and elevator cases are generally hard fought by the defense. Escalators and elevators are typically purchased from a third party and then maintained under an ongoing third-party agreement. These maintenance agreements are generally written to keep the maintenance company primarily responsible for the operation and condition of the escalator or elevator; however, the owner will probably still has a common carrier’s duty of inspection and maintenance that in most states cannot be delegated. Maintenance and inspection logs are often critical to establishing liability in this type of case. Proving actual or constructive notice of a problem or defect with the elevator or escalator is often a crucial issue. Interviewing and obtaining statements or depositions of the members of the team responsible for the inspections and the maintenance will generally be needed. A copy of the elevator or escalator permit can usually be obtained from the appropriate county agency and this will provide the basic information on the machinery involved. The purchase documents, the maintenance contracts and the insurance policies for the escalator or elevator should all be examined, if possible, in evaluating an escalator or elevator claim.
To be wise it is recommended that you immediately contact an elevator, escalator and lift accident attorney after an accident giving rise to injuries occurs- please do not hesitate to:
Contact Hawaii Injury Lawyer | Attorney now for a free evaluation of your case.