Deadlines to File Elevator/Escalator Accident Claims
deadline for most Elevator/Escalator Accident Claims in Hawaii is two
(2) years from the date of the injury
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 :
Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney now for a free evaluation of your case.