Escalator or Lift Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an escalator and lift accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an escalator and lift accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming escalator or lift injury compensation:


Lifts and escalators are an essential part of daily life for many people. They are vital for people with wheelchairs or with babies in buggies and invaluable for ill or elderly people.

Lifts and escalators are used to carry goods and people to workplaces, in shopping complexes, hospitals, airports and multi-storey car parks,

According to the 'Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA)', there are around 250,000 passenger and goods lifts in the UK.

What are the risks of using lifts and escalators?

Although it is a common fear to be trapped in a falling lift or to get clothing caught in the teeth of an escalator, the majority of lifts and escalators are very safe and accidents are unlikely.

The most common injuries are minor and may never be reported, such as trips, bumps and pinched fingers.

However, when lifts and escalators are not properly fitted or maintained, accidents do occur.

Lift and escalator injury statistics

The latest figures available are published by the Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA).

The data shows that a single year there were:

  • 326 minor accidents
  • 5 accidents reported to RIDDOR
  • 5 serious injuries
  • 1 fatality

Lift and escalator safety

A lift car failing to stop at the correct place may cause a tripping hazard for those entering or alighting; the doors may close on lift users, or a lift may stop mid floor with occupants trapped inside.

At worst a lift may fall down the lift shaft.

Escalators should be fitted with an emergency stop mechanism, triggered when clothing or limbs or fingers become caught in its teeth. If this fails, a person's limb could be pulled into the escalator.

If escalator stairs have become slippery, users may sustain injury through falling.

Sudden stops in either lifts or on escalators may also lead to injuries through falls.

What should I do if injured by a faulty lift or escalator?

Owners of lifts and escalators have a duty to maintain them to ensure they are safe to use. If they have not done so and an accident occurs as a result, then it may be possible to claim compensation for personal injury.

It is essential to report the incident to any staff or the owner at the time. Where an accident book is available, the incident should be recorded. The names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident should also be documented, and photographs of the area where the accident happened should be taken if possible.

Receipts of any prescription costs and travelling expenses incurred as a result of the accident should be kept to form part of an expenses claim.

An accident on lift or escalator may also lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; manifesting itself with a continuous and debilitating fear of using lifts or escalators.

Do I have an escalator or lift injury claim?

As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an escalator or lift injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last three years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an escalator or lift injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if I don't know who was to blame?

You should contact a solicitor as soon as possible to discuss your options. Specialist lawyers have years of experience identifying the responsible party in cases where liability is uncertain.

How much compensation can I claim for an escalator or lift injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your escalator or lift injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your escalator or lift injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an escalator or lift injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious back injury can be £30,000

For a more minor arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.

However, if you have a serious back injury and a more minor arm injury, you would typically receive £30,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for an escalator or lift injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an escalator or lift injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your escalator or lift injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?

If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.

Can I get an interim payment?

Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.

Calculate my escalator or lift injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an escalator or lift injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your escalator or lift injury claim could be worth now:

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How long does an escalator or lift injury claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation for an escalator or llift injury can vary considerably.

A straightforward uncontested occupiers liability claim could be completed in a couple of months. However, if liability is denied the process might take significantly longer. Usually, an occupiers liability claim takes between 6 and 9 months. See: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your escalator or lift injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee, no risk

Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if you do not winn your claim .

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an escalator or lift injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my escalator or lift injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my escalator or lift injury claim?

If your escalator or lift injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Escalator or lift injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an escalator or lift injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the escalator or lift injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your escalator or lift injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an escalator or lift injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim escalator or lift injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an escalator or lift injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher