How Much Compensation Could I Claim For Being Stuck In A Lift?

By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 13th October 2023. If you’ve been stuck in a lift, you may have suffered an injury during its malfunction or experienced stress and anxiety in being stuck. In some cases, you could make a personal injury claim to get compensation for your suffering.

In this guide, we explain the claims process and how we can help you if you’ve been stuck in a lift. We also explain compensation payouts and how our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors can help you.

To get a free consultation on your claim, please call us on 0161 696 9685 or use our online claims form to reach us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Stuck in a lift compensation

Stuck in a lift compensation claims

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Calculating Compensation For Being Stuck In A Lift

If you make a successful claim for compensation, your compensation package will be awarded in two parts.

You will be able to claim:

  • General damages: General damages are compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity, caused by the claimant’s injuries.
  • Special damages: Special damages reimburse the injured person for any expenses or financial losses they have accrued, as a result of their injuries.

If you are curious about how much compensation you could be awarded, you can use our personal injury claims calculator to estimate how much you could receive in general damages. Of course, this is only an estimation. For a more accurate quote, contact Legal Helpline today to speak to an advisor and see how much compensation you could claim.

Type Of InjuryNotesAmount
Psychiatric Damage Generally - SevereA very poor prognosis, with the person severely suffering to cope with daily life.£54,830 to £115,730
Psychiatric Damage Generally - Moderately SevereThe person will suffer with significant issue regarding coping with their social/working life, however, there will be a more optimistic prognosis.£19,070 to £54,830
Psychiatric Damage Generally - ModerateDespite suffering with various issues, the person will have made significant improvements.£5,860 to £19,070
Psychiatric Damage Generally - Less SevereHow long the person suffered for, as well as how much various daily activities were impacted, will affect how much is awarded.£1,540 to £5,860
PTSD - SevereThe person will be unable to function/work as they did pre-trauma due to permanent issues.£59,860 to £100,670
PTSD - Moderately SevereThere is room for some recovery with help from a professional following a positive prognosis.£23,150 to £59,860
PTSD - ModerateThe person will have made a significant recovery, with any continuing effects not being majorly disabling.£8,180 to £23,150
PTSD - Less SevereWithin 1-2 years a virtual full recovery will have been made.£3,950 to £8,180
BladderDespite there being an almost full recovery, the person will still suffer with some interference with natural function.£23,410 to £31,310

Our personal injury claims calculator excludes special damages.

What Else Can You Claim For After Being Stuck In A Lift?

If you make a successful personal injury claim for being stuck in a lift, your compensation settlement may also include special damages.

This head of claim relates to any financial harm or losses that you have incurred due to your injuries.

Special damages may be able to compensate you for the following:

  • A loss of earnings – if your injuries sustained from being stuck in a lift cause you to take time off work, you may suffer a loss of earnings.
  • Travel expenses – you may have to pay for travel to and from your GP or hospital appointments relating to your injuries.
  • Prescription fees – you could pay for your prescription if you require medication to alleviate symptoms of your physical or psychological injuries.

It’s important to provide evidence of any financial harm you have incurred. For example, a payslip can prove a loss of earnings, or receipts can be used to prove travel expenses and prescription fees.

Get in touch with one of our advisors today to discuss your potential personal injury claim and to see if you could be eligible to work with one of the solicitors on our panel.

Can I Claim Compensation If I Get Stuck In A Lift?

There are a few different incidents that could result in becoming stuck in a lift. These include:

  • A public liability accident. If you are in a public space, such as a shopping centre, the individual or organisation in control of that space owes you a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This means that they must ensure your reasonable safety. If you suffer harm because of a breach in this duty, you might be able to make a personal injury claim.
  • An accident at work. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), your employer owes you a duty of care to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. Should you suffer harm because your employer breached their duty of care, you could be eligible for compensation.

Additionally, there are other pieces of legislation that govern how lifts should be maintained to be compliant with health and safety regulations. We look at this later in this guide.

In order to have strong grounds to seek compensation for an accident in a lift, you will be required to prove that you suffered harm because a liable party breached the duty of care owed to you.

If you would like to check your eligibility to make a personal injury claim due to a malfunctioning lift, speak with an advisor from our team.

What Could Cause A Lift To Malfunction?

You may be eligible for compensation if you have suffered a mental or physical injury due to getting stuck in a lift. There are various instances where you may use a lift. For example, you may use a lift at your office job or in a public shopping centre.

There are also different circumstances where a lift could become stuck. For example, if there are too many passengers meaning the recommended weight limit is exceeded, this could cause the lift to become stuck in between floors. If the lift is stuck, depending on how long you are trapped in the lift, you could suffer from various mental injuries, such as claustrophobia or anxiety.

Causes of being stuck in a lift could include:

  1. A power failure. If it was due to a short circuit, the accident may have been preventable.
  2. Deliberate sabotaging or tampering.
  3. Engine failure. This may be because a component of the engine has broken or worn away. This could happen because the lift operator fails to do routine checks.
  4. Engine contamination. The oil in the motor can become contaminated with tiny bits of metal, if it is not checked regularly, causing the lift to break.
  5. Operating system failure. This could mean the lift doors do not open when the carriage reaches the correct floor.

What to do when trapped in a lift? Try not to panic. It’s best to stay calm and use the contact button to report the mishap to the building’s security team.

If another passenger panics try to reassure them and keep calm. Use a mobile phone to call someone if necessary. Do not jump in the lift to try to restart it, as this could cause the lift to fall, causing a serious injury such as a broken or fractured bone.

Do not climb through the door on top of the lift onto the carriage, or try to open the doors to jump into the shaft, because if the lift starts moving again, you could be crushed.

Do not hesitate to contact our advisors today if you have any questions about making a personal injury claim for being stuck in a lift. Our team is available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice.

How To Claim If You’re Harmed By Being Stuck In A Lift

You will need evidence to support your lift injury compensation claim requires evidence to support it. Here are some general examples of the evidence you could gather to prove negligence occurred:

  • CCTV footage
  • Medical evidence
  • Witness contact information
  • Pictures of your injuries

Get in touch with our advisors today for more information on claiming compensation for being stuck in a lift.

Is There A Time Limit For Seeking Compensation?

When beginning a personal injury claim after being stuck in a lift, you need to begin legal proceedings within 3 years. This is stated in the Limitation Act 1980.

The two exceptions to this time limit are if the claimant:

  • Is under 18
  • Lacks the mental capacity to claim

For children, the time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. For those who lack the mental capacity to claim their time limit remains suspended indefinitely. While the time limit is paused, a litigation friend can be appointed to claim on behalf of the injured person.

If no claim is made for a child while the time limit is paused, they will have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to pursue their own claim. 

If no claim is made for a person with a reduced mental capacity, they will have three years from the date they recover their capacity.

For more information on the time limit for starting a lift injury compensation claim and the exceptions that could apply, please get in touch using the number above.

Laws And Regulations Applicable To Passenger Lifts

The Lift Regulations, 2016, came into force in the United Kingdom in December 2016 and implemented Directive 2014/33/EU, of 24 February 2014. The Lift Regulations, 2016 explain health and safety obligations; an installer must ensure, manufacturers, installers, distributors of lifts, as well as other responsible parties act in accordance with the essential health and safety requirements. In summary, lifts must be designed, tested, installed and maintained according to correct standards in the name of passenger lift safety. It states that in Great Britain the HSE is responsible for enforcing these standards.

Risks Associated With The Use Of Passenger Lifts

Here are some common accidents that could be caused by lifts:

  • The elevator mislevels (does not align with the floor) when it opens, causing passengers to trip and fall.
  • The doors open but the lift carriage does not arrive, causing a passenger to step through the doors and fall into the elevator shaft.
  • The lift falls in the shaft, which can cause serious injuries.
  • Becoming crushed in the mechanism, above, or below the lift carriage, if a passenger finds themselves in a lift shaft.
  • Psychological injuries caused by being stuck in a lift.
  • If a passenger tries to jump in the lift to make it start, this can cause the lift to fall, which can cause serious injuries upon impact. If a passenger goes through the door on top of the lift or tries to climb into the shaft to escape, they can be crushed if the lift starts working again.

Lift accidents are thankfully rare, but when they do happen they can have very serious consequences. The Lift And Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) reported that in 2015 there were 326 lift accidents resulting in minor injuries, 5 accidents resulting in serious injuries and sadly one accident that resulted in a death.

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Stuck In A Lift Compensation Case Study

This case study involves Mrs D (whose name has been abbreviated for privacy reasons). Mrs D lived in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, and was shopping at The Square shopping centre in Tallaght. She entered the lift with her son and it stopped moving, soon after the door closed. She banged on the door, rang the alarm and called her husband. Four and a half minutes after the lift stopped a member of the shopping centre’s security team managed to open the doors and fortunately, Mrs D and her son left the lift without any physical injuries.

Regrettably, Mrs D was left with psychological injuries as a result of being stuck in a lift. Mrs D had suffered from claustrophobia as a child. The ordeal brought back this fear. As a result, she found herself propping her handbag against the door of public toilets, rather than lock them, and unable to go into the changing rooms of clothes shops, for fear that she may become trapped inside. A psychiatrist diagnosed Mrs D as suffering from panic attacks and anxiety attacks, in response to being stuck in a lift.

Mrs D found a solicitor to represent her claim for personal injury compensation, for being stuck in a lift. She was awarded £23,000 compensation for getting stuck in a lift. The amount reflected the extent of her psychological injuries.


Make A No Win No Fee Compensation Claim For Being Stuck In A Lift

If you have been stuck in a lift due to negligence, or a disregard for passenger lift safety, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. We can offer you the option to make a no win no fee claim, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Why do so many of our clients choose to make a no win no fee claim? First of all, instead of paying an upfront solicitors fee, you will only have to pay your success fee on the condition that your solicitor wins your case, so there is less financial risk involved for you.

If you win, your fee will be deducted from your compensation package, making no win no fee the more affordable option for many of our clients.

Can you get compensation for being stuck in a lift? To see if you are eligible for compensation, call Legal Helpline today. Call us on 0161 696 9685 or use our online claims form to reach us.

Essential References On Personal Injury Claims

You may find these Legal Helpline guides helpful.

How Much Compensation For An Accident In A Shop Claim? – Learn more in this comprehensive guide.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For An Accident At Work? – Find out in this guide.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Public Park Accident? – Learn more in this guide.

Lifts Regulations Guidelines: 2016

An HSE Guide To Passenger Lift And Escalator Safety Standards

Remember, if you need any more help or advice after being stuck in a lift, please get in touch.