Escalator Injury Lawsuits
Escalators are common fixtures in many public places around town. You’ll see them within malls, certain office buildings, department stores, airports and more. Some could argue that they discourage healthier choices (like taking the stairs), but in reality they help to keep foot traffic moving seamlessly in public places. As a result of this high traffic and constantly being in use, property managers need to be diligent about maintaining the escalators to prevent injuries to undeserving guests.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission report that around 30 people are killed each year due to elevator and escalator incidents. An astonishing 17,000 people report general injuries as well. Should you or someone you care for have suffered an injury due to an escalator or elevator in a public place, it’s worth speaking with an attorney. A reputable injury attorney can assess your case to see if someone may be at fault. Here are some of the ways an attorney can work for you:
Maintenance and Inspections Records
Like every other part of the property, escalators need maintaining. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American National Standards Institute worked together to establish a set of standards for escalators to be enforced across the board. These include design features like an emergency stop button, bright colored borders on each step and painted footprints that make the path clear to follow. It’s not uncommon to find escalators that aren’t painted. Should you have taken a misstep, a negligent case could be in order. Escalators should be inspected by trained professionals to ensure that there aren’t any mechanical errors or faulty parts that could cause an incident. A portion of this duty falls on the maintenance team, but state, county and building inspections need to be formally conducted as well. Getting access to these files can be a chore as they might involve third party contractors, but personal injury attorneys are familiar with the system and know how to get these files for review in an efficient way.
Each Case is Unique
The most common escalator injury cases happen when a piece of the victim’s clothing or other belongings get stuck within the escalator’s moving parts. After the item gets caught, a person’s hands or feet are most susceptible to be injured. Each of these variables along with the location and injuries themselves make every case unique. While no two cases are the same, a skilled lawyer will be able to listen to your case and immediately pick up on points that could be the result of someone else’s negligent actions. Your story paired with the facts and the documents your lawyer is able to achieve will give you the collateral you need to recover damages. Unfortunately, statistics show that children and seniors are more likely to be injured over the average adult. Experts guess that a child’s smaller stature puts them at a greater risk of coming in contact with parts while seniors are more likely to fall without proper safety markings.
Third Party Individuals and/or Companies
Safety standard and best practices change frequently as we have more access to information and technology. Leading manufacturers, contracting and construction companies or property owners are responsible for being “in the know” of these changes. Upon set up, the escalator should be outfitted with the above mentioned safety items but also be evaluated for uneven edges or gaps. The escalator itself could be in prime running condition, but sketchy concrete or tile work done by the contractor who did the install could be to blame for your fall. Property owners will discourage you from trying to explore these venues, which could potentially stick you with costly medical bills.
It’s our responsibility to be careful and practice common sense safety when using escalators. Beyond that, injuries can still happen and might be caused by faulty equipment or a shady setup. Reach out to our team of injury attorneys to speak about your case and see what your legal rights are.