Escalators can cause severe injury despite being in many malls and stores. The moving stairways, enclosed waist high at the sides may be a matter of convenience but are considered common carriers under California negligence law. Due to this, the operators of the escalators and landlords are held to a higher standard of care to make sure that it works as it is due to. With about 30,000 escalators in the country today, there are as many as 575 million passengers every day.
As such, approximately 11,000 people are injured due to escalators every year. About 27 annually lead to death. Our skilled attorneys at the Ehline Law Firms PC stand up for the rights of the injured and work our hardest to make sure that they are appropriately taken care of. With the higher standard, those that were negligent in allowing people to use an escalator that could be stopped and used as stairs for maintenance is even worse.
The Ehline Law Firm has earned its reputation assisting those that have been harmed due to others’ negligence. Our specialization in escalator cases show an unflattering picture of the injuries. There are cases of escalator related injuries causing fingers, flip flops, dresses, and toes being caught in the moving pieces of the machine– the belts, grates, trusses, tracks, steps, and handrails of the moving staircase. Our knowledge of the mechanics of the machine and the case study to make your claim more effective. We can be reached at 888.400.9721 for a free consultation.
The liability for such a severe accident falls on the building owner or manager. They are responsible for the safe usage of the machine and the proper maintenance thereof. If it is unsafe, then it is so for the public and tenants. Airports also use escalators and similar horizontal system for fast transport.
These types of machines are required to have handrails to keep pace with the conveyors or steps in order for people to be able to balance while moving. Malls will commonly use the large staircase type escalators. Sometimes they are found at condos or apartment complexes or smaller retail spaces. These areas have high pedestrian traffic, including stadiums, airports, train stations, and the like. In subways even spiral and tube style escalators are utilized.
When there are multiple people involved in maintenance, the owner or manager is responsible for the utmost diligence to make sure that it is up to safety code. When there is an accident, the owner or manager can be held liable for negligence. These are particularly complicated cases that require the steady hand of a skilled attorney, such as those at the Ehline Law Firm PC.
The owner or operator is obligated by law to keep the escalator safe. Often human error is completely or partially to blame for such an error. Sometimes they are caused by mechanical problems or poor maintenance. These can cause failures that can cause stops that jolt riders, including those not holding onto the railing. Sometimes escalators also face fires, due to overheating, flammable lubricating oil, or poor sprinkler devices. This can cause severe issues, leading to the “trench effect“.
This type of damaged and worn equipment must be updated and fixed. However, when this is not done, there can be severe issues. There are cases when the grated metal stairs have gaps that can cause skin and clothing to be caught, especially the case with children. This can cause severe foot, hand, or other injuries, including avulsion and amputation.
- Improper belt and parts
- Improper repairs and maintenance
- Jarring and jolting stops that are sudden
- Missing protective railings and side panels
- Entrapment of feet, tennis shoes, digits and so forth, in “side traps”
- Improperly tightened parts, broken, damaged or missing comb plate teeth
- Attractive nuisance
Unfortunately, children are at higher risk for injury, especially those that see escalators as a toy. When children misuse the escalator or are out of their parents’ supervision, severe injury can result. One of the most common injuries is due to a side entrapment hazard. Children lean on or stand closer to the plexiglass or metal paneling as they grab onto the rail for support. Their fingers can be caught or skin ripped off in the rail belts or their shoes or shoestrings nabbed in the step grates. Even with parental supervision, this is still possible.
Each year there are thousands of accidents involving escalators that cause severe injuries, most commonly those to the hand or foot. There are also cases of severe head trauma, knee injuries, fingertip injuries, or other issues that can be avoided with proper maintenance.
First thing first: find immediate medical care. After this is completed, you must sit down with an accredited injury attorney to go over your legal rights. This will include taking pictures of the scene, gathering witness statements, filing a notice of defect or claim, and other elements. Call the police, fill out an incident report, and make sure that all safety regulations are being carried out.
It is important not to wait in a case like this. There could be multiple liable parties and waiting out the statute of limitations could kill your case. A skilled attorney is vital to getting your life whole again.
Having an experienced legal team by your side can make all the difference, organizing a proper claim for the court and making sure that the negligent parties are held liable. The attorneys will gather proper evidence, file liability insurance claims, contact the insurance companies, and determine if the escalator was faulty or recalled.
The right attorney is vital in court. The Ehline Law Firm PC has won in hundreds of cases, winning millions in settlements for our clients and helping them patch their lives back together facing medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, medicine, and more. Call us today at 888-400-9721 for a free, no-pressure consultation.