Escalator Injury: Exploring The Most Common Injuries And Legal Rights

Escalator Injury: Exploring The Most Common Injuries And Legal Rights

Escalators are large conveyor belts and these motorized staircases are found at countless locations, such as office buildings, airports, shopping malls, and more. They provide a simple and convenient way to get from one floor to the next without climbing countless stairs or taking an elevator. While most never think of the possible dangers associated with escalators, the truth is that accidents causing injuries and other damages are not uncommon. If you were in an escalator accident as a result of negligent maintenance, there may be cause to pursue damages through a premises liability lawsuit. Speak to a knowledgeable lawyer in Mississippi at Lott Law by calling 228-215-2787 to ensure your legal and financial rights remain protected. 

Riding the Escalator: How Dangerous is it Really?

Most escalators are approximately six tons of heavy machinery. Per the guidance of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, escalators must pass extensive testing and undergo frequent maintenance to keep them safe for users. However, escalator accidents happen frequently, and are often the result of unsafe and careless actions. Some safety tips to keep in mind while using escalators include: 

  • Always use care when stepping onto or off the stairs 
  • Hold the handrails at all times while riding on the equipment 
  • Keep all loose clothing, bags, and other items clear of the stairs to prevent anything from getting caught 
  • Never sit down on the railings or escalator stairs
  • Attempting to take baby strollers, luggage, or other large items on escalators is hazardous
  • Never attempt to run up the stairways against the direction the escalator is moving or slide down the railings 
  • Those with balance or mobility issues should use the elevator to reach different floors  
  • Riding the escalator with bare feet could result in severe injuries to the feet or toes

According to research by the National Library of Medicine, approximately 10,000 people in the United States visit the Emergency Room for treatment from escalator accident injuries. 

Common Causes of Escalator Accidents

Landowners and property managers are legally responsible for providing a certain duty of care to protect visitors they invite to enter the premises from suffering avoidable harm. That includes completing regular maintenance and conducting inspections to locate potential hazards and make the necessary repairs. Some of the most common causes of escalator accidents leading to injuries include:

  • Negligent upkeep or failing to conduct regular inspections to locate defects and make repairs 
  • Broken or missing steps or escalator teeth 
  • Unstable or loose handrails 
  • Defective escalator parts or inherently dangerous designs 
  • Malfunctions, such as abrupt direction reversals or stops 
  • Improper service or replacement of parts 
  • Too many people on the escalator causing overcrowding 
  • Liquid from spills or rain tracked in, causing slippery conditions 
  • Finger, comp plate, and between-step entrapment injuries 

When accidents on someone else’s property occur as a result of negligence, property liability laws protect victims by allowing them to pursue justice from the at-fault party. An experienced personal injury attorney at Lott Law can help answer your questions after you escalator accident and ensure your legal and financial rights are protected. 

How Common Are Falls on Escalators?

Falls while using escalators are the most common way people suffer injuries, making up about three out of four accidents occurring each year. According to Airports Council International, escalator falls at airports are a significant cause of severe injuries for people in airports, with approximately one to two incidents occurring each week. Airports nationwide seek to educate the public about the potential dangers and risks of escalators to reduce the number of those sustaining severe injuries and losses. People may fall because of overcrowding, malfunctions, or a piece of loose clothing that gets caught in the stairs. Falling on escalators can cause severe head injuries or traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries. 

More Interesting Facts About Escalator Accidents

Escalators are massive pieces of machinery that need regular maintenance to keep operating efficiently and effectively. A property owner has a legal obligation to conduct inspections to ensure they are functioning as they should. Consistent upkeep by responsible property owners and managers reduces the number of malfunctions and accidents leading to injuries occurring yearly. Some of the more interesting facts about escalator accidents include the following: 

  • Age and alcohol consumption are common factors for those suffering from injuries from escalator accidents 
  • Soft tissue trauma, such as whiplash, sprains and strains, are the most typical type of injuries resulting from escalators 
  • Electrical malfunctions can cause a severe risk of harm, including life-threatening injuries or death 
  • Children, seniors, and those with disabilities are most at risk of suffering injuries in an escalator accident. 

If you suffered any kind of injury as a result of an escalator accident, consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you may have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. 

Determining Liability After an Escalator Accident

Not every escalator accident has a legal basis for a lawsuit. There must be evidence the incident happened because of negligence on the part of the property owner. Building owners and managers are legally responsible for maintaining escalators to ensure they are safe for public use. When accidents happen because they failed to maintain regular maintenance, those injured may have cause to file a lawsuit in civil court and collect compensation for the liable party. Additionally, if an escalator accident occurs as a result of a manufacturer defect or malfunction, the manufacturer may be liable for damages to the victim. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand who you may have the right to hold responsible legally after your escalator accident. 

Consider Visiting With a Seasoned Personal Injury Attorney

Premises liability laws could entitle you to collect compensation from the at-fault party if you were in an escalator accident and suffered severe bodily harm and other losses while riding on an escalator in public or while visiting someone else’s property. These cases are oftentimes complex, and proving liability can be challenging without legal guidance or experience with premises liability lawsuits. Call 228-215-2787 to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at Lott Law for help recovering damages after an escalator injury.