Every day in the United States, millions of people ride escalators. And for the most part, other than perhaps some slight anxiety taking that first step onto or last step off of an escalator, we use escalators without much thought.
But escalator accidents are more prevalent than you think. Every year, escalators kill 30 people and injury another 17,000 in escalator accidents. The injuries range in severity, with some escalator injuries being described as appearing like shark bites.
Escalator accidents can be the the result of a gap in the escalator that sucks in a body part (small children are particularly susceptible to these types of injuries); protruding parts, like screws, that grab a piece of clothing or flesh as the rider glides by; getting toppled by other riders who fall because of some malfunction in the escalator; shoelaces being drawn into the end of an escalator because of gaps caused by missing escalator teeth; or electrical injuries caused by exposed or faulty wiring.
Escalator accidents could give rise to a negligence claim (premises liability), product liability, or failure to warn.
An escalator injury attorney can help you analyze the strength of your case and make a determination who is responsible, whether it is the designer of the escalator, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, retailer, the business using it, the company hired to maintain it, or some combination of the above. It could also be that you are wholly or partially responsible for your own injuries under a doctrine of comparative negligence.
Escalator owners have codified duties when it comes to maintenance, which, if not followed, may result in liability. For example, OSHA recommends a thorough inspection of escalators and elevators of no less than once per year, with monthly inspections for satisfactory operation occurring at least monthly.
The National Elevators Industry has set forth inspection standards for elevator maintenance that includes cleanliness, lubrication, adjustment, inspection, testing and review, with very specific directives for each.
Additionally, a “Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators,” ASME A17.1/CSA B44 requires the owner to establish and follow a compliant maintenance control program to help prevent escalator accidents, elevator accidents, and injuries resulting from either.
If you have questions, contact the escalator injury attorneys at H&P Law. The consultation is always free, and you’ll never pay for our representation. We will aggressively pursue your case, filing a lawsuit where necessary, and going all the way to the jury if the people responsible for your injuries don’t offer a reasonable settlement before then.