Escalators can be found in many public buildings, shopping malls and department stores. When they are not properly maintained they can be dangerous and even when maintained can still cause injury. They can malfunction causing sudden stops that can jolt riders, especially passengers that are not holding onto the handrail.
In the state of California escalators are considered “common carriers”, which means that the owner/operator is responsible for “due care”. This means the owner/operator is responsible for the escalator being safe for passengers to ride. There are approximately 30,000 escalators in the United States, with as many as 575 million people riding them every day. Statistics show that approximately 11,000 people injured each year and approximately 27 escalator deaths.
Escalator liability falls on the building owner or manager to ensure the mechanical stairs are safe for riders and that they are properly maintained for employees, the public or tenants. The owner or manager is responsible for the utmost diligence in care of the escalators and when there is an escalator accident the owner/manager can be held liable for their negligence.
Why Escalators Fail
Escalators can fail for reasons such as worn, damage or faulty equipment, but they can also fail due to lack of proper maintenance. The moving stairs are to be inspected, serviced and maintained regularly to avoid possible injury to riders. The stairs can have too much space between them and the stationary rail, which can be a hazard resulting in a person’s foot or a child’s hand to become caught, causing severe injury or amputation. When the bottom step is not flush with the grove and foot tread it can become a trip and fall hazard.
Injuries Sustained In Escalator Accidents
Every year there are thousands of escalator accidents that cause severe injuries to the rider involved. Hand and foot injuries are the most common escalator accident injuries, but there have been head trauma and knee injuries. Amputations, such as a fingertip amputation, can also occur and parents should check children’s shoelaces prior to getting on the moving stairs.
What to do After an Escalator Injury
If you or a loved one has been injured when riding an escalator it is important to have the representation of an attorney that specializes in this type of accident that can often be complex and have more than one party that can be held liable. If you or a loved one has been injured in an escalator accident it can be due to lack of proper maintenance and the owner and manager can be held liable. The law firm of Ehline Law is experienced in representing escalator injury victims. Our personal injury attorney can be reached at 888-400-9721.