Escalators are a convenient way to move between floors without waiting for an elevator or climbing up the stairs. But escalators are a more frequent cause of injury than people think. It is estimated that 10,000 escalator accidentsper year in the United States result in visits to the emergency room. Escalator accidents can result in significant trauma and are frequently the result of someone’s negligence.
Types of Accidents
Escalator accidents that can cause serious injury can happen in a number of different ways including:
- Entrance or exit plates on the escalator that are not close enough to the steps
- Escalator moving too fast
- Loose steps
- Debris on the escalator
- Escalator stopping and starting suddenly which can lead riders to lose their balance and fall
- Broken railings
- Defective design that makes it easy to get trapped when two steps fold together
Any of these conditions can lead to severe injuries including entrapment injuries, fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and serious lacerations.
Sometimes the escalator itself is defectively manufactured or defectively designed. In these cases, the manufacturer of the escalator may be held liable for any injuries in a product liability claim. This is frequently the case with the escalator stairs are too close together, or there is too wide of a gap between the end of the escalator and the ground.
Property owners and businesses have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, and this includes any escalators on their property. The safe operation of an escalator depends on regular and proper maintenance. When a property owner cuts costs on the upkeep of the escalator, there can be serious consequences. An improperly maintained escalator can make it more likely that accidents will occur.
If an escalator is owned by a governmental entity such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) they can also be held liable for an improperly maintained and broken escalator. When making a claim against a governmental entity it is important to serve a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident. If you’ve been injured on an escalator that may be owned by the City or another entity, it is important to act quickly.
If you’ve been injured in an escalator accident, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.