What If I Am Injured on an Escalator?

Escalators in malls, offices buildings, and airports move people easily from one floor to the next, usually without incident. However, injuries on escalators are more common than you might think. Usually, escalator injuries involve malfunction or poor maintenance, but user error accounts for accidents as well, complicating liability for such injuries. More often than not, the victims of escalator accidents are children or the elderly. Children under the age of six and adults over age 65 are involved in escalator injuries at a greater rate than other age groups.

Are There Regulations to Follow?

There are no federal standards to determine the safety of escalators. However, voluntary standards put forth by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers govern manufacturing and implementation of escalators. To date, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has not issued any federal guidelines for escalators.

What Factors Cause Escalator Accidents?

Some of the most common causes of escalator accidents involve damaged steps, slippery surfaces, or moving parts that catch on clothing, shoelaces, or jewelry. Slip and falls are common when the escalator’s movements throw a user off balance. Other issues involve a lack of warning signs and/or emergency shut-off functions.

Premises Liability

The legal theory of premises liability maintains that the property owner is responsible to ensure that the escalator is in good working order and that it poses no threats to safety. If the escalator causes an accident due to poor maintenance, the property owner may be held liable.

If you were hurt in an accident on an escalator, you may have a personal injury case against the property owner. To successfully prove such a case, it must be demonstrated that the property owner was negligent in owning or operating a defective or malfunctioning escalator.

Such negligence means that the property owner did not display reasonable care to ensure user safety. The standard for negligence says that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known that the escalator presented a safety risk, and that they failed to fix the problem.

Victim’s Fault

In some cases, the accident involves some measure of user error. When the theory of comparative fault comes into play, it may be determined that the actions of the accident victim played a role in causing the accident. In areas where comparative fault is employed, the amount of compensation a victim may collect in a personal injury lawsuit may be reduced by the amount of responsibility they bear for the incident. If it was determined that the injured party contributed 25 percent to the accident, a theoretical compensation amount of $10,000 would be reduced accordingly. The victim here would only be able to collect $7,500.

Piscataway Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Accident Victims

If you were injured by an escalator, you may be eligible to collect damages to cover your medical bills and to compensate you for the harm caused by your accident. The Piscataway personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr will obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 732-249-4600 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve personal injury clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.