You may not think taking an escalator or elevator could pose a safety hazard, but accidents involving these machines are very common. Escalators in particular cause thousands of accidents each year. Unfortunately, these incidents are usually serious because they often involve elderly people or small children. If you’ve been hurt by an elevator or escalator, call an experienced attorney to discover if you are eligible for compensation.
Escalator Accidents Are More Common Than You Think
One recent study looked at 305 reported escalator accidents worldwide. 29% of these resulted in fatalities. A safety consultant involved in the study stated that the vast majority of industry professionals “[fail] to realize that this is a major problem.” The study found essentially two types of falls that occur on escalators: falling on the escalator and falling over the escalator. Contributing causes can include:
- Coordination or balance issues;
- Improper footwear;
- Inappropriate behavior or intoxication;
- Improper maintenance/escalator malfunction; and
- Improper design, such as when an escalator is the primary emergency escape route.
While many accidents involve passengers acting inappropriately, such as sitting on the handrails, there are still cases where an incident occurred through no fault of the passenger. Getting a shoe caught in the steps or clothing caught in a cracked handrail are possible accident causes. Children with caught fingers or toes in the tracks are another way injuries occur. People who understand their disabilities will likely use the elevator, whereas the elderly may feel able-bodied and assume they can use escalators without incident, leading to an injury.
Elevator Accidents Do Happen
While not as common as escalator accidents, elevator accidents do occur. They often result in serious or fatal injuries. One study found elevator accidents cause about 27 deaths per year, but that doesn’t account for non-fatal injuries. Additionally, an OSHA report found employees in the elevator industry are at risk for falls, electrical shocks, and other injuries. Elevators do have many more safety features than escalators, which is why accidents are less common.
When Does Negligence Cause an Accident?
Negligence is often to blame for escalator and elevator accidents. There are several situations where this is the case:
- The design of the escalator was flawed; for example, it moved too quickly.
- No one maintained the escalator, leading to cracks in the handrail.
- The escalator malfunctioned in some way.
- Faulty manufacturing resulted in an escalator that caused an entrapment accident.
- No one serviced the elevator regularly; it broke down or caught a passenger in its doors.
These examples boil down to the fact that property owners and escalator/elevator manufacturers must ensure passenger safety. Failing to do so, whether through improper maintenance or flawed design, constitutes negligence. If you believe someone else’s neglect caused your accident, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
A personal injury attorney will help you file a claim against the appropriate party. An escalator or elevator accident can lead to medical bills, lost time at work, pain and suffering, and other repercussions. You don’t have to manage these difficulties alone. A personal injury claim may get you the compensation you need to pay medical bills, restore finances, and get peace of mind to recover.
Contact a Board Certified Texas Personal Injury Attorney
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, based in Dallas, helps clients who are suffering throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. We are proud to be part of the 2% of Board Certified Personal Injury attorneys in the state. Our firm will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation and there is no fee or expense unless you recover. Contact us today to discuss your case.
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