Thanks to dramatic scenes in movies and television shows, most Americans are aware of the potential risk an elevator poses to its occupants. Far fewer people are aware of the danger an escalator poses to the public. Escalators are essentially stairs on a conveyor belt, and the fact that it continues moving unless manually stopped can result in serious injuries, even deaths.
There are number of ways these devices, intended to make traveling up or down stairs less exhausting and physically taxing, can injure a person. When this happens, the store or business that owned or installed the escalator could be liable.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries caused by an escalator, you should speak with an experienced personal injury and premises liability attorney. He or she can help you hold the location of the accident accountable for the damages caused, which may prevent similar accidents in the future. Many times, these incidents are preventable with maintenance or carefully stationed employees nearby, able to quickly intervene in the event of an accident.
Escalators cause severe injuries
There are a number of ways that people can be hurt by escalators. One of the most common is for loose clothing or shoelaces to become trapped in the teeth of an escalator, pulling the person wearing them into the grate on the floor. When this happens, serious contusions, broken bones, lost limbs or even death can result.
It is also common for people to fall down escalators, suffering worse damage than they would on stairs due to the metal teeth and movement of the escalator. Others may fall over the railing, which poses risk of serious injuries, such as broken bones or head injuries.
Research indicates that nearly a third of escalator and elevator accidents end up being fatal. It only takes a few seconds for an escalator to trap a passenger and cause severe bodily damage. Many times, these accidents happen when family members, including children are present.
In addition to the loss or severe injury of a family member, there may also be costs associated with trauma therapy for those who witness these terrible accidents. Your family shouldn't have to bear the burden of an escalator accident. An attorney can help ensure that these expenses are paid, either by an insurance settlement of by filing a civil lawsuit.
An attorney's advice is critical after an escalator accident
After a serious accident in a business, it is not uncommon for the victims to be pressured into accepting settlements that are lower than they should be. An attorney can review the settlement to see if the amount offered is appropriate. This legal advocate can also file a civil lawsuit against the business that owned or operated the escalator to recover your losses.