Escalators can be extremely dangerous if they do not function properly. Escalators that stop or start unexpectedly or run at incorrect speeds can cause users to fall and injure themselves. Other injuries can occur if the structure of an escalator has fallen into disrepair and a user becomes entangled or entrapped in some portion of the escalator.
Escalator accidents can cause lacerations, torn ligaments, broken bones, foot and knee damage, and similar injuries. A person who falls on an escalator can suffer a potentially debilitating head, brain, back, or spinal injury.
If you were injured in an escalator accident, contact a lawyer with Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. to discuss your rights to compensation. You may be due compensation for your medical bills and other losses if the accident was the result of someone’s careless or negligent actions.
New York City has approximately 2,200 escalators according to the NYC Department of Buildings. Owners of retail stores, shopping malls and office buildings are required by law to properly maintain their premises including escalators. Government entities also have a legal obligation to keep their buildings in good repair and hazard-free.
Premises liability law requires that property owners repair hazards in a timely manner and adequately warn visitors to the property when a hazard exists. The laws also holds that negligent property owners may be held responsible for visitors’ injuries if they are caused by hazards that the owner knew about or should have known about but took no steps to repair or adequately identify as a warning to visitors.
The law requires that all escalators in use in New York City must be properly installed and maintained. To ensure the safe and proper use of escalators, the Department of Buildings’ Elevator Division inspects elevators and escalators in accordance with the New York City Building Code and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers standards. Escalators must pass installation inspections as well as periodic inspections by the Department of Buildings to be legally operated. New York State, as well as other municipalities in the state, has similar laws.
There are about 6,000 injuries and two deaths in escalator accidents each year in the United States, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Accidents that typically result from escalator malfunction include:
The CPSC estimates that falls cause 75 percent of escalator injuries, with entrapment causing 20 percent, and other causes making up the remaining five percent.
Escalator accidents are typically caused by such defects as:
Escalator accidents may lead to:
It is the building owner’s responsibility to pay all inspection fees and maintain all escalators on their property. Failure to properly maintain escalators may lead to fines. If an accident has occurred because a building owner has failed to maintain an escalator or has failed to ensure it was properly installed, the owner can be held liable for damages that are due to the injured person.
Severe injuries from an escalator accident can prevent you from working and result in permanent disabilities. This includes personal injury compensation to cover the costs of:
Our firm will thoroughly investigate your accident and diligently seek any benefits you are due for your medical costs and other injury-related expenses. If an escalator has been inspected on a regular basis, records will indicate this fact. If it hasn’t, the lack of records will indicate this lapse.
Closed circuit cameras, which exist at many public and private locations, may have recorded your accident. Testimony by witnesses to your accident, as well as your statement and your medical records, will also add to the evidence that supports your claim. Others who frequent the office building, shopping mall, or hotel where you were hurt, may have knowledge of similar malfunctions or accidents. They may have filed complaints with building management, which would indicate knowledge of the problem.
Our office can manage your case from start to finish. We will explain the laws pertaining to premises liability and personal injury compensation, and explain the possible outcomes of your claim. New York City injury attorneys at our firm will guide you through the claims process and help you obtain sufficient medical documentation regarding the extent of your injuries and how the accident has impacted your life.
It is important to start work on a claim without delay. New York law requires that personal injury claims be filed within a limited amount of time. Personal injury lawsuits can be complex and time consuming to investigate. It is best to begin work on a claim as soon as possible after your accident to ensure it is not denied due to the statute of limitations.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of an unsafe escalator, contact Hecht Kleeger & Damashek for a free discussion of your accident and a potential claim. You may be able to obtain compensation to assist you with medical bills and other expenses related to your accident.
Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. is a skilled personal injury firm that provides seasoned legal advice regarding personal injuries caused by escalator accidents in New York City and elsewhere in New York State. We help our clients secure the financial benefits they deserve for their injuries. Contact us today.