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How do escalator accidents happen?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Personal Injury

You can find escalators in virtually any public facility, including malls, office buildings, hotels and airports because it is an efficient way to go between floors. However, the complexity of the escalator’s design makes it prone to breakdowns. When a building owner fails to maintain or repair a broken escalator promptly, the risk of an accident increases.

How an escalator malfunction can lead to injury

An escalator runs on electricity and consists of steps, wiring, a handrail and other metal parts. Essentially, because an escalator has many moving parts and is subject to heavy use, it requires regular servicing and maintenance. Otherwise, it could malfunction and cause an accident.

Below are just a few examples of how a broken escalator can lead to injuries:

  • A broken handrail could slow down or suddenly stop causing riders to lose their balance and fall
  • Missing parts or broken escalator steps could make riders lose their footing
  • Wet or slippery entrance and exit points could cause riders to slip and fall
  • Unusually large gaps in the comb plates could cause an object or body part to get stuck
  • Broken wiring may suddenly reverse or speed up the elevator and cause riders to fall

Escalator accident injuries

A building owner or administrator puts its visitors or tenants at risk when they are already aware that the escalator is broken but do not do anything to resolve it immediately. As a heavy piece of machinery, a malfunctioning elevator could potentially be fatal or cause severe injuries, such as:

  • Crushing injuries
  • Loss of limb
  • Bone fractures

Who is responsible for an escalator accident injury?

It is the duty of the property owner to ensure the safety of their premises at all times. This includes inspecting the premises for potential safety risks, fixing any known faults or dangers, and posting signs to alert visitors about them. Failing to address or warn people about a broken elevator could make the property owner liable for negligence.

However, that may not always be the case. The manufacturer may also be liable if the elevator is defective because of its design.

Victims who suffer an escalator accident injury may be able to file a claim against the property owner or manufacturer. In any case, it is crucial to seek medical attention first. Afterward, victims may consider discussing their options with a lawyer for recouping financial damages.