When someone is injured in an escalator accident at a mall, the mall property owners may be responsible, but there are also several other possible liable parties.
Approximately 6,000 people visit the emergency room each year because of escalator-related injuries, according to 2001 estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). That’s quite a startling figure. Most of these injuries are either mechanical in nature, or attributed to passenger misuse.
Determining Who is at Fault for the Escalator Accident
In most cases, the mall property owner is responsible for ensuring that everything within the mall is safe for customers, and that no unreasonable threats exist.
However, there are often multiple parties that may be responsible for the incident. For example, most mall property owners hire a maintenance crew to take care of issues such as escalators and elevators.
They may be held partly liable, as could:
- the escalator manufacturer;
- the installers;
- professional inspectors; and even
- the victim (many accidents are the result of the victim’s careless actions.)
All of this can muddy the waters, making determining liability remarkably complicated. If you or a loved one suffered an escalator-related injury, it’s best to go over your case with an attorney that’s experienced with these particular types of cases.
Contributing Factors for Escalator Injuries
There are numerous things that contribute to these accidents. Mechanical malfunction is one such issue. There have been reports of escalators that suddenly stopped, sped up, or reversed motion. For instance, 71 children were injured on an escalator when it suddenly stopped, shifted backward, and caused the children to fall, according to CPSC.
Other common factors in escalator incidents include:
- loose or dragging clothing;
- shoes getting stuck under the escalator;
- protruding screws catching clothing; and
- riding on handrails.
Proving Liability and Damages
If you were injured in a mall accident involving an escalator, two of the most important parts of seeking compensation for your injuries will be proving liability and demonstrating your losses to the courts.
There will likely be a good amount of investigating to do in order to nail down exactly what party (or parties) is responsible for the incident.
Your lawyer may dig up evidence such as:
- witness interviews;
- the mall’s employee logs;
- repairman or inspectors’ testimonies;
- purchase and installation documents; and
- operating permits.
Additionally, you and your attorney will have to carefully document all of the losses you sustained as a result of the accident, from medical bills, to pain and suffering, from lost time at work to disfigurement.
Speaking to a Personal Injury Lawyer
Because of the complex nature of mall accidents, consult an Arvada lawyer to determine how best to proceed with your case and determine exactly who is legally liable. For example, there has been a surge in elderly accidents on escalators according to the New York Times.
Often, the injured victim will be accused of reckless behavior on the escalator and will be questioned about whether or not the accident could have been prevented. After an injury, you don’t want to have to spend time proving your innocence. Let your Arvada lawyer handle this.
Arvada attorney D.J. Banovitz has the tools and resources to get the claim resolved successfully. He is available for a free consultation; call our firm at 303-300-5060 today.