Since the early 1980s the use of escalators to travel up and down buildings has been the norm even though patents for such machinery date back to the early 1900s and use of them date back to the 1950s. Around its inception into different locations though, the heightened use of escalators also increased the risk of escalator accidents.
According to a study by The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health there were an estimated 26,000 escalator-related injuries reported amongst persons under the age of 19 between 1990 and 2002.
Escalators can be defined simply as a moving staircase which uses a motorized chain of steps moving up or down tracks. There are several different types of escalators including:
- Small – Mostly used in department stores and can hold one passenger per step
- Medium – These are usually used in department stores, shopping malls, and smaller airports can usually hold one person and perhaps some bags or luggage next to them.
- Large – Mostly seen in larger airports, metro stations, and large shopping malls, these are designed to be able to equipped two passengers, side-by-side, or simply allowing enough room for one to pass another while going up or down the stairs.
Most modern escalators are step-type escalators that take persons up and down locations although some are on a spiral access rather than horizontal.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an escalator accident, the victim may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
For a free evaluation of your accident claim, fill out the ‘FREE CASE REVIEW’ form to your left.
Causes of Escalator Accidents
Composed of many different parts, escalators are equipped with landing platforms, a truss which helps hold the entire thing together, the tracks, and steps. Lastly are the handrails which are a key safety feature.
Although escalators have been around for a long time and safety measures have continued to be implemented, there are still many reasons why a person may get injured.
Some common causes of escalator accidents include:
- Loose Clothing Getting Stuck
- Slippery Surface
- Defective Production Materials
- Improper Maintenance
- Mischievous behavior
One of the most notable escalator accident incidents was caused by improper maintenance that led to a fire which eventually exploded into the ticketing area of King’s Cross in the London Underground. The accident resulted in 30 deaths.
Types of Escalator Accident Injuries
Most of the reported escalator accident injuries are a result of the moving staircase stopping suddenly. Although an escalator is not travelling at a fast speed it is easy for anyone to become unbalanced from the sudden halt.
Some common types of accident injuries include:
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Hip Injuries
- Facial Trauma
- Dental Injuries
- Loss of Limb
- Traumatic Brain Injury
If a person suffers from a slip and fall accident on an escalator the risk is greater as many times large escalators are escorting people up several feet. Unfortunately many reported escalator accidents involve people who fall off the escalator and suffer from serious personal injuries.
Preventing Escalator Accident Injuries
Escalator safety has become very important and some cities even dedicate an entire week to promoting safe riding habits. Although negligence is often the cause of an escalator accident, all persons should take extra precaution when boarding these engineered staircases.
Some helpful tips for preventing escalator accident injuries include:
- Always hold on the handrail
- Be wary of using the escalator is you’re wearing loose clothing
- Supervise young children
- Keep your feet firmly planted on the steps
- Young children should be lifted off and on the escalator steps
- Strollers, wheelchairs, and other devices should not be taken on an escalator
- If you do not feel comfortable holding your luggage, bags, or other cargo up an escalator consider finding other means to transport you
If you’re involved in an incident call for help and if possible press the emergency stop button which is usually located at the top or bottom of an escalator.
Contact a Winston-Salem Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been harmed while on an escalator by no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your traumatic accident. At Lewis & Keller we provide comprehensive legal counsel on personal injuries claims and are dedicated to helping accident injury victims.
With more than 150 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys are ready to help you fight for the MAXIMUM amount of compensation you deserve. Our main offices are located in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina but we also proudly serve the following areas:
..and many more surrounding neighborhoods. To find out how we can help you or your loved ones with a personal injury claim, contact us at 1-866-299-1769 for a free, initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.
If you prefer to contact us online, simply fill out the ‘FREE CASE REVIEW’ form located at the top left hand corner of this page.