Going to the ATM is a regular part of most people’s lives, and you can find these machines just about anywhere these days. Aside from major banks, ATMs are located at shopping malls, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, and many other businesses. When we approach an ATM, we never think about the potential for accidents or criminal activity. However, hazards that can cause injury may be present in the area surrounding an ATM machine.
There is no way to avoid every type of accident that can happen at an ATM. However, the vast majority of dangerous incidents can be prevented by reasonable methods, like adequate security measures and regular inspections of the premises. So, what happens if you were harmed in an accident or violent attack while using an ATM machine? If your accident was the result of negligence by the bank or business in charge of the ATM, you may have a case for monetary compensation.
In this article, we will cover various topics that will help you understand your rights and legal options as an ATM machine accident victim. However, the information we provide is for general purposes only. If you have specific questions about your own incident at an ATM, give us a call and speak with one of our attorneys.
What are the Dangers of Using an ATM?
No one expects to be injured or attacked when they go to an ATM machine, but it’s an unfortunate reality for many people. It’s a fact that ATM machine locations are attractive to criminals, who wait for unsuspecting victims that they can take advantage of. Customers can also be injured in slip and fall and trip and fall accidents if the area around the ATM is not properly maintained. Banks and business owners must be mindful of these possibilities and take all reasonable actions to prevent an accident. When they fail to take such measures, they are committing negligence, which can make them liable if someone is hurt at one of their ATM machines.
Accidents that can Happen at an ATM Machine
To give you an idea of how users can be injured at an ATM, here are the top 3 accidents that are associated with these machines:
The area surrounding an ATM must be clear of debris and hazardous conditions that can cause someone to slip and fall. These accidents are especially common at locations like gas stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets. Routine cleaning and maintenance by employees is the best way to prevent fall-related accidents.
These accidents are very similar to slip and falls, meaning they are generally preventable through basic cleaning and maintenance. To prevent injuries, ATMs should be in a location that’s free from displays, pallets, wastebaskets, and other objects that people can trip over. Things may also be sticking out of the walls or from the floor around an ATM, which can also lead to trip and falls.
Muggings, robbery, and even murder can happen at an ATM, and previous lawsuits have proven that banks and businesses that own these machines have a duty to keep customers safe. Of course, a bank cannot predict when someone will be harmed on their property. But if the harm was reasonably foreseeable, the bank may be liable for an injury due to their failure to take proper security measures.
We are here for you if you need a trip and fall or slip and fall at ATM machine lawyer to fight for your rights. Our firm also has attorneys who are experienced with lawsuits involving assault and battery. If you have been attacked by an assailant while using an ATM, you may have the option of suing the bank or property owner for monetary damages. You can do this, by the way, even if you are pursuing criminal charges against your attacker. One of our attorneys will explain these options to you and help you choose the best legal strategy for your case.
Injuries from an ATM Machine Accident
The accidents mentioned in the previous section are known for causing serious injuries that can stay with a victim for the rest of their life. These injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Head injury (skull fracture, concussion)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Deep lacerations
- Scarring to the face and body
- Broken nose and other facial bones
- Rib fracture
- Dislocated shoulder
- Hip fracture
- Knee injury (ACL / MCL tear, dislocated kneecap)
- Neck injury (whiplash)
- Damage to the internal organs
- Back / spinal cord injury
- Ankle / hand / wrist sprain
- Nerve damage
In the most tragic cases, an individual can die from the severity of their wounds, or from complications related to their injuries. Gunshot wounds and stabbings, for example, can easily result in fatality if someone is robbed at an ATM machine. However, fall-related accidents are deadly as well, especially for adults over the age of 60. If your loved one or family member passed away in one of these accidents, you may have a claim for wrongful death compensation. Regardless of your situation, it’s essential to learn about your legal options from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Who is Responsible for my Injuries?
As a general rule, ATMs are the responsibility of the bank or the owner of the property / business where the machine is located. An owner’s responsibility includes removing or fixing hazards that can cause someone to be injured. However, there is a heightened risk of injury at an ATM since they contain large amounts of money. To reduce the risk of criminal activities like muggings and physical assault, banks and businesses must provide adequate security such as:
- Surveillance cameras
- Bright lighting
- Removing shrubbery, trees, and other objects that assailants can hide behind
- Warning people of dangers associated with nighttime / off-business hour use of ATMs.
- Closing down an ATM after multiple incidents of crime / violence
Bank liability for ATM machine trip and fall injuries, slip and falls, or any other kind of accident is challenging to prove, as the bank will generally deny any accusations of negligence. This is to be expected, but many victims are unable to prove their case without help from a personal injury attorney.
We can help you build a solid case for negligent security or any other failure by the bank in their duty of care to you as a customer. For more information, contact our office and schedule a free case evaluation
Can I Sue after an ATM Machine Accident?
Yes, you can sue for your injuries if your accident at an ATM machine was caused by negligence or misconduct. There are many ways that a business can ensure the safety of an ATM that’s located on their premises. These methods must be reasonable for the type of business and the location of the ATM machine. For example, it’s not reasonable to expect 24/7 monitoring of an ATM machine by a security guard. But surveillance cameras and warning signs regarding nighttime use of ATMs are reasonable measures. It is also reasonable to expect that ATMs are regularly checked for hazards that can cause someone to slip and fall or trip and fall.
Thus, it’s important to determine the exact cause of your ATM-related injuries and whether or not the business could have done something to prevent your accident. To discuss your case with one of our attorneys, please contact our office at your earliest convenience.
Compensation in a Lawsuit for an ATM Accident
If you have grounds for an ATM accident lawsuit, there are specific damages that you can ask for, which are based on your injuries and personal circumstances. Through a lawsuit, you may be able to recover:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitative services (physical therapy, counseling)
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity if you’re unable to work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages
It’s best to speak with a lawyer to verify which damages apply to your case and how much you should ask for. This can be especially challenging for non-economic damages like emotional distress. The emotional trauma from an ATM accident – particularly violent incidents – can have a lasting impact on the victim’s mental health. As a result, they may suffer from PTSD and other trauma-related mental health issues. Our attorneys will ensure that you are compensated for these injures, as well as any other losses that are linked to your accident.
Wrongful Death Compensation for Family Members and Loved Ones
A loved one’s unexpected death due to someone else’s negligence is devastating for the ones that are left behind. Along with the emotional trauma, family members are forced to deal with the expenses related to the victims’ passing. Families can also face financial hardship for many years if they were dependent on the decedent’s wages or benefits from their job.
Loved ones of an ATM accident victim may qualify for wrongful death compensation, which can help cover the following losses:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills up to the date of death
- Loss of expected wages
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Value of lost benefits (healthcare, retirement savings, etc.)
- Legal fees
These lawsuits deal with complex issues, like future economic losses and the love, support, and intimacy you will no longer receive from the decedent. That’s why you must speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Our law firm is ready to assist you in any way we can, so please take some time to contact us at our office.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you have been harmed at an ATM machine due to negligence by the bank or property owner, we can help you obtain the funds you are entitled to. Our attorneys have decades of experience with premises liability lawsuits, and they know what it takes to secure a favorable outcome in these cases.
However, we understand that finances are a big worry for you during this time, and you may be reluctant to hire an attorney. With our Zero fee guarantee, you won’t be responsible for a single penny of our legal fees. We ask for our expenses directly from the party you are suing as a part of your settlement award. So the only way we get paid is if you get paid.
This means you have nothing to lose by giving us a call and finding out about the actions you can take if you were injured at an ATM machine. Contact DTLA Law Group and schedule a free case evaluation.