Escalators are present in malls, stores, outlet warehouses, car dealerships, airports, and more. They are meant to make it easier for people to walk from one level to another. What is most beneficial about escalators is that, if they do not work anymore, they just become stairs. However, the problem is that escalators are generally made of sharp, hard metal, and if they stop at an awkward angle, you can easily trip and fall, get cut, or receive other kinds of injuries. The electronics can also short circuit or have some kind of issue, leading to them behaving sporadically. If you were injured in an escalator accident, it is crucial that you seek appropriate legal advice and pursue compensation for your damages. Our law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, can ensure that your case is efficiently handled and that the proper store or property owner is held accountable.
How Escalator Accidents Happen
Escalator accidents can occur for a number of reasons, but faulty electronics is the main one. The mechanism is controlled by a circuit board that powers the escalators until it is turned off. The escalators could potentially have jerked or come to a sudden stop, which can easily make anyone on them fall. A sudden start and stop is one of the most common causes of injuries, as people may not be braced for the motion. They could be off-balance, or they could be holding bags and other items. They also cannot step backwards to regain their balance, since they are essentially on steps. Stepping forward can also cause them to trip.
If there are too many people on an escalator, it can be very crowded and hard to move. If the escalator moved too fast, people could fall over one another and get stepped on, or they could have trouble being helped to their feet.
Types of Injuries from Escalator Accidents
You could suffer a variety of injuries if you fall while on an escalator. The damages may be severe enough to warrant extensive treatments and therapy. Some of the potential injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Closed head injuries
- Brain bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Blood loss
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Muscle damage
- Torn ligaments
- Nerve damage
If you were hurt while riding an escalator, it is important that you get medical attention at once.
Slip and fall accident
Premises Liability Lawsuits from Escalator Accidents
Many individuals ask us questions concerning escalator accidents. These questions include:
These questions are all answered in simple terms: Yes, you can sue if you were hurt in an escalator accident. Whoever the property owner or premises owner was should have been attentive and taken care to protect customers. The escalator should not have been dangerous, faulty, or hazardous in any way.
Premises liability lawsuits can be filed by anyone on private property if they were injured, but the level of rights and care varies from type of person to type of person. Invitees are essentially customers and are afforded the highest duty of care, while licensees are more social guests. If you were in a mall or other type of store, you were likely an invitee. Trespassers can also sue, but they are afforded drastically fewer rights because they were not legally on the property at the time of the incident.
Claims require that you prove one of three scenarios. They are as follows:
The property owner knew there was a hazard or problem with the escalator but did not try to fix it or provide any warnings to individuals who were using it
The property owner caused the problem with the escalator
The property owner was not aware that the escalator had any issues, but he reasonably should have if he were attentive and doing his due diligence of inspecting the premises
Escalator accidents generally come about because of faulty electronics, so the property owner should have hired an electrician or other specialist to investigate the issues as soon as they occurred. If it happened for the first time, the owner still can be held accountable, as he should have had proper upkeep.
Steps to Take to File an Escalator Accident Lawsuit
If you were hurt in an escalator accident, it is crucial that you go to the hospital for medical treatment. You should not take too long to get help from a doctor; if you do, your injuries may actually worsen and your health could deteriorate. You can hold on to all the medical records, doctor’s statements, test results, MRI results, X-rays, and more from the hospital. You should also not hesitate to get treatment because of the negative impact it can have on your claim. If there is a long gap between the escalator accident and the visit to the doctor, the insurance agent could doubt the validity of your claim. He could say that you were hurt elsewhere or that you were not that seriously hurt.
You will need to take pictures of the injuries you suffered to show the extent of the damages. If you heal quickly or if your wounds do not seem to be too bad, the insurance agent may again doubt your claim. You should take pictures as soon as you are hurt, as well as photos of the escalator and the scene of the accident.
There were likely other people shopping or other people who were nearby, so you should ask for their statements and testimonies to add to your claim. You will be able to prove your case with the help of others. Further, if numerous people were hurt because of an escalator that was never fixed, you could join a class action lawsuit.
There may be security footage or surveillance videos showing the accident. It can be hard to acquire this footage, though, if the property owner knows that it will be used against him.
If you were in a store, you should file an incident report to let the company know that you were hurt. It is crucial that you do not accept any promotions or payment from the company ahead of time, as they can use the excuse that compensated merchandise, free gifts, and more equals fair restitution.
Finally, it is highly recommended that you hire an expert escalator accident attorney for your claim. You should not try to handle this lawsuit by yourself – you might not have adequate experience, time, or patience to move forward, and our lawyers are among the most skilled professionals in the area. We’ll be able to take care of your case from start to finish.
Compensation from an Escalator Accident Claim
Premises liability claims can result in a fair amount of compensation. You may be able to receive the following forms of damages:
Medical bills form the past and future for treatment, physical therapy, medication, surgery, hospitalization, and more
Property damage if any personal items were lost or broken
Lost income if you were unable to work for a period of time
Pain and suffering damages for emotional trauma, mental anguish, PTSD, anxiety, fear, and more
The value of your case will be determined by the insurance agent handling it. He will consider the extent of your injuries, your age and career, and how responsible you were for the incident. We will strive to win you the maximum compensation available under the law.
Deadline to File a Premises Liability Claim
California’s statute of limitations on premises liability lawsuits is 2 years from the date of the injury. If you do not sue within that time frame, you’ll be unable to collect compensation in the future. There are a few ways for the statute to be extended, though. For example:
Minors cannot sue, but the statute of limitations will not start until they turn 18 years old, unless a parent or legal guardian sues ahead of time on their behalf
Incapacitated individuals cannot sue until they have returned to proper health, awareness, or consciousness
Victims who know the defendant has left the state cannot sue until he returns, and the statute will be suspended until he comes back to California
Many claims simply do not get filed because the victims do not know what the statute of limitations is, or they act too slowly and the time limit expires. If you come to our firm, you will not be in danger of any deadlines passing by.
Choosing the Right Firm
The Downtown LA Law Group is one of the most highly rated law firms in Los Angeles. We have numerous attorneys with decades of combined experienced, and we will do everything in our power to win your claim for you. If we have to go to court, we are willing to do so, and our aggressive lawyers will not stop fighting for your case until you receive a worthwhile verdict or settlement.
To receive a free legal consultation, call our law offices today. You can ask us any questions you want and we’ll tell you what we think the value of your claim is. We’ll also give you our zero fee guarantee, which says you won’t pay us a dime out of pocket. We’ll cover all costs and if we win, the settlement will provide us with our payment. If we lose, you owe us nothing whatsoever.
Contact our firm today to get started on your escalator accident lawsuit.
Other Pages on Our Website Related to This Topic
Escalator Accident Lawyer
Shopping Mall Accident Attorney
Slip and Fall Accident In Stores