Escalators can be a great way to get from one floor to the next without having to take the stairs or wait for an elevator. They are found in many places in the Los Angeles area—malls, businesses, airports, and hospitals. While they are convenient, they can also cause serious injuries and even deaths.
According to a study in 2013 by the Center for Construction and Research and Training, elevator and escalator accidents kill 31 people and cause 17,000 injuries annually. The study also found:
- 75% of escalator injuries were due to falls.
- 20% of escalator injuries were due to entrapments with some part of the escalator.
- 5% of escalator injuries were caused by other reasons—such as escalator sudden stops or reversal of direction.
Common Causes of Escalator Accidents
Escalators are supposed to be inspected regularly for defects and malfunctioning parts, but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. Defects that commonly cause people to be injured in accidents include:
- Missing teeth on the escalator track
- Loose or missing screws
- Too much space between the escalator steps and the sides of the escalator
- Broken or missing steps
- Inadequate maintenance
- Sudden stops
Unfortunately, young children are most commonly injured in escalator accidents, although the elderly are most likely to slip and fall. Common reasons accidents occur include fingers becoming trapped in the escalator—especially for children—and hair, clothing, or shoes becoming trapped between the stairs or sides of the escalator. Other accidents can occur if the steps are wet or loose or the escalator suddenly stops or changes directions—often causing falls. These accidents cause a variety of injuries including:
- Hip injuries
- Broken bones
- Ankle fractures
- Elbow and shoulder injuries
- Head injuries and skull fractures
- Broken necks
Many of these injuries can be life-threatening or cause permanent disabilities—like traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or amputation of a limb—for the victim. Medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs can be staggering. Fortunately, an injured victim may be able to receive compensation from multiple parties—such as the business owner, the manufacturer, and the escalator installer. These cases are complicated, so it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
If you or a family member has suffered an escalator injury or another slip and fall injury, we’re here to help you. We offer free hospital and home visits. Get started on learning your legal rights by calling us at 800-989-6385 to schedule a free consultation.