From department stores and malls to airports and train stations, escalators can be found throughout New Mexico. These moving stairways can make getting from one floor to another much easier. However, while ordinarily extremely convenient, sometimes the smallest malfunction of these machines can result in serious injury or even death.
While it may not seem like much of an issue, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 17,000 people are injured and 30 people are killed in elevator and escalator accidents each year in the United States. Of these injuries, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 6,000 injuries and two deaths are due solely to escalator accidents.
What Causes Escalator Accidents?
The CPSC believes that about 75 percent of these injuries are related to falls, while getting caught in the machine causes another 20 percent. Other issues cause the other five percent. Injuries caused by escalator accidents include everything from soft tissue injuries and broken bones, to traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. These accidents can even result in death – but even those that don’t can still prove life-altering.
Due to the risks that they carry, escalators are required to pass inspection by the Department of Buildings in order to operate legally. The owner of the property upon which the escalator resides is also required to maintain the escalator and to ensure that it is in good working condition, without any existing hazards, at all times.
How Can an Escalator Malfunction?
There are a variety of ways in which an escalator can unfortunately malfunction. Such ways include:
- Insufficient warnings (including those about child hazards)
- Sudden changes in speed (including unexpected starting and stopping)
- Loose escalator teeth (which can catch shoelaces)
- Failure to stop automatically when something is caught
- Large gaps between adjacent steps
- Missing or broken steps
- Misaligned comb plates
- Loose articles of clothing that get caught
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Unfortunately, many victims of escalator accidents are children, whose whole lives are still ahead of them. This can impact not only their lives but yours as well. If you or a loved one has been injured in an escalator accident, you should not have to worry about the legal aspect of things when you are already struggling with physical and emotional injuries. You should never have to pay for the mistakes of others.
You deserve to seek justice and receive just compensation for your injuries, including both present and future expenses. You also deserve justice. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney who can help to walk you through the process and get you the best possible outcome.
At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of personal injury law and understand the effects that escalator accidents often have on just about all aspects of your life. We will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!
Posted in: Personal Injury