MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. You encounter them when you go to the mall or the department store. Escalators. Some find them so unnerving, they hesitate before stepping off or on them, but many people aren’t aware that they can get injured while riding an escalator as well.
CBS News reported about incidents in which children were caught or trapped in between moving parts of an escalator. One child lost part of his foot. CBS News notes that in a given year, as many as 10,000 people are injured in escalator accidents. Many of those who get hurt are children.
Families have sometimes won multi-million dollar lawsuits when their children lost hands or feet due to escalator injuries. Doctors have described some of the injuries as looking as serious as shark bites.
Why do people get hurt on escalators? In some cases, the escalators aren’t regularly inspected. In fact, there are currently no federal regulations governing how frequently, if at all, escalators must be inspected for safety. When escalators are missing metal teeth or when gaps between moving parts are too wide, children or adult’s appendages can get sucked into the machinery, with tragic results.
All of this is enough to make you want to take the elevator. Yet, elevator accidents can also result in deadly injuries. In New York, Fox News reported about a woman who was crushed when an elevator operator improperly disabled a safety switch that prevents the elevator from moving when the doors are open. This kind of accident is not a one-off incident, either. In New York City alone there were 53 elevator accidents reported.
What can you do to protect yourself from faulty elevators or escalators? When riding escalators, it is important to keep hands and feet away from moving parts and to try to stand in the middle. Watch for unlaced shoelaces and loose clothing.
If you or a loved one was injured in an elevator or an escalator, you may be entitled to receive money to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. According to the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino, a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, your medical coverage may be able to cover some bills. However, if you want to collect damages for pain and suffering, you may need to prove that the store in which the elevator or escalator was located was negligent in the operation or maintenance of the device. Other stakeholders, including inspectors or repair services may be responsible if their work was negligent or if their inspections failed to see a problem. Sometimes these devices have not been properly maintained or repaired. In other instances, stores are aware of the problem but put their bottom lines above the safety of patrons.
If you or a loved one was personally injured in an elevator or escalator accident, you may only have a limited amount of time to seek a recovery under the law. Visit https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more about your rights.