Although many consumers nowadays tend to do their shopping via e-commerce, many people continue to shop in-store, more specifically, at shopping malls. Many times, in order to navigate South Texas shopping malls, we must use an escalator. Usually, we expect to step on the escalator and have it take us either upwards or downwards to where we need to go. However, more often than we expect, people do not make it all the way up or down the escalator as a result of the equipment failing or malfunctioning. Scenarios where escalators malfunction can lead to injuries and the need to involve a personal injury attorney such as one from the Wyatt Law Firm.
Escalators are very complex pieces of equipment. With this complexity comes the risk of components failing. The personal injury attorneys at the Wyatt Law Firm have litigated cases where escalator injuries are caused by the following factors:
- Abnormal and abrupt starts and stops
- Loose or missing screws on the escalator
- Steps that are either broken or completely missing
- Broken escalator chains
- Faulty driving gear component
- Make sure shoes are tied before getting on an escalator.
- Stand in the center of the step and be sure to step off the escalator at the end of your ride.
- Always hold children's hands on escalators and do not permit children to sit or play on the steps.
- Do not bring children onto escalators in strollers, walkers, or carts.
- Always face forward and hold the handrail.
- Avoid the sides of steps where entrapment can occur.
- Learn where the emergency shutoff buttons are in case you need to stop the escalator.
Although escalator incidents may seem uncommon, they occur often. For example, in October 2018, a subway escalator suddenly sped up and raced to the bottom, dumping riders in a crush of bodies and leaving dozens hurt, including one man with a seriously injured foot.
Additionally, in March 2017, 18 people were injured as a result of an escalator speeding up and traveling at a rate that was two-times faster than the speed it should have been traveling. According to the South China Morning Post, in this incident, the escalator worker was charged for failing to ensure the periodic maintenance was conducted properly, and the engineer for failing to thoroughly examine the escalator and its associated equipment and machinery.
Escalator companies and engineers are required by law to inspect and ensure safe operation of escalators and their corresponding mechanics. When these companies and employees fail to comply with the laws, more often than not, the result is an injured individual. These companies deserve to be held accountable for their failures. The personal injury experts at the Wyatt Law Firm are experienced and competent to handle complex escalator incidents. If you have been injured, contact the Wyatt Law Firm immediately as the escalator's insurance company may already be constructing their case against you.