Injuries while riding on an escalator generally fall under what is known as a “premises liability” case. A premises liability case commonly looks to the owner of the property to keep the property in a safe condition. You see, the owner of the property has a duty to those that enter the property to make sure that it is safe. You are considered a guest on their property. But as with any personal injury case, the facts of the case will weigh heavily to determine whom we will sue on your behalf as well as our theory of negligence against that person or persons.
First let’s talk about where the escalator is located in relation to who we could sue. If the escalator is located with in a mall and is used to transport you from one level of the mall to the other, then it is unlikely that a particular store would be responsible for your injury. It is most likely the owner of the mall that could be held liable. But if the escalator is located inside a store itself, then you could have a case against the owner of the store and possibly the owner of the mall.
Next we need to determine the reason for the fall. Or in other words, what was the cause? This could also have an impact on who we could sue. Sometimes you can fall due to the faulty maintenance or repair of an escalator. Because an escalator is a mechanical machine made up of a multitude of moving parts, those that own the area in which they are housed and those that repair them have a great responsibility to make sure that they are regularly and properly inspected and maintained.
There could be many other scenarios. For example, the escalator “jerked” when you were on it causing you to lose your balance and fall. This could be a maintenance and repair claim. Or maybe it is bran spanking new elevator and it was not properly installed. Or maybe it is even worse and it was not properly manufactured. All these scenarios could lead to an additional party that could be held in for their negligence in causing your fall and resulting injuries.
Other scenarios could be that clothing – either yours or some one else’s – may get caught in the moving stairs and that caused your fall that caused your injury. Clothing being caught is a situation that could result in very serious injuries and even death.
And as always, your actions will also play a part in helping to determine the amount of liability that is apportioned to the parties in the suit which will have an effect on the monetary award.
We here at the Platta law firm are experienced in handling all types of premises liability actions, and specifically escalator accidents. So give us a call. We are here to help.