When To Hire An Escalator Accident Attorney?
The majority of everyday items in use today were at one time a novelty invention. The escalator, for example, was first introduced back in 1896 as a ride on Coney Island. Today, escalators are more likely to be found in malls, subway stations, airports, and sports venues across the country – and the world.
While many New Yorkers may use an escalator on a daily basis without giving it a second thought, a ride on an escalator was a life-changing event for some. For those who have suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an escalator accident, the dangers of escalators are a sober reality.
If you or a family member has been involved in an escalator accident, you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney without delay. You may be facing extensive medical bills and other expenses as a result of the accident, but you can be compensated with the right legal assistance.
For over 40 years, the team at Hill & Moin has been proudly representing the interests of injured New Yorkers. An honest, confidential, and no-obligation consultation with our firm may be just what you need to help you understand your options after your escalator accident. Contact the team at Hill & Moin 24/7 at (212) 668-6000 to start your free case review today.
The Potential Risks of Escalators
Despite their prevalence and convenience, escalators are not a risk-free means of transportation. True, a number of safety features have been designed and introduced since its invention.
However, due to the nature of the moving mechanical and electrical parts, accidents still can and do happen. To determine the risks that contributed to your accident, get in touch with one of the escalator accident attorneys with Hill & Moin to get advice.
Comb Plate Entrapment
One of the potential risks for an escalator accident occurs at both the top or the bottom of an escalator, where the steps meet the floor. The teeth of the steps are being pulled downwards into the underside of the escalator. This presents a risk of a foot, piece of clothing, or another item becoming wedged in the space, causing injury.
In order to reduce this risk, escalators must use a safety feature called a “comb plate.” This plate covers the entry and exit points to minimize the risk of injury. However, it is still possible for shoes or other items to become trapped in the comb plate itself, especially in the case of shoes made from soft materials.
Side of Step Entrapment
Another area where an injury can occur is on the side of the escalator step. The space between the escalator wall and the moving steps can catch an item and result in an injury as well. This is especially dangerous if the piece of clothing that becomes trapped is a scarf or some such item that may wrap around the neck. Another safety feature that many escalators have to reduce the risk of injuries is known as the “skirt.”
The skirt, or brush, covers the side of the escalator steps in order to lessen the likelihood of an item entering the edge of the step. The brush discourages riders from standing too close to the edge and can also deflect items away from the side of the step.
Electrical or Mechanical Failure
One added risk of injury is when there is a malfunction in either the electrical or mechanical components of an escalator. This is what happened in an escalator incident that occurred in Rome in 2018.
When the escalator suddenly sped up, the occupants were hurled together at the end of the escalator, and the impact broke multiple steps, leaving sharp, jagged metal edges. In this incident, 24 people were injured. A similar failure could cause an escalator to start or stop suddenly or even change direction.
The moving handrail can also pose a risk of injury as well. Clothing items can become trapped underneath the handrail, pulling the person along and potentially leading to an injury. While the injury may be a minor pinch in many cases, more serious injuries have been reported related to escalator handrails.
A finger or even an entire hand could become stuck underneath the moving handrail, especially at the end as it begins to turn back under the escalator. This could result in the amputation of fingers or a hand.
The metal steps on an escalator are sturdy and built to last, withstanding hundreds of pounds of weight at a time. However, despite their strong design, steps can still break or fall out of the return strand. If this happens when someone is on the step, injuries such as blunt force trauma, amputations, and lacerations can result.
Dangerous Escalator Behavior
At times, dangerous or negligent behavior by a rider can contribute to an escalator accident. While escalators are an everyday part of life, they still pose a risk and require a degree of caution to reduce the likelihood of an accident.
If the following were factors in your escalator accident, contact an escalator attorney right away.
Drug and alcohol use
Riding an escalator under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be dangerous. Both balance and reasoning ability may be impaired, which can lead to disastrous consequences. One of the biggest risks when riding an escalator when drunk or high is falling off the edge.
Riding on the handrails
The handrails on an escalator are not designed to be used as a ride. Some escalator accidents occur when someone tries to sit on the handrail and ends up losing his or her balance. Serious head and neck injuries, some even fatal, have occurred in these situations.
Traveling in the wrong direction
Trying to ride an escalator in the opposite direction is another activity that is dangerous. Entering and exiting an escalator in the wrong direction increases the likelihood of a comb plate entrapment. Shoes, clothing, or other items can become stuck in the escalator, potentially leading to injury.
The Role of an Escalator Attorney After an Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in an escalator accident, a free consultation with an escalator attorney can help you understand your legal options for compensation. If you work with an escalator attorney at our firm, you can be sure that the essential legal process will be handled while you can focus on your family and your recovery.
Investigate the accident
An escalator attorney is sure to investigate the circumstances of the accident. For example, video surveillance can be located and eyewitnesses can be interviewed to get a clear understanding of all of the events leading up to, during, and following the accident.
In many cases, a third-party contractor may be responsible for escalator maintenance and safety in a building. Maintenance logs can be located and examined to determine whether the escalator was being maintained according to local regulations. This thorough investigation is essential in order to strengthen your potential case and help prove liability.
Take over essential communication and paperwork
One common tactic used to avoid paying a fair settlement is to try and shift the blame – often onto the victim. When a corporation is up against an experienced and respected firm, though, companies know that these tactics and pressure do not work.
After suffering an injury, dealing with the insurance company is often a source of added stress. You can be sure that the necessary communications are being handled in a timely manner with your best interests at heart.
There are a number of steps that must be taken, as well as paperwork to be drawn up in order to start the process to recover compensation. This can be time-consuming, confusing, and overwhelming.
When you have an escalator attorney on your side, though, you do not need to worry about the legal process on your own. Your lawyer will understand the local personal injury and premises liability laws that apply and how all time limits pertain to your case.
Fight for full compensation
While you may be eligible to receive compensation after your escalator accident, it is important that you recover the full amount of compensation that is owed to you. Rather than settling for less than you deserve, your escalator attorney will protect your legal rights, fighting to recover the maximum compensation available to you for your losses.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, compensation may include medical bills and lost wages, as well as emotional damages such as pain and suffering related to the accident.
How the Team at Hill & Moin Can Help
You need a team you can trust to handle your escalator injury case. You deserve to work with professional, dedicated, and experienced legal staff, and we are proud to deliver that level of service for each of our clients here at Hill & Moin. For decades, we have worked tirelessly to recover millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and we want to help you and your family, too.
We promise to:
- Treat you with respect and compassion
- Return your calls promptly
- Make you feel like you have an attorney in the family
Our legal staff, as well as the many medical and other experts that we work with, are dedicated to providing the most complete level of service to our clients.
Hill & Moin is ready to offer you and your family Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ. Contact us today at (212) 668-6000 or fill out our online form to receive a free and confidential initial consultation.