Escalators are found in a variety of places, from shopping malls to airports. They help customers get where they want to be, and may seem simple to use, but are they really safe?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 17,000 Americans are injured on escalators each year and about 30 people are killed.
Studies also reveal that these injuries have steadily increased each year for several decades, which means escalators are getting more dangerous instead of less so.
If you’re injured by an escalator, then what can you do? Luckily, there are legal remedies to this issue that can help you get the compensation you deserve to regain your health and recover from an escalator accident. Here’s what you need to know.
Contributory Negligence in New York
One of the first things established in premises liability cases is something called contributory negligence. Negligence is when a person acts in a careless manner which either indirectly or directly causes injury or harm.
Comparative negligence, on the other hand, is the degree of responsibility that lies with the injured party in an accident.
Contributory negligence is a percentage of overall negligence assigned to the injured party directly, and it impacts the total potential damages that can be awarded in the lawsuit.
Problems with New York Escalators
Lessees and business owners have a legal duty to the public. Anyone lawfully visiting a property assumes that the conditions of the property are safe, and the premises are being adequately maintained. When this fails to happen, then a premises liability case can be brought against them if you or a loved one are injured.
Escalators are a part of a building or premises that should be assembled and maintained properly. If they are not, then an escalator can cause serious injuries and even death. Some of the most common issues that can cause injuries on an escalator are:
- Insufficient hazard warnings for children
- Excessive gaps between the steps
- Failure of the escalator to stop automatically if something gets stuck
- Misaligned comb plates or plates with missing teeth
Many of these issues can be avoided but may be caused due to improper service as well as improper installation or inspection of the escalator.
Seeking Compensation in an NYC Escalator Accident Claim
If you or a loved one are injured on an escalator in New York, you can seek compensation from the parties responsible for the injuries. In general, it will involve establishing negligence by proving there was a dangerous condition on the property that the defendants were aware of that caused the injuries.
If you want to file a lawsuit seeking damages as the result of an escalator accident in New York, then it’s important to obtain vital documentation such as:
- The contract between the servicing company, building manager, and/or property owner in the period of time leading up to the date of the accident
- The identifying information of those who were responsible for the maintenance, service, and inspection of the escalator in question
- Copies of all records maintained by the building owner for the repair, maintenance, inspection, and/or service of the escalator
- Records of any upgrades or modifications to the escalator
- Copies of any violations issued by local or state governmental agencies related to the escalator
- Copies of any records of testing or inspection as required under the law
You may have an easier time collecting the documentation needed for a successful case with an experienced lawyer doing the legwork for you.