Who to Sue When You Slip, Trip, or Fall on an Escalator

Posted on June 16, 2021

When a fall on an escalator causes injuries, the owner of the property may face a lawsuit for the recovery of the victim’s damages and related expenses.

Beware: Escalators Pose Dangers

Escalators are commonly installed in shopping malls, retail stores, and commercial buildings as a convenient way to access different floors. Although they are designed with multiple passenger safety features, slip and fall accidents happen frequently. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, escalators cause approximately 17,000 injuries every year in the United States.

Escalators are powered by heavy-duty electric motors that move interlocking steps like a conveyor belt. There are numerous working parts with gears that require regular preventive maintenance to prevent malfunctions. Since escalators are powerful machines with moving components, escalator falls can result in serious injuries, especially for children. Slip and fall lawyers often see cases of serious facial lacerations, head and scalp injuries, broken bones, and amputated limbs when someone falls on a moving escalator.

Because escalators are used in public places, federal safety laws require professional installation, regular inspections and maintenance, and repairs by licensed technicians. Property owners have a legal responsibility to make sure that escalators on their properties are safe from:

  • Design and manufacturing defects
  • Faulty handrails
  • Damaged or missing moving parts
  • Loose or damaged steps
  • Sudden stops and reversals
  • Tripping and fall hazards

Escalator slip and falls usually happen without warning They can cause severe head trauma, permanent disabilities, and even death.

Who Is Liable for Escalator Fall Injuries?

When an escalator slip and fall accident is caused by a third party’s negligent actions, a property owner may be held legally responsible. Cases involving negligence are usually handled by slip and fall lawyers as premises liability claims or civil lawsuits. If negligence is proven in court, the property owner may be forced to pay for the injury victim’s medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, and physical and/or emotional pain and suffering.

In many cases, slip and fall accidents are settled out of court between the plaintiff’s slip and fall lawyers, the defendant’s lawyers, and the property owner’s insurance company. This is often a better option because it cuts down on legal fees, extensive court time, and stress from a jury trial. Depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, a large settlement may be awarded to cover the victim’s costs for all related injuries, as well as punitive damages awarded for negligence.