Who is Liable When There is an Escalator Accident?

Escalator accidents occur more often than you might think. Whether caused by a rider’s clothing or shoe lace getting caught, horseplay or other misuse, or malfunctioning equipment, injuries from escalators can be severe and costly. But who is liable for injuries caused by an escalator? Possibilities include the manufacturer, installer, maintenance professional, owner or even the rider.

Types of Claims

When someone is hurt in an escalator accident, he or she will usually argue that negligence caused their injuries. This means that someone associated with the escalator did not use ordinary care to prevent injuries or accidents. An injured rider usually will need to hire an expert Truck accident law firm to explain how negligence caused the injury. They may argue that the escalator was negligently designed, that it was not properly installed or that it was not properly maintained. Liability will depend on who the court finds to be negligent and what caused the accident.

In some cases, an injured person might argue that it doesn’t matter if proper care was taken with respect to the escalator because they are inherently dangerous. Courts have found escalator owners and operators strictly liable for injuries to small children on the ground that escalators are unreasonably dangerous to this population.

Defenses to Legal Action

If the accident or injury is caused by the rider’s recklessness, an elevator owner, operator or designer may argue that it should not be liable. Depending on the behavior of the rider, a court may reduce the escalator operator’s liability or eliminate it completely. Some people may wonder why an escalator owner or manufacturer should be liable at all for an injury caused by a rider misusing the equipment, such as by sitting on the rail, going the wrong way or even jumping over the side. While these activities certainly place much of the blame on the rider, in some cases, a NY Personal injury lawyer could argue that the escalator owner had a duty to prevent such horseplay.

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