Escalators are handy devices to travel from one floor to the next when you are carrying bags, making them perfect for large retail stores and airports. There are over 30,000 escalators in the U.S., each handling an average of 3,000 people per hour. Although they can reduce the strain of climbing stairs, they also use powerful machinery with many moving parts that can be dangerous to their riders, both young and old.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers regularly prosecutes Chicago personal injury cases involving injuries sustained in escalator accidents. Our attorneys will investigate and prosecute your escalator accident case without any out-of-pocket expense on your part as we receive a fee only when there is a recovery for you. Contact our office today to receive a free case review of an Illinois escalator accident case involving yourself or your child.
Escalators Particularly Dangerous for Children
Escalators are intriguing to children and look more like a carnival ride instead of a convenience device in their imaginative young minds. However, small hands, feet and fingers are easily trapped and crushed in the moving parts of these devices, making them especially dangerous for children.
In 2006, the Ohio State University published a study on escalator accidents involving children. They used data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate the prevalence of escalator accidents in children from 0-19 years of age in a 13-year period. From 1990-2002 there were approximately 26,000 accidents involving these young children and escalators. Their research found that:
- Children 5 years or younger accounted for 13,000 of the injuries
- Falling was the most prevalent cause of injury
- Entrapment accounted for 29.3% of all injuries, 36.5% in children under 5
- Legs were the body part most often injured, except in children under 5, who had their hand injured 40% of time
- 833 injuries were amputations or avulsions, 71.4% of these children under 5
The findings of the study were that the number of children under 5 that were injured was disproportionate and that many of these injuries could be prevented by better escalator design. Reducing the gaps between the steps and sidewalls or adding guards could reduce the amount of injuries that young children have, especially in entrapment hand injuries.
Elderly Escalator Injuries
Between 1995 and 2002, an estimated 40,000 elderly people had an injury while riding an escalator. Falling was by far the most common cause of injury for the elderly persons that were hurt on escalators. Some factors that may contribute to these injuries are:
- Balance issues
- Limited mobility
Elderly persons that use walking devices such as walkers or canes should avoid escalators all together and use an elevator when available. As attorneys representing people in these lawsuits, our responsibility is to anticipate some of these defenses from the onset of the case in order to preemptively address these issues which can lessen the value of the case with an addition of comparative fault.
Mechanical Malfunctions on Escalators and Moving Walk-ways Resulting In Catastrophic Injuries
When an escalator malfunctions, it can easily cause serious injury accidents. Injuries have been caused when an escalator suddenly speeds up, stops or reverses direction.
- 15 people were injured when an escalator came to an abrupt halt at a Washington Redskin game in September 2012
- 6 people were injured at a train station in New Jersey when the escalator changed direction in January 2013
- 4 people were injured at a Bellevue, WA Macy store when the escalator malfunctioned and pieces began falling off in December 2012
Poor maintenance can attribute to malfunctions and it is the responsibility of the owners of these escalators to properly maintain their equipment. Escalator safety is regulated by state law and has specific requirements regarding maintaining these devices.Chicago Escalator Accident Injury Lawsuits
If you are injured while riding an escalator or moving walkway in Illinois, you may be able to receive financial compensation for your injuries. Depending on the circumstance, the property owner and even the manufacturer or installer of the escalator may be liable for your injuries. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have experienced Chicago premises liability attorneys that can help determine the entities that are legally responsible for your injury. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your escalator injury case.
Resources on escalator accidents, safety and injury prevention: