Under the doctrine of premises liability, visitors to a property can seek damages for injuries they sustain on that property due to the negligence of the owners or operators. Common types of premises liability injuries include:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Snow and ice injuries
- Injuries caused by lack of maintenance
- Injuries caused by defects in the premises design
- Harm caused by criminals (negligent security)
- Elevator and escalator malfunctions
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool injuries
- Amusement park injuries
- Burns from fires or broken appliances
- Injuries due to toxic materials
Premises liability is a wide-reaching field of personal injury litigation, and a recent example out of Brooklyn shows that injuries can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Escalator Accident in Mall Injures Seven
On December 20, 2016, seven shoppers standing on an escalator were hurt when the escalator suddenly stopped moving, leading one person to stumble and fall. That person fell into a second person, which started a chain reaction as more people continued to fall down onto the steps. Many of the injuries were minor, but two of the injured shoppers were rushed to a hospital in serious condition.
According to research on escalator accidents, for every accident that happens on an elevator, there will be 18 accidents on escalators. Escalator injuries have been rising steadily over the last few decades. In 1990, 4,900 escalator injuries were reported, a number that has seen a ten percent increase every year up to now. Children and senior citizens are most at risk of these injuries, but they can happen to anyone.
Over three-quarters of escalator injuries are due to falls, and the vast majority of fatal escalator accidents involve falls. Fall incidents on escalators fall into two categories – falls that contain the person on the escalator, and falls that result in a person falling over the railing. Some common causes of falls on escalators include contact with other passengers, improper footwear, balance and coordination issues and more. Falls over handrails are often the result of misuse, such as attempting to sit on the moving handrails.
To Avoid Injury in an Elevator Accident
- Always face forward. This way you can be ready to disembark, avoiding entrapment injuries. Additionally, it allows you to spot potentially dangerous situations, like someone in front of you falling backwards.
- Always hold onto the handrail. This can help you brace yourself in a fall situation.
- Do not use strollers, carts or walkers for your children on escalators.
- Wear safe shoes. Anything with dangling strings or shoelaces creates an entrapment hazard.
- Know the location of the emergency shut off buttons. Even if you are not the one in danger, you could very well save someone from serious personal injury or even death by knowing how to shut off the escalator.