In office buildings and malls throughout Maryland, thousands of people use escalators to travel between floors and levels. We take for granted that these complex mechanisms will work seamlessly, carrying us up and down. But machines malfunction, they can be poorly designed or maintained, or they could cause injuries if riders act negligently. Injuries could range from minor scrapes to catastrophic injuries or even death.
If you or a loved one was injured in an escalator accident, contact the experienced Maryland escalator injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. Our lawyers represent injury victims in a wide range of injury and accident cases. Call (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free consultation on your potential escalator injury case.
Types of Escalator Accidents in Maryland
We generally do not think of escalators as sophisticated mechanical devices when we step onto them and let them carry us up or down between floors. However, if there is an inherent design flaw, if the escalator is not adequately maintained, or if the behavior of other riders is reckless or negligent, a simple ride between floors could end in a severe or life-threatening injury.
Accidents on escalators have several potential causes. For example, an overcrowded escalator presents an increased risk of falls and injuries, a poorly designed or maintained escalator can suddenly accelerate or stop, or your clothes can become caught in open and moving parts. Any of these accidents could potentially result in serious injury. If you have been hurt from an accident on an escalator, it is essential to talk with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney to help determine who is liable for your harm.
Determining Liability for Escalator Injuries in Maryland
Determining how an injury occurred is the first step in establishing who is responsible for any potential damages. We will work with you, review accident reports, and gather evidence and eyewitness testimony to help figure out the cause of your injury and seek justice for you.
Upkeep and Inspection Errors
The owner of the premises where the escalator is located has a duty to ensure the escalator operates safely. Depending on the type and cause of your injury, evidence may exist that the owner neglected to adhere to this duty. For example, we will determine whether routine inspections were properly scheduled and conducted, whether the escalator was operating and maintained according to code, whether all mechanical issues were addressed, and, if the escalator did pose a hazard, whether it was adequately sealed off from potential riders. If your injury was the direct result of the owner’s negligence in maintaining the safe operation of the escalator, they might be liable for any harm or damages you faced. Additionally, if the owner contracted a company for inspection and maintenance services, the respective contractors may also share liability.
Businesses that share space in the building where the escalator is located could also share responsibility for an injury. For example, if a business owner or an employee leaves trash, debris, or spilled liquids on the escalator, and those dirty conditions led to your injury, they could be held liable for any harm or damages you suffer.
Design or Manufacturing Errors
Regular inspections or maintenance will not necessarily reveal an inherent design flaw or manufacturing error in an escalator. If a design defect, mistakes in the manufacturing process, or inadequate warnings for riders directly contributed to your injury, then the manufacturer of the escalator could be liable under product liability laws. A potential design flaw could allow the escalator to easily catch clothing, or a manufacturing defect could result in sudden changes in movement or speed. Our knowledgeable Maryland attorneys will work to establish whether the manufacturer is responsible for your injuries.
Negligence from Other Riders
You are rarely riding an escalator by yourself. Public buildings will usually have other individuals sharing access to escalators. A well maintained and manufactured escalator can still be dangerous if other riders act negligently or recklessly while utilizing the device. If another person ran up or down the escalator, jumped between moving escalators, shoved you, or pushed someone who fell into you, they could be held liable for any injuries you sustain. Through accident reports, surveillance cameras, and eyewitness testimony, our Maryland attorneys should be able to prove another rider’s negligence caused your injury.
When pursuing a personal injury claim, it is important to note that Maryland follows the contributory negligence doctrine. This means that if your behavior contributed to the accident, you might not be able to recover damages from any other responsible party. For example, imagine an owner of a building failed to keep an escalator in proper working condition, resulting in it malfunctioning and stopping suddenly. If you are injured because you fell forward when it stopped, you could potentially hold the owner liable for any harm or damages. However, if you were walking up the down escalator and a jury determines that that conduct contributed to your injury, you will not be awarded any compensation. Our experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys will tirelessly work to ensure the proper parties are held responsible for your injuries.
Call Our Maryland Escalator Injury Lawyer for Free Consultation
Injuries on escalators can lead to catastrophic physical trauma that could affect your entire life. When you step onto an escalator, you do not anticipate that your ability to earn an income, walk, or live a fulfilling life will be jeopardized. Devastating escalator injuries can result in expensive medical costs, years of physical therapy, or even death. If the accident was preventable and directly caused by another person’s negligent conduct, the Maryland escalator injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice will work diligently to see that you are properly compensated. Call (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free consultation.