Yes, you can sue if you were injured on an escalator. However, you can only file a claim or lawsuit if another party’s negligence caused your injury.
Parties That Might Be Liable for an Escalator Injury
Anyone who might have contributed to your injury may be liable. This might include:
- The property owner
- The escalator maintenance company
- The escalator manufacturer
What We Must Do to Hold the Negligent Party Liable for Your Injuries
To hold the negligent party liable for your escalator injuries, we must prove it violated its duty of care to you by behaving negligently. Examples of negligence on the part of an escalator maintenance company, manufacturer, or owner might include:
- Failure to maintain and inspect the escalator regularly
- Improper maintenance
- Defective or improper escalator design
- Failure to place signs indicating defective or broken escalator
- Failure to check on a poorly functioning escalator
- Failure to follow building codes or regulations
Duty of Care for Each Potentially Negligent Party
Duty of care differs by individual.
O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1 states: “Where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”
In short, that means property owners must maintain a certain standard of safety. And that includes ensuring all equipment on the premises functions appropriately. And that responsibility extends to maintaining functional escalators. So, if your injury occurred on a poorly functioning escalator, or one without warning signs prominently displayed, this would be a case of negligence which would leave the property owner liable for any injuries that result.
Manufacturers have a duty of care to create safe products. If the design or production of the escalator was faulty in any way, you can hold the manufacturer liable for any injuries that result.
Maintenance companies have a duty to perform satisfactory maintenance to ensure the safety of those who use the object. If the maintenance company failed to properly maintain the escalator, you can sue it for any injuries you suffer.
What Is Necessary for a Successful Escalator Injury Suit
The approach we use will depend on the liable party.
For property owners, our Atlanta premises liability attorney must establish the following:
- The property owner knew or should have known about the broken escalator.
- The property owner did not fix the escalator or did not place warning signs around the escalator.
- You suffered injuries.
For manufacturers, we must prove:
- There was a defect in the design or manufacturing process.
- The defect caused you to suffer injuries (e.g., There was a defect in the escalator that caused it to jerk back and forth when there is a certain amount of weight on the escalator. When the escalator jerked, you fell.).
For maintenance companies, we will prove the maintenance company failed to perform adequate maintenance and that this lack of adequate maintenance caused your injury.
Filing Suit When You Contributed to the Accident
Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence law when it comes to determining fault for injuries. This law holds that you can recover compensation for your injuries if you contributed 49 percent or less to your accident (if you contributed more than this amount, you are not entitled to compensation).
While you can recover compensation, your percentage of fault will decrease your available compensation. Let us say you were texting when you stepped onto the escalator. The escalator was broken and caused you to fall and suffer a head injury.
Had you been paying attention, you would have seen the escalator was broken. The investigation determines that you are partially at-fault because you were distracted. It determined you were not fully at-fault because the property owner failed to place an out of order sign on the escalator. The investigation determined you were 35 percent responsible for your injuries. You requested $10,000; you would be eligible for $6,500 (65 percent of $10,000).
Why You Should Discuss Your Case with an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
Escalator accidents and injuries are as unexpected as accidents come. If you or someone you love was involved in an escalator accident, give S. Burke Law a call. Our firm has represented Atlanta victims in injury cases for over 20 years, and we hope to be able to help you in the same way.
We believe in compassionate representation, and our primary concern is ensuring you get the care you deserve. This is why we offer free consultations to help you gather all the information you need to make the best possible decision.
Call us now at 404-842-7838 to case your case with our team.