Escalator Accident Lawsuit in 2024 - Guide to Recovering Compensation

If you’ve been in an escalator accident, you are likely suffering from extremely serious injuries. Filing an escalator accident lawsuit will help you recover the losses and damages you incurred.

Escalators are a commonplace convenience, making an average of 105 billion passenger trips yearly. However, despite the comprehensive safety of these devices, accidents on elevators and escalators can cause serious injury if they are not properly maintained or if they are operated unsafely. According to the data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, accidents on escalators injure approximately 17,000 individuals per year in the United States.

Causes of escalator accident

Escalator accidents are due to any of the following:

  • A design defect.
  • A manufacturing defect.
  • Inadequate handrails.
  • Improper installation.
  • Inadequate inspections and poor maintenance.
  • Inadequate training for maintenance personnel.
  • Mechanical/electrical failure such as faulty wiring leading to electrocution or entrapment.
  • Sudden stops.
  • Sudden reversals.
  • Sudden drops or falls.
  • Lack of fall protection.
  • Lack of appropriate warnings/warning defects.
  • Too much space between escalator steps and sides,causing shoelaces or pant legs to catch.
  • Missing or defective steps, leading to trip, slip and fall accidents.
  • Missing or broken teeth on the escalator track, resulting in trip and fall accidents.
  • Tripping hazards due to unbalanced leveling.

The law requires elevators to be professionally installed, maintained, repaired and inspected. In addition, the contractors and companies should be licensed to work on elevators throughout the state where they operate. They must likewise follow industry standards and recommended practices.

In addition, the property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that elevators and escalators are safe for use. Routine inspections need to be performed, and any issues should be corrected by a contractor licensed by the State to perform proper inspections and maintenance.

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Common injuries sustained in an escalator accident

Injuries that may be subject to escalator accident claims include, but are not limited to:

Escalator Accident Lawsuit

What to do after an escalator accident?

The moments after an escalator accident can be chaotic, particularly if there are different people on the escalator at the time. However, it is important that you stay calm and take the following actions to protect your legal rights and get a fair escalator accident settlement.

These pictures help in showing that the escalator was defective or that there was a dangerous condition on the premises that led to the accident. Taking pictures and capturing the scene can help an escalator accident attorney determine how the accident happened and who was negligent. You should also take photos of your injuries at the scene.

You should report the accident to these individuals as soon as possible. Although you do need to tell them about the incident, you should not provide all the information in detail. If you can, file a written report noting the date, time, and place of the accident, and then ask for a copy of it.

Ensure your injuries don’t become any worse! For this, you need to take immediate medical attention. It will also help to sue the negligent party in the escalator accident for a claim. If you do not see a doctor soon after your accident, the other side may argue that your injuries couldn’t have been severe because you didn’t seek medical attention right away.

Shortly after the accident, an insurance company will likely call you. Do not give a recorded or written statement without talking to an experienced escalator accident lawyer about your legal rights.

Your trusted attorney will speak to the insurance company and ensure your rights are upheld from the very beginning of your case. Additionally, a competent attorney will start working right away to investigate the accident and gather evidence supporting your escalator accident claims.

People who are liable for escalator accidents

The insurance companies, police, and law firms may need to investigate an elevator or escalator accident to determine fault. These cases can be complex. Recognizing the cause of the accident is necessary to pinpoint who is the actual defendant. The cause of the accident will also determine what type of civil lawsuit the victim could bring. The escalator accident lawsuit will start with naming the defendant.

If the malfunction happened due to an inherent defect in the design, the installation, or the manufacturing instructions of the escalator, the manufacturing company would be liable for the damage. The victim may not even need to prove negligence to win compensation in this type of escalator injury claim.

A property owner may be held liable for a tragedy if they contributed to the elevator/escalator malfunction through negligent ownership, such as failing to schedule routine maintenance or ignoring federal safety regulations.

Federal laws make regular elevator and escalator inspections mandatory. For example, if the maintenance crew makes a mistake during installation or repairs, the company could be liable for related accidents or injuries.

Two of the most traumatic types of escalator accidents

Falls are the most common types of escalator accidents, but entrapment also leads to severe injuries, such as amputation and strangulation. Poor design and poorly maintained escalators can also lead to terrible and fatal injuries. Here are two common escalator incidents that can be very traumatic.

Most escalator deaths and more than 75% of escalator injuries requiring treatment in the hospital are the result of falls. Escalator malfunctions that cause falls include:

  • Abrupt stop.
  • Reversing direction.
  • Sudden acceleration.

The above malfunctions can cause multiple people to fall and pile up, leading to serious injuries and death.

Entrapment can result in strangulation, amputation, and other injuries. Children are even more prone to lose their hands, toes, fingers, or feet in entrapment accidents. Meanwhile, adults can suffer grave or fatal injuries when their hair or clothing gets caught and pulled into the escalator.

The most common types of escalator entrapment include:

  • Entrapment between escalator steps and sidewall.
  • Entrapment between two steps.
  • Entrapment between steps and comb plate.


Although escalator injuries are on the rise, they can be prevented. Filing an escalator accident lawsuit with help from top lawyers can increase your chances of winning.

Why choose Ethen Ostroff Law?

A skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced attorney can help you determine which claim or claims you may bring against the people or companies that caused your injury. If you were injured in an incident with an escalator, an attorney referred by Ethan Ostroff would assist you in filing an escalator accident lawsuit so you can get compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, and inability to live a normal life following your escalator accident. 

At Ethen Ostroff Law firm, we have a network of skilled and experienced escalator accident lawyers in Philadelphia who are always ready to assist you with documenting your expenses, filing your claims, hiring experts in relevant fields, and representing your interests in a court of law. Contact us today at 610-510-8883 for a free initial consultation.

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