Moving between floors while you’re out and about shouldn’t be a frightening proposition, but there’s an element of risk no matter what method you use. Escalators often seem like the least threatening option, lacking the claustrophobia of elevators and most of the slip/trip potential of climbing stairs. Even so, they have serious safety drawbacks of their own, especially when poorly maintained.
If an accident happens, exhaustion and pain can stop someone from seeking help in the restitution of what was lost because of the injury. You might have lost wages, and accumulated medical bills, not to mention enduring the pain and suffering.
If the owners of the building were negligent, or the accident was their fault in any way, then you deserve to be compensated for everything that you lost.
Why Choose Us?
Besides knowing that you can trust us and that we will always have your best interests at the forefront, there are still more reasons to choose The Stoddard Firm. We have achieved outstanding results that have made a difference in our clients’ lives.
The results and payouts we have achieved for our clients can’t be argued with. Matt Stoddard has worked on many high-profile cases, and these have even been featured on the Courtroom Viewing Network.
He also teaches other attorneys through seminars for the Atlanta Bar Association. The Georgia Bar Association and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association are also organizations that he has helped with seminars.
Matt Stoddard has become so well known for his work that he has been interviewed for many legal journals and news channels and papers. Speaking about his work allows him to get more eyes on the cases that he is currently working on. His education is superior, but his passion is the thing that has set him and his firm above the rest.
Get in touch with us and let us know more about your case: 470-467-2200.
Sites Of Major Escalator Incidents
Escalator injuries can happen anywhere that you need to use one. But there are some places that have been the site of many incidents of escalator injuries.
According to a survey conducted by the Center for Construction Research and Training, escalators seriously injure about 6,800 people per year in the U.S, even causing some deaths. To make matters worse, Atlanta has several hotspots of escalator danger:
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
With the sheer volume of traffic that passes through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, it stands to reason that some accidents will happen on the premises. However, that same volume also makes patterns more obvious and, in the case of escalator injuries, disheartening.
In one particularly dark stretch of 2008, three children were injured on the escalators over the course of just two months. The airport’s immediate response was to blame the children’s shoes, adding signs and a message that played every five minutes over the PA system that warned parents about “shoe accidents.”
It’s true that the injured children were wearing Crocs and similar soft resin shoes, which get caught more easily in escalators than other kinds of footwear. Crocs ended up becoming more infamous than the escalators themselves for the injuries, with the company even paying part of the settlement for one of the ensuing lawsuits.
It should be noted, however, that in their efforts to keep up with traffic, the Hartsfield-Jackson airport has definitively struggled to keep up with maintenance. Just two months after celebrating the upgrade of two new escalators in 2013, the hub saw another escalator catch fire, injuring two firefighters.
Escalators remain the primary and most efficient conveyance available to handle foot traffic at Hartsfield-Jackson. They’re designed to be used by the general public, and the general public can be expected to pass through in a variety of street clothes on the way to their destinations. Upkeep of these mechanized thoroughfares can’t be dismissed as a factor in the frequency of accidents.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
Sadly, avoiding the airport and sticking to local travel offers no protection. The MARTA public transit system alone has a well-earned reputation for the danger of its escalators. The problem was most recently brought to the surface when a 3-year-old girl’s foot was crushed beyond repair by a MARTA escalator with an out-of-date inspection record.
The girl survived, but hers was far from the first such incident. The MARTA escalator systems were not only neglected but actively sabotaged by a mechanic in 2010. To their credit, MARTA immediately cut off access to the affected escalators for investigation and repair and ended their contract with the maintenance company.
Not so much to their credit, they then re-hired another maintenance company they’d blamed for a previous accident, in which an escalator lurched suddenly forward. Almost immediately after the switch back, the lurching accident repeated itself.
In spite of all this, not a dollar of the recently approved $2.5 billion MARTA expansion is specifically designated for improving safety.
Malls and Recreation
Of course, using public transportation isn’t the only time people encounter escalators. Escalators in privately owned public spaces can be just as hazardous, especially in times of economic upheaval.
While the MARTA system may not be spending enough of its recent budget boom on improving safety, many shopping malls are barely keeping their doors open at all. As these once-thriving malls slowly transition into ghost towns, there’s a long stretch of time where maintenance and upgrades fall by the wayside.
The conditions can be as dangerous for workers as for guests. In 2013, a repairman working on the fire sprinklers at Phipps Plaza got his foot wedged between the stairs of an escalator and was dragged to the top.
Other kinds of recreational facilities where escalators must handle heavier traffic can cause even more casualties when things go wrong. Also in 2013, a malfunctioning escalator at the Georgia Dome went into what a passenger described as a freefall right after a game, injuring at least eight.
Give us a call at 470-467-2200 or reach out online for your free consultation.
How to Protect Yourself from Escalator Accidents
The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) offers some suggestions for staying safe on escalators:
Check that the escalator is going in the desired direction before stepping on.
Take extra care where you step if you wear bifocals.
Face forward, holding the handrail.
Hold small children tightly in your other arm.
Alternatively, have children stand (not sit) near the middle of the escalator, holding both your hand and the handrail.
If you are using a wheelchair, electric scooter, stroller, hand cart, luggage cart or similar item, use the elevator instead.
Keep away from the sides and keep track of loose clothing.
Wear close-toed, hard-soled shoes not made from rubbery materials.
Reposition your hand slowly if the handrail moves at a different pace from the steps.
Do not climb on the handrail.
Step off and move away when you reach your destination, without hesitating or letting feet drag over the edge.
Of course, some of these tips are simple common sense, while others expect people to plan their entire days and wardrobes around what should be the simple and forgettable task of moving from one level to another. Most importantly, none of them will protect against large-scale escalator malfunctions caused by a lack of maintenance.
Types of Injuries from Escalator Accidents
There are many types of injuries that come from escalator accidents. But the most common causes of these injuries happen when something becomes caught in the escalator. This can happen when fingers or clothing becomes caught in the belt at the top of the escalator.
Shoestrings and open toes can get caught in the grate of the escalator you are standing on. You might not be able to get free from your shoe quickly enough, and that can result in serious injuries. In both of these cases, the majority of injuries are hand or foot injuries. They can range from mild injuries like sprains and lacerations to very serious injuries like amputations.
You can also experience fractures or dislocations or soft tissue injuries. The other common escalator injuries come from the flight suddenly coming to a stop and causing injuries from falling.
If any of these injuries are shown to be a result of neglect, then the property owner needs to be held accountable.
Who We Are
When you need help with an escalator injury and in holding the people responsible accountable, then we can help you. By the time that someone has come to the point that they want to launch a liability suit, they have suffered through a lot.
We also know that it all starts with trust. To be willing to go to battle with us, you must know that we have your best interests at heart and that we will use all of the resources of the firm to help you win this battle.
Getting to know what we stand for will help you to put your trust in us. The owner of the firm, Attorney Matthew B. Stoddard, worked defending corporate interests, but he was not satisfied with this career. That is why he changed sides and started working for the people against large corporations. He works tirelessly for his clients. Facing big corporations means that he often needs to get special permission to work in other states, but he does not mind the lengths to which he must go and how far he must he travel to get the best result for his clients.
He is proud of his reputation as a hardworking professional and, most importantly, an ethical attorney. His clients put their trust in him, and he is obligated to do his best for them. Everyone at the firm is just as passionate about helping. That is our promise.
How We Can Help
Not only are we willing to face the battle by your side, but we are also able to do so. We have an extensive knowledge of the liability laws in Atlanta as well as many other states. If you have been injured in an escalator accident, we know how to help. We know what we can claim for and how to set up the suit in the best way to assist you. We will . . .
File the lawsuit
Assist you in reaching a settlement (but we won’t settle for less than you deserve)
Go to bat with you in court
Be by your side in all ways you need.
We offer a full service from the start of your journey to the end. We are comfortable in the courtroom and would never settle for less than you could get.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured by an Escalator
When a traumatic accident happens, you need to think ahead to ensure that you get what you need and that this accident does not remain unpunished.
First, you will need to seek medical attention right away. You will need to heal; even if you feel fine, it is still better to be checked out. There might be some underlying conditions that have yet to make themselves known. Checking them out will allow you to get the care you need. Not only is medical care necessary, but it does also establish the record of the incident.
Once your immediate needs are met, contact an escalator injury lawyer like those at the Stoddard Firm. We’re always available to discuss your options and how we can help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Matt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]
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