Pikeville, Kentucky Escalator Accident Lawyer

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Escalators can be deceptively dangerous contraptions if they are not manufactured or maintained properly. With millions of miles of escalator travel taking place annually in the US, a certain number of accidents are inevitable. Since escalator operators are considered “common carriers” under Kentucky state law, they are subject to a particularly stringent duty of care, which makes it easier to enforce a claim against them.

Causes of Escalator Accidents

Most escalator accidents can be classified into two different types — pinching injuries or slip and fall injuries. Pinching or “entrapment” injuries occur when the victim’s fingers, toes or hair gets pinched in the moving parts of the escalator. Children are particularly vulnerable to this type of injury. Slip and fall escalator accidents, by contrast, are typically caused by the following types of defects:

  • A weak handrail that cannot support the passenger’s weight;
  • Missing or broken steps;
  • Missing teeth on the track;
  • Abrupt stops, and
  • Sudden reversals of direction.

Who Can You File a Claim Against?

Depending on how the injury occurred, what kind of defect in the escalator led to the accident and other factors, you may be able to file a claim against:

  • The owner of the building;
  • A retail store (a shop in a strip mall, for example);
  • A property management company;
  • An escalator maintenance company;
  • An escalator repair company;
  • An escalator manufacturer or distributor; or
  • An escalator inspector.

Fortunately, the defendant in an escalator accident lawsuit usually possesses the financial resources to pay even a sizeable claim.You are likely to win your claim if you can prove that (i) the defendant violated Kentucky escalator safety regulations ad (ii) the violation caused the accident that injured you. It’s possible to win your claim, however, even without proving a regulatory violation.

Comparative Negligence

Kentucky’s “pure comparative negligence” system determines how damages are awarded when more than one party is at fault for the accident. This is often relevant to escalator accidents, because they often occur when children are playing on the escalator or when an intoxicated adult uses one.

Under Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence system, a court will calculate each party’s percentage of fault, and deduct a proportionate amount from the victim’s recovery. If the accident is determined to be 70 percent the defendant’s fault and 30 percent the victim’s fault, for example, then the victim will receive only 70 percent of his damages. Children below a certain age are not considered negligent, however, no matter what they do.


If your claim is strong, in all likelihood you will end up with a private settlement without ever having to go to court. Nevertheless, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to motivate the defendant to settle, and the lawsuit can be abandoned once a settlement is reached.

Timing is Important

A statute of limitations sets the deadline by which you must either file a lawsuit or finalize a settlement. Kentucky’s statute of limitations period is one of the shortest in the nation — in most cases, you only have one year after an accident to file your claim.

Schedule an appointment with personal injury attorney Glenn Martin Hammond by calling (606) 437-7777 or by completing our online contact form. We serve clients in Fords Branch, Pleasant Valley, Robinson Creek and elsewhere in Pikeville, KY as well as throughout the state.

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