The development of technology has truly made lives better. Nowadays, computers and machines help us get through our daily routine, from the moment we wake up, during our work hours, and up until we go back home. The improvement on our means of transportation is one proof of this technological development. People now have a lot of choices of which vehicle to use to get to their destination.
Common carriers are those vehicles that are for public use. They carry and transport goods or people from one place to another. The California Book of Standard Civil Jury Instructions gave four factors that will help determine if a carrier is common or not.
Â· The carrier maintains a regular place of business for the purpose of transporting passengers [or property].
Â· The carrier advertises its services to the general public.
Â· The carrier charges standard fees for its services.
Â· A carrier can be common even if it does not have a regular schedule of departures, a fixed route, or a transportation license.
Escalators are also considered as common carriers and is one of the most widely used. Statistics show that there are about 30,000 escalators in the US and 575 million people use it every day. Escalators or moving walkways also help people who are carrying extra luggage (like baby strollers) or those who are disabled (people with crunches) go up or down from a building easier.
Despite the comfort and ease it brings to people, escalator accidents still occur. Around 11,000 people are injured in escalator-related accidents every year. And even if it's not a very risky carrier, some accidents turn fatal. The common cause of escalator accidents is machine errors. However there are instances wherein a piece of clothing or a body part from a person riding the escalator gets entangled in the machine, causing the person to be caught and unable to move, which may eventually lead to injuries. There was also a case of a four-year-old boy who sneaked between two ramp-style walkways, which crushed the kid, leaving him with discolored eyes and face because blood vessels under his skin burst.
Who is liable?
Escalator accidents are attributed to the building owner's negligence. The management is responsible for keeping escalators in top shape to avoid machine break downs. The faults of the other people involved are only contributory. Escalator accident cases should be thoroughly reviewed by the lawyers to help prove that the management was negligent.