Visitor Question

Fall on Escalator in a Train Station…

Submitted By: Marie (Quebec, Canada)

While getting off an escalator in the train station, I was knocked down onto the step of the escalator by a frail elderly woman. She was unable to get off the escalator, fell on me and this resulted in a domino effect.

The escalator was full of passengers who are now falling forward on top of me. The elderly woman was sideways at the bottom of the escalator and other passengers were falling on top of me.

No employee from the rail assisted me or the elderly woman or other passengers. One passenger managed to jump off and pull the stop button. Now my sweater is trapped in the escalator, I cannot get up at all and my elbow is bleeding.

I was sore and bruised for a week. How do I articulate these injuries to the rail company? The rail says no incident report was filed and basically no one knows about this incident.

They say they will reimburse my cost of the sweater but what about the pain and suffering I endured for a week? How do I put a monetary value to these injuries?

Any advice you would have is greatly appreciated.

I do have a photo of my injured elbow sweater, however the soft tissue injuries are not as obvious. I look forward to your response. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Marie,

Damages are difficult to articulate when there are no medical records or bills. Without minimizing your injuries, unless you seek treatment and have a medical bill to attach to it, most insurance companies will deny liability because they are unable to put a dollar value to your claim or offer a very low settlement amount.

This is perhaps why they simply offered to replace the sweater: It’s the only tangible thing that they can put a dollar figure to.

If you have medical bills, submit them to the rail insurance along with a demand letter requesting between 3-5 times the medical bills.

If you do not have medical bills, they may be willing to settle for a nominal figure which is defined as “nuisance” value in the insurance world. This is a small settlement that they would rather pay than fight a claim that really has little value.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 25, 2010

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