Premises Liability: Stair Accident Liability and Proving Fault
Thousands of people trip and fall on stairs each day, leading to injuries that can be catastrophic. If you have been involved in a stair accident, your injury may be severe enough you cannot work or you may be facing extensive medical treatment and the bills that come along with them.
It is possible that the owner of the building where the stairs are located may be liable for your injuries. In order to determine if your injuries are eligible for a premises liability claim, there are certain questions that must be answered.
Were the Stairs Damaged in Some Way?
A common cause of a stair accident is work carpet or wood that creates a slippery surface. Carpet or stairs may also be damaged and if the damage is on the edge of the step, slipping is much more common. Steps may also be made of tile or highly-polished wood that may be more slippery than other types of stair coverage. If these conditions exist, it is possible the building owner could be liable for your injury.
Were Outside Steps Wet or Icy?
Ice or snow covered steps can be treacherous. Although a property owner cannot always be held responsible for the weather and that you should use extra care when inclement weather occurs, it is still possible that the owner may be responsible. Outdoor stairs must be maintained in order to prevent water or ice to build up excessively. If you can show that build-up was excessive, the owner may be liable. In addition, outdoor steps should have special tread that prevents them from becoming slippery when they are wet or icy. If there is no anti-slip surface, you may have a premises liability claim.
Were There Building Code Violations?
Almost every locality has building codes that must be followed that are designed to protect you. This includes stairs. Some of the requirements that may appear in the code in your area may include:
- Handrails – almost all building codes require one or more handrails on stairs of certain widths and on certain types of buildings. The handrails must also be installed properly and at a certain height. Reaching for an improperly placed handrail can cause a fall even if there are no other problems with the steps.
- Improper height or depth – Stairs must be a maximum and minimum height as well as depth. Even a fraction of an inch can lead you to trip or fall.
- Uneven Stairs – Building codes also determine the maximum variance from one step to the other. This is critical because our brains automatically tell our legs what distance to move from one step to another. When the steps are uneven, even by a fraction, you can lose your balance.
If you have been injured in a stair accident, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have. You may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills as well as pain and suffering. Arrange for an initial consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or complete the simple form on our website.