Premises Liability: Staircases
Staircase accidents are a leading cause of injuries. According to a study by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, more than one million Americans are injured on stairs annually. Even a fall down a simple staircase can be dangerous.
Common injuries sustained in staircase accidents include sprains, strains, contusions, scrapes, and fractures. But it is not uncommon for more serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury to occur. You may believe that a fall on staircases is the result of someone’s clumsiness, but many staircase accidents can result from the negligence of a property owner or business. It is important that all stairs and railings be designed, built, and maintained with safety in mind. Dangerous staircases can lead to slip and fall injuries or even to stairway collapses.
Staircase accidents can occur in homes, apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses. Customers in commercial or business establishments have the right to expect that the premises, including any staircases, are reasonably safe to lawfully enter onto. Property owners, or entities that rent or occupy the property, have an obligation to inspect their property on a regular basis for dangerous conditions and to correct these hazards or warn visitors of the danger. In addition, in private homes, property owners are obligated to correct or repair any defects or dangers of which they are aware and should warn guests of these dangers.
Common Causes of Staircase Accidents
Unsafe conditions on someone’s property are usually the cause of slip or fall accidents or stairway collapses. Staircases found both inside and outside must be properly built and maintained. Staircase conditions that can cause injury include:
- Uneven, wobbly or chipped steps
- Defective banisters or handrails
- Poor lighting in the staircase
- Worn or loose carpet on the stairs
- Improper distance between landings
- Failure to meet building codes
- Rotted steps or support materials
- Water, ice, or other liquid on the stairs
If stairs are unsafe for any reason, the property owner must fix the condition immediately or to at least post signs to warn people of the danger.
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured on a defective staircase, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.