Falling down a flight of stairs can be a terrifying experience and can cause victims to suffer catastrophic injuries or death. These slip and fall accidents can happen both on indoor and outdoor staircases. If a property owner’s negligence was the cause of a person’s fall, he can be liable to compensate the victim for his medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Are the Major Causes of Stairway Slip and Fall Accident?
Landlords, property owners, and businesses have a duty to maintain their staircases in a reasonably safe condition. This includes repairing defects that they know or should know about and posting warning signs so that people can avoid dangers. Common ways that they breach this duty include:
- Defective surfaces. Torn or frayed carpet or cracked flooring on stairs can cause a person to trip and fall down the stairs. This is one of the most common causes of these accidents.
- Broken or missing steps. When steps are missing, broken, or loose, it can increase the likelihood that people will lose their balance and fall.
- Defective handrails. If a staircase has a certain number of steps, a handrail may be required for safety reasons and under local building codes. When they are missing or loose, there is insufficient support for an individual to safely navigate the stairs.
- Riser height differences. When the riser height between stairs is not the same, the danger of someone tripping and falling increases. Most people assume that the riser height will be the same. If it is not and no warnings are posted, a person may not put his foot up high enough to reach the next step when walking upstairs and can lose his balance when going down the stairs.
- Insufficient lighting. When there is no lighting, or it is insufficient, individuals cannot see a potential tripping hazard when taking the stairs.
- Wet and icy stairs. Outside stairs can become treacherous if snow, ice, and rain are not removed, increasing the risk that a person will suffer a long-term injury or death if they tumble down the stairs.
Did you or a loved one suffer serious injuries in a fall at a business or other property in Norfolk? Our experienced premises liability attorneys are here to help you file your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free consultation, call our office or fill out our online form.