After falling down the stairs and injuring yourself, you might find yourself facing a more complicated personal injury case than if you slipped and fell on a poorly maintained walkway. Stairs come with inherent risks, and you will need to prove that the stairs were unreasonably unsafe to win a personal injury case. There are several aspects to your fall that a personal injury attorney might examine when proving liability.
When relying on a handrail to steady yourself, the handrail might have suddenly become detached, leading to you tripping and falling. If the handrail was broken for an extended period of time and the property owner did nothing to repair it, your personal injury attorney may use this as evidence of negligence.
The lack of a handrail could also contribute to your fall. Building codes often have requirements for when a handrail must be installed and the mandatory height and width of the handrail.
The Stair Height
The dimensions of the stairs are governed by building codes. If the stairs are not the appropriate height and you fall as a result, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. This is especially true if the stairs were not approved by local authorities. A personal injury attorney will investigate whether the property owner obtained the proper permit to construct the stairs.
If the stairs are slippery while wet or icy, the property owner may or may not be responsible for the accident. For example, if the stairs are covered with ice, your personal injury attorney might argue that they should have been salted. However, your attorney will need to prove that the buildup of ice was excessive.
Worn-Out Stairs and Carpeting
If the carpeting becomes loose, this can easily lead to a trip and fall accident. It's the responsibility of the property owner to identify loose carpeting and make sure that the problem is corrected. Stairs can also wear out and become unsafe to walk on. This is especially the case with wooden stairs. Your attorney will interview witnesses to determine if these problems went unresolved for a long time.
After your attorney is able to prove that the property owner was negligent, the next step is to assist you in calculating the damages you have suffered. Then, you can begin the process of negotiating with the company that insures the property to reach a settlement.