Stairway Injury Cases Require a Thorough Investigation and Detailed Analysis
A fall down a flight of stairs can result in a victim suffering catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Stairway trips and falls are especially dangerous to individuals who are over the age of 60 or have certain preexisting conditions or injuries. When you fall down a stairway on property belonging to another (even if you are a tenant and the property is owned by a landlord), premises liability law may entitle you to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses you experience as a result of the accident.
A premises liability case seeks to hold a property owner responsible for the losses and expenses an injury victim sustains while lawfully on the owner’s property as a result of a dangerous condition that the property owner knew about – or should have known about – but did not adequately address. While a slip on a wet floor and a fall down stairs may both fall under the general heading of “premises liability lawsuits,” there are unique aspects about your stairway accident that may warrant the assistance of an experienced stair accident lawyer.
What Will My Accident Attorney Be Looking for in My Stairway Accident Case?
Whenever you or a loved one are injured on a stairway located on the property of another, you should have your potential lawsuit evaluated by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Even where you believe you were responsible for your trip on the stairs or the stairs do not appear to be defective (i.e., crumbling or in obvious poor repair), a closer inspection might reveal that one or more individuals’ or entities’ careless or reckless conduct played a role in the accident.
As part of his or her investigation and evaluation of your case, your stairway accident lawyer may want to take numerous pictures of the stairway from various angles and obtain accurate measurements about the landings, rises, and runs that comprise the stairway. You may have a successful stairway accident lawsuit if:
- The defendant did not conduct a reasonable inspection of the property and the dangerous condition of the stairway would have been obvious had such an inspection been completed;
- You cannot remember the accident because of a head injury. In most negligence cases, the injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In a stairway accident, however, you may not remember the accident itself and, therefore, be unable to say with certainty how your injuries occurred. But where a property owner violates a significant safety regulation, the burden of proof may shift to the defendant to disprove that the dangerous condition of the stairs and your injuries are related.
- Building codes were violated in the construction of the stairs. Stairs must be constructed in a certain fashion and there are regulations governing the size of landings, the maximum height of each step (the “rise”), and the minimum depth of each step (the “run”). Oftentimes, injury victims are unaware of these regulations, and only a detailed analysis of the particular stairway will reveal whether the stairway upon which you were injured complied with these regulations. Where it did not, you may be entitled to compensation.
Contact the Law Offices of Edward Smith for Legal Assistance After a Stairway Accident
Image Attribution: Bobak Ha’Eri via Wikimedia Commons