Victims who have been injured in a stairway slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident may suffer major and life-changing injuries. Falls, especially from stairways, make up a large number of injuries in New York. Fatalities as a result of falling from a flight of stairs are sadly common. A number of these accidents tend to occur because of a landlord (building owner) or property manager’s negligence (carelessness) or due to the failure to fix a problem before the incident.
What Causes Stairway Accidents?
There are a number of factors that lead to catastrophic or fatal stairway accidents. Here are some of the most often cited:
Broken stairs: These tend to result in the some of the more serious trip and fall cases. It is important to remember that stairs have two basic parts – the run and the riser. The run (tread) is the horizontal part of the stair that we put our feet on to ascend or descend a flight of stairs. The riser is the part of the step that goes up vertically. Broken runs may result in serious injuries if a person’s foot goes through the stairs. Risers that are damaged due to significant use or crumbling brick or concrete in outdoor stairs can also pose serious dangers.
Damaged or missing handrails: When we climb up or come down stairs, handrails play an important role in helping us maintain our balance. Broken handrails can result in a person losing their balance or can create tripping hazards if the rails are improperly constructed. Sometimes, all or parts of stairways don’t have handrails. As a result, people lose their balance and may take a fall down the stairs. Seniors, in particular, may be more vulnerable to these types of risks.
Slippery stairs: Stairs that are slippery because of snow, ice, food, water etc., can be extremely dangerous – whether they are indoors or outdoors. Property owners/managers need to take swift action to make sure stairways remain free of these types of spills and avoid causing a slip and fall accident. These spills should be mopped up promptly. Property owners and managers should also post warning signs if there are spills so people who are using the stairway are properly warned.
Debris on stairs: When debris such as garbage, construction materials and other objects are left on stairways, they may pose serious trip-and-fall hazards for those using the stairway.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Property owners and property managers are liable for stairway accidents just as they would be responsible if tenants, visitors or guests on their property were injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident. In both these cases, liability can be proven if:
• A spill, worn or torn floor covering or some other slippery or dangerous condition that resulted in the fall was the result of the action or inaction of the property owner and/or manager, or
• The property owner/or manager or an employee knew about the dangerous stairway or other hazards, but did nothing to repair or remedy the situation, or
• The property owner or manager claim they did not know about the dangerous stairway condition and the plaintiff (injured party) shows that they should have known about the condition or that they failed to maintain the property as required, or
• There was no sign warning of the dangerous condition, etc.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you were involved in a slip-and-fall or a trip-and-fall accident as a result of someone else’s negligence (carelessness), please remember that you have rights. Some of the damages that victims of such accidents can claim include, but are not limited to, medical expenses, loss of wages and benefits, cost of hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, past and future pain and suffering, permanent injury, etc.
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. For almost 50 years, our skilled attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims.
Our law firm recovered $1,700,000 for a woman who slipped and fell and received no hospital or medical treatment for one month after the accident. Our law firm also recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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