Stairways can be particularly dangerous when it involves slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents. While most people go up or down a flight of stairs without thinking twice about the task, incidents of falling due to tripping or slipping on stairways do occur frequently. When such an accident does occur, the consequences can be serious, even fatal. According to the National Safety Council, about 9.2 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2016. The council also states that stairway accidents in particular result in more than one million injuries each year.
What Causes Stairway Accidents?
There are a number of reasons why stairway accidents occur including:
Loose or broken steps: It can be extremely hazardous to use stairways that have broken steps or loose tiles. Whether the stairway is located in a residential complex or a private or commercial property, the property’s owner and/or manager have a duty to fix broken or loose steps. When they fail to fulfill that duty, injured victims can file a premises liability lawsuit.
Lack of proper lighting: Property owners and managers also have a duty to make sure there is adequate lighting especially near stairways. Lighting that is too dim or failed bulbs that don’t sufficiently illuminate a stairway can pose a serious fall hazard that may result in major injuries.
Broken or missing handrails: These types of defects can also lead to a fall that results in serious injuries or even loss of life. Landlords and property managers are required to make sure that they maintain their premises properly to avoid such dangers to tenants, visitors, guests, etc.
Debris or liquid on stairs: Stairways must be kept clear of hazards such as items that clutter up the path. This may pose a serious trip and fall hazard for those using the stairs. Also, steps that have spilled liquid on them can pose a slip and fall hazard. Ice or snow that accumulates on steps located outdoors may also pose a serious danger.
Unmarked steps: Steps should be marked in such a way that they allow those who use the area to clearly see where the step begins. When a failure to do so causes a trip-slip-and fall accident, the property owner, manager or other responsible party may be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused.
It is of course to be expected that such stairway-related fall accidents potentially lead to major or even catastrophic injuries. Here are some of the most common types of injuries suffered in a stairway accident:
• Fractures: Broken bones are often not fatal, but they are still serious injuries that may take several months to heal. Sometimes, bone fractures can result in permanent disabilities or disfigurement as well.
• Head injuries: A traumatic brain injury may leave someone with a permanent disability or may even prove fatal. Some people may need round-the-clock nursing care if they have suffered a permanent injury.
• Spinal cord damage: Similar to a brain injury, damage to the spinal cord may also leave an individual disabled and unable to care for himself or herself. In many cases, a severe fall may lead to paralysis.
• Soft tissue injuries: These are some of the most common injuries suffered in a stairway accident. They may take several weeks or months or even years to heal and often require extensive therapy, which may prove costly.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you were involved in a stairway 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 over 49 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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