Stair Accidents: Who is at Fault?

Every year, people are injured in accidents taking place on stairways. Those who fall on stairs way sustain very serious injuries including cuts, abrasions, contusions, sprained tendons, ligaments, fractured bones, whiplash, head, and shoulder injuries. However, you may not know what entities or people can be held liable in these accidents or how you can prove your claim. Now you can gain a better understanding of how this works.

Liability in a Claim

So, let’s say that you slipped and fell on the stairs and you’re hoping to take the liable party for compensation in court. If this is the case, you have to prove some things first. First of all, did the owner of the premises cause the spill on the stairs that made you fall? Did they know of the dangerous condition but refused to do anything about it? Should they have known about the danger because a reasonable person would have found the spill and taken care of it? Here are some of the aspects that must be considered in a stair accident:

  • Slippery Surfaces: Some stairs can be made of more slippery materials like tile or highly polished wood, or even obtain worn-down carpet that can attribute to falls. Because of this, the property owner may be liable because of sacrificing safety for beauty.
  • Wet or Icy Outdoor Stairs: Of course, the weather is always changing, which means that rain, snow, or ice could collect on outdoor stairs. This could lead to a higher risk of accidents. The owner may be liable if you fall on stairs without an anti-slip surface or if they are built and maintained in a way that does not watch for excessive buildup of bad weather conditions.
  • Building Code Violations: Building codes will usually regulate things like handrails, improper stair height or depth, uneven stair height or depth, and more. You may have a strong argument if any of these aspects were avoided and you were injured as a result

Proving Your Claim in an Accident

It is important to have an attorney on your side because you may have to speak to an insurance claims adjuster at some point in this process. Having the best evidence to make your case can only benefit you in the long run. Here are some of the best pieces of evidence to help you in your claim:

  • Photographs: Photographs are good evidence because they leave no opportunity to argue. If you see it in a picture, it is hard to prove otherwise. A picture showing a broken step or a missing stair bannister can prove a lot to the insurance adjuster.
  • Witness Statements: What if somebody sees you fall when you are on the steps? What if they noticed that there was something wet on the stairs that caused the fall? They will be able to verify this by writing a letter of exactly what they saw. As long as the witness signs the paper, it is legally acceptable.
  • Incident Reports: This will detail the circumstances of the injury and be sent to the insurance company.
  • Medical Records: Medical records show that there was a direct and proximate result of the fall down the staircase due to negligence.

Accidents taking place on staircases can be complex at times. You may wonder what evidence you will need to make your case, which is a reason to have an attorney on your side that knows the ins and outs of the law. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today for more information.