Stairways can be just as deadly as cars. In fact, staircase and stairway accidents are the second leading cause of personal injury in the U.S., after motor vehicle accidents.
Fact: every year, over 1 million Americans suffer injuries from stairway fall, and other 12,000 U.S. citizens die in staircase and stairway accidents, either from a broken neck or head trauma right after the accident, or from life-threatening injuries later in a hospital.
While it’s clear that staircases and stairways can leave you disabled for the rest of your life or even kill you, what is considered unsafe stairs for a premises liability claim?
Contrary to the popular belief, it’s not always your fault when you slip or fall on a staircase or stairway. In fact, the owner of the property may be held liable for your injuries and damages.
And today, Riverside premises liability attorney Howard Craig Kornberg is going to reveal what kind of stairs can be considered unsafe and improperly maintained to be eligible for a premises liability claim.
Is the staircase or stairway poorly lit, and did the poor visibility contributed to your fall? If the answer is yes, you may have a premises liability case on your hands.
Was your fall caused by a slippery surface such as tile, highly polished wood or worn-down carpet? These surfaces are typically considered dangerous, especially for people with certain types of shoe soles.
You may have noticed that certain of your shoes are more “slippery” than others. Well, property owners are legally required to ensure that their stair surfaces are not slippery for all common types of shoe soles.
Wet or icy stairs
Wet or icy surfaces are the main cause of staircase accidents on outdoor stairs, our best premises liability attorneys in Riverside say. Even though people are typically advised to be extra cautious when walking up and downstairs when it’s snowing or raining, the owner of the property is legally required to inspect and maintain the stairs to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
California laws require handrails for certain types of stairs. If you fall on a staircase or stairway that should have been equipped with a handrail (which, by the way, could have prevented the fall in the first place), you may be entitled to compensation in a premises liability claim.
Also, laws require property owners to install handrails properly and at the right height so that people of all ages and heights can reach them.
Inadequate stair height or depth
It’s not uncommon for stairs in public and private properties in Riverside to have improper stair height and depth. California laws prescribe specific measurement requirements for stair height and depth. Not following these requirements when building stairs are considered negligence, and, therefore, may amount to a premises liability claim.
You may need the help of a Riverside premises liability attorney in order to prove that the stair is defective and that it caused the fall.
Uneven stair height or depth
Just like in the case with height and depth measurements, building codes in California prescribe a certain maximum variance from one step to another.
After all, when you’re walking down the stairs that have the identical height and depth, and then there is one step with a different height or depth, you may lose your balance and fall.
If you’ve been injured in a stairway or staircase accident, don’t hesitate to consult our Riverside premises liability lawyers at the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg to investigate your case, and look into possible violations of building codes with the particular staircase or stairway that caused you harm.
Only after a thorough investigation of the staircase, our attorneys will be able to determine liability and evaluate the full value of your injuries and damages. You don’t have to pay the medical bills associated with slip and fall injuries from your own pocket.