Understanding Liability In Stairway Accidents
Posted on Friday, April 14th, 2017 at 9:03 pm
People slip and fall on a daily basis, usually only resulting in embarrassment or mild bruising, but sometimes those accidents can take a serious turn. Staircases are one of the most common places that people tend to fall, and these can create potentially dangerous situations, especially for the sick and the elderly. With many hard, cornered surfaces, and the influence of gravity pulling you downwards, a little slip on a stair can send you tumbling down many flights, ending in significant pain or disability.
For property owners, staircases can be a big liability, since many personal injury and premises liability claims can originate from incidents here. However, just because you slipped and fell in a stairway, it doesn’t mean that the property owners are automatically liable. If you encountered a dangerous condition, which led to your injury, then you may potentially have a reason to seek a premises liability attorney in Atlanta.
The property owner must have had notice of the dangerous condition prior to your injury, in order to be held liable. And of course, if the owner created the dangerous condition, they are presumed to know about it, and can be held liable here too. It’s important to note, however, that just because a property owner fixed an allegedly dangerous condition, such as a loose floorboard or damaged handrail, that fix cannot be legally used to prove that the prior condition was a hazard. Personal injury and premises liability law can be incredibly complex, so it’s always advised to seek expert advice about your unique situation, before arriving at any conclusions.
There are many different conditions involving stairways that can be considered dangerous, including:
- Snow and ice buildup
- Loose railings or no railings at all
- Uneven stairs or improper stair grade
- Slippery surfaces (like polished wood)
- Damaged or old materials
- Exposed nails or screws
- Objects littering the stairway (trash, construction materials, children’s toys, etc…)
While many stairway hazards are reasonable to expect a property owner to protect against, some are not. Things relating to normal property maintenance, like fixing the regular wear and tear of the structure, can be expected, to preserve the safety of residents and guests. Each and every staircase slip and fall case is different, so if you have recently been injured on a staircase, make sure you get in touch with an attorney right away, to learn about your rights.
When you’re ready to talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, call one of our offices today for your free consultation.