A slip and fall accident that occurs on stairs may leave you injured. Common injuries that occur due to slip and falls include fractures, traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, back injuries and knee injuries. In some cases, slipping and falling down the stairs is simply an accident that no one is at fault for. You may have missed a step or your foot simply may have slipped. But in other cases, the property owner may be to blame for your accident. Here are three common scenarios when a property owner may be reasonable for your slip and fall accident downstairs.
1. Not Ensuring the Stairwell is Properly Lit
The building owner is required to ensure that a stairwell is properly lit. If you slipped and fell because you could not see the stairs due to poor lighting, the property owner may be reasonable for your fall. There is one key exception to this though. In some cases, a light bulb can burn out unexpectedly. If this is the case, you have to be able to show the property owner was not checking the light bulb routinely and/or did not replace it timely when it burnt out in order to show fault.
2. Failing to Maintain the Stairs Properly
Another reason a property owner may be responsible for your injuries if you slip and fall on their stairs is if they failed to maintain the stairs. If the handrails were wobbly or shaky, the stairs were not properly maintained. If a stair has missing flooring that makes it uneven, the stairs have not been properly maintained. If you fell as the result of improperly maintained stairs, the building owner is likely responsible for your fall.
3. Having Stairs that Are Not Up to Code
The last reason a property owner may be responsible for your fall is that their stairs are not up to code. If they are running a business, a property owner must ensure that the angle the stairs are at, the width and height of the stairs and tread requirements meet current code for the city, county or state that they are doing business in. If the stairs are too steep, don't have required tread or fail to meet code requirements in other ways, they may be liable for your slip and fall accident.
If you were injured when you slipped and fell on stairs, it is strongly advised that you consult with a slip and fall attorney. A slip and fall attorney can review the details of your case and help you determine whether the property owner may be responsible for your injuries. If they are, a personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and recover the money you are entitled to.
For more information, contact a lawyer like Putnam Lieb Potvin.