A stairway fall can be especially dangerous because a person is falling down steps and often cannot catch himself to stop the fall. People can slip and fall on many stairways—such as in casinos, parking garages, stadiums, office buildings, and private homes. While a person can injure himself in a slip and fall anywhere, staircases pose a special hazard due to the hidden nature of some of the problems.
Common Causes of Stairway Slip and Fall Accidents
A staircase can become dangerous for many reasons, creating a falling risk for those who must use it. If the property owner caused the problem, knew about it and did nothing, or should have reasonably known about it, he could be responsible for compensating the victim for his injuries. Common causes of these accidents include:
- Slippery stairs. Worn-down wood or carpet—especially on the “run” part of the stair step where the foot lands—can pose hidden slip and fall dangers for unsuspecting people using them. In addition, a property owner could face liability if he installed tile or polished wood steps—which tend to be more slippery than carpet, stone, or painted wood.
- Wet or icy stairs. Rain or ice on outside staircases increases the risk that someone will fall. Stairways must be constructed so they do not allow water to pool. In addition, property owners have a duty to maintain their stairs—including removing excess water or ice.
- Handrails. Building code regulations often require stairs to have handrails—often of a specific height and weight. If the owner's failure to comply with this requirement contributed to a person's fall or the handrail was not secure, the owner could face liability for compensation.
- Uneven step height or depth. Building code regulations often specify the step’s height and depth. When these rules are not followed or the steps are uneven, a person not prepared for this can easily slip and fall.
- Poor lighting. If lights in stairwells are out or are inadequate, a person cannot see problems with the stairs—even obvious ones.
- Broken steps. When wood or metal steps are wobbly or concrete steps are cracked, they can pose a slip and fall risk. Building owners have a duty to inspect and repair faulty steps.
If you or a family member suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident on a stairway, we’re here to help. Call us at 866-299-0558 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.