Understanding Stairway Slip & Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can be very dangerous and lead to a variety of injuries. Slips and falls involving stairs can be even more serious as they involve a fall from a great height, the repeated impact of the stairs, and the potential to be injured by loose nails, wood, or debris.

Common injuries sustained in stairway slips and falls are:

  • Severe neck and back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Ligament damage
  • Spinal cord damage and injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Head and facial trauma

Common Causes of Stairway Slips & Falls

Slips and falls can be entirely accidental; however, in some cases, they can be caused by negligent or reckless conditions that property or homeowners fail to address. Here are a few of the most common staircase issues that can cause slips and falls:

  • Inadequate lighting
  • Torn carpet or loose flooring
  • Obstructions or obstacles left on stairways (i.e. boxes, cords, bags, debris, etc.)
  • Wetness or iciness on the floor
  • Worn treading or nosing
  • Broken or damaged stairs
  • Improperly maintained staircases
  • Broken or missing handrails

Proving Fault with Stairway Accidents

To pursue legal action after a slip-and-fall accident on the stairs, you will need to prove that the property owner acted negligently. Specifically, you will need to prove that the property owner or an employee:

  • caused the dangerous condition (i.e. spilled liquids, worn spot on the treading, etc.),
  • knew about the dangerous conditions on the property but did not address the issue, and/or
  • should have known about the negligent conditions on the property that led to your injuries.

You will also need to show that the dangerous conditions led to your accident and damages and that you suffered damages. It is also important to note that you can only pursue legal action if you were legally on the property; a trespasser cannot pursue a premises liability claim.

If you are injured in a staircase fall, you should take the following steps after the accident to collect evidence to help establish liability:

  • Document and photograph your injuries and the scene.
  • Collect the names and contact information of witnesses.
  • Notify the property owner and/or an on-site official.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately—even if you only seem to have minor injuries.
  • Contact our firm for help building your case.

Comparative Negligence & Liability

The opposing party and the insurance company will also be trying to prove that you contributed to your injuries and the accident. If they prove that you are also at fault, you can still receive financial compensation but your settlement will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.

For instance, if you were wearing shoes with worn soles and baggy clothes that dragged on the floor, you may be deemed partially at fault for your slip and fall. If you are assigned 20% of the fault and were going to be awarded $100,000 in damages, your damages would be reduced to $80,000.

Dedicated Personal Injury Attorneys

Eliot Reiner, APLC has dedicated our practice to handling personal injury matters, including premises liability and slip and fall cases, and we have been serving Sacramento and surrounding areas for over 30 years. If you or a loved one have suffered a slip and fall on the stairs, you can trust our team to handle the legalities and develop a personalized case strategy.

To schedule a case consultation, call (916) 778-3228 or contact us online today. You don’t have to fight for fair compensation alone.

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