The injury attorneys at Lugar Law PC handle all types of dangerous property cases, including defective stairs. When you fall down a stairway and suffer serious injuries, we recommend talking with us as soon as possible. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your fall, like the condition of the stairs and the property owner?s history of accidents.
If there is evidence that the stairwell had one or more dangerous defects, we may recommend pursuing compensation for your injuries. We can guide you through the process of filing a premises liability lawsuit and pursuing an insurance claim settlement. Our goal, whether through a settlement or litigation, will be to recover the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
Can You Sue for Falling Down the Stairs?
If you were clumsy on a perfectly safe set of stairs, then you cannot hold the property owner liable for your injuries. However, if there was a hazardous stair condition that caused the fall and your injuries, you should talk with a premises liability lawyer about your options.
Common Causes of Stairway Accidents
Stair accident injury claims often arise because of broken staircases. A staircase may be missing a step, have a tilted step, or have a loose step. The wood may be rotting away, or the metal may be rusted through. When something is wrong with one or more steps that prevent you from safely walking up or down the stairs, the owner may be liable.
Attorney Cerid Lugar can handle several types of claims in which people are injured on defective stairs. Another way stairs can be defective is instead of being broken in some way, the stairs are not safely designed and built. The treads and risers may not be even. The stairs may be tilted because of how they were built, not because of age or wear and tear. The stairs may not be fully secured and could come loose because of repetitive weight placed on them.
Other dangerous stair defects include stairways that are open on one or both sides, with a low clearance, balusters that are too far apart, or open risers. The spacing between the balusters and open risers is particularly important for children who can slip through or get stuck.
The staircase may be missing a legally required handrail, or the handrail may be loose and easily come away from the wall. The staircase may have loose or ripped carpet on it or have little-to-no lighting.
Other common defects are spilled liquid, garbage, or clutter on the stairs. A foreign object or substance could make the stairwell very dangerous and lead to slip and falls or trip and falls down the stairs.
If the stairway is not well designed, built, and maintained, then it can become a significant hazard. When your injuries are the result of defective stairs, do not hesitate to talk with an attorney.
What to Do After a Fall in a Stairwell
If you fall down a set of stairs on someone else?s property, get medical attention immediately. If you may have suffered a back or spinal injury, you should not move. Focus on getting help and seeing a doctor first. Only after you have been cared for should you consider documenting the scene and gathering information.
If you or your companion are able, take pictures of the dangerous or defective staircase or the specific stair in question. Get the name of the property owner or manager on duty. If you are in a business with multiple employees, ask for the names of the employees on duty at the time.
If anyone witnessed your fall and stayed to help, ask for their names, and contact information. Your lawyer may contact the witnesses for their statements.
We also recommend that you set aside the shoes and clothing you were wearing at the time. It is important to keep these available for your potential claim. But do not keep wearing the shoes. Additional wear and tear on the shoes might weaken your case if the appropriateness of your footwear is called into question.
Once you have obtained medical care and are starting your recovery, call Lugar Law PC to talk with a premises liability lawyer about the stair accident.
Common Injuries from Falling Down the Stairs
Falls on stairs can lead to:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial and dental injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
If you suffered an injury that required medical attention, led to long-term side effects, or resulted in a permanent disability, talk with a lawyer. You need to find out if there was something wrong with the stairs and who is responsible for that set of stairs. A thorough investigation by an experienced attorney can help you gain this information and prepare for a claim.
When You Can File a Lawsuit for Falling Down Stairs
If you believe a defective stairwell caused your fall and injuries, talk with a premises liability attorney at Lugar Law PC. Whether or not the law entitles you to file a lawsuit depends on several factors, like your status on the property, the property owner?s duty toward you, and whether there is evidence of a stair defect.
In Virginia, your status on the property dictates the owner?s duty of care.
- Invitees. If you are on a person or business?s property for a mutual benefit, such as a business purpose, you are an invitee. Owners owe you the highest duty of care. They must routinely inspect their properties, make necessary repairs, and warn invitees of hidden hazards.
- Licensees. If you are on someone?s property for your own benefit, then you are a licensee. Social guests are licensees. The owner?s duty of care requires them to warn you of the conditions they know about. It is a slightly lesser standard than for invitees.
- Trespassers. If you are on the other person or business?s property without implicit or explicit permission, then you are a trespasser. The property owner does not have to protect you from harm. They only have to refrain from intentionally or recklessly harming you.
If your lawyer discovers evidence that the stairs were dangerous and the property owner violated their duty of care toward you, then you may file a premises liability lawsuit.
Compensation for Falling Down Stairs
Through a premises liability lawsuit or insurance claim, we will fight for you to recover compensation for your:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Physical Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Reduced Earning Capacity
- Reduced Quality of Life
Call Our Hazardous and Defective Stairs Lawyers Today
When defective and dangerous stairs are to blame, it is best to talk with an attorney about your options. If Lugar Law PC finds evidence that the property owner is responsible for a stair defect and your injuries, we can represent you in a premises liability lawsuit and insurance claim.