Injury Law Blog

Injuries on stairs may not be your fault

Health experts encourage us to take the stairs for fitness. Perhaps you have added stairs into daily routine, at your workplace, at your apartment building or in your workouts. Perhaps you have no choice but to go up and down the steps to get where you’re going.

But taking the stairs can be bad for your health if the owner of the property does not keep the stairway safe and in good repair.

Hazardous conditions lead to injuries

Slipping or tripping on a flight of stairs is scary. You may not be able to catch yourself, especially if you are carrying something in your hands or arms. The damage may be limited to a sprain or pulled muscles (or hurt pride). But falling on stairs commonly results in serious injuries, such as broken bones, knee injuries, head trauma, internal injuries, back injuries or spinal cord injury. An injury to the neck can leave you paralyzed.

You may stumble on the stairs because of your own clumsiness. But in many cases, falls on stairs occur because building owners neglected to keep the stairs safe. Some factors that may place you at risk on the stairs include:

  • Spilled water or other slick liquids
  • Too much wood polish
  • Uneven stairs
  • Broken or loose boards
  • Torn carpet
  • Obstacles or debris on the stairs
  • Broken or missing railings
  • Broken or burned-out lighting

If you suffer lasting harm, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim to recover personal injury damages.

Premises liability: property owners have a legal duty

Even if the owner of the property does not live on site, as with some apartment buildings, they still have the legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for any resident or visitor who comes on the property. If the property owner or property manager is not able to correct safety hazards in a timely manner, the law requires them to warn visitors of the danger by placing signs in the area. The owner may also block off the dangerous stairs so no one can use them until they can be fixed.

Falling on the stairs can be embarrassing. It can also result in serious, painful injuries. If you suffer injuries because of hazardous stairs, you may find answers to your questions by contacting a lawyer.