Every year, more than 8 million people visit hospital emergency rooms because of falls, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). These injuries are often debilitating and may involve long recovery periods.
Sadly, some of these falls occur on stairways that were not properly constructed or maintained. If you fell because of defective or poorly maintained stairs, the lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates may be able to help you hold the property owner or other party responsible for their negligence. Call us at (212) 732-2929 to learn about your rights.
Why Falls Happen
While some falls on stairs can occur due to no fault of another, many falls result from poor building construction, maintenance or repair of the building and stair materials. Property owners may be held responsible for falls on their stairs if they did not follow the law when constructing stairways or they did not properly maintain the stairs. Other potential parties who may be held responsible include a building tenant, property manager, condominium association or building contractor. Every accident case is unique and a careful review of the facts and circumstances of your incident is necessary to build a strong claim.
Stairway injuries can result from many different defective conditions including:
- Slippery surfaces: ice, sleet, snow or greasy substances can make stairs slippery. Spills or recently polished floors can also cause falls due to slippery surfaces.
- Broken stairs: holes, bumps or other uneven surfaces on a stair can easily cause a person to trip and be injured. These conditions usually result from poor maintenance of the step material.
- Loose flooring materials: wooden boards or carpeting on the stairway that is not properly installed or maintained often results in trip and fall stair injuries
- Faulty handrails: handrails must be present at most types of stairways in accordance with local building codes. If they are missing, loose, or not long enough, a visitor may fall.
- Differences in riser height: building regulations usually require that all stairs have a uniform height. When poorly constructed stairs lack this uniformity, they can create imbalance for a person traversing the stairs and cause falls
- Narrow tread depth: building regulations require that stairs have a step that is wide enough for safe use. if a person cannot firmly plant their foot on each step, they may accidentally fall.
- Angled stair treads: stairways with angled or curved stair treads may not be of uniform measurements and may cause visitors to trip on them.
- Loose throw rug at the top of a stairway: some property or business owners do not consider that a loose throw rug may cause visitors to trip. If it is placed near the stairway, this condition can cause a serious fall down the stairs.
- Broken or missing stair tread nose: Split, cracked, missing, or loose sections on steps can cause imbalance and falls
- Collapsing stairs: stairs may become weathered by the elements when outside, or old staircases that have not been properly maintained may deteriorate over time until they eventually collapse when stepped on
- Poor stairway lighting: building regulations require that stairway surfaces are properly lighted so visitors can see where they are walking and avoid any dangerous or defective conditions
There are many other potential dangers associated with stairway accidents. If you were injured on stairs while on a property belonging to someone else, our team is standing by to investigate the unique facts and circumstances of your injury and hold those responsible accountable for each and every aspect of your damages.
Injuries Caused by Stairway Falls
Falls account for almost one-third of all non-fatal injuries in the United States, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Older people tend to be more susceptible to falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about one out of four elderly adults falls each year.
Falls can lead to other serious injuries, including fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, joint tears that require surgery, internal organ damage, disfiguring scarring, and other serious injuries. In some instances, victims are not able to recover from the injury and must spend the remainder of their lifetime in a long-term care facility.
If you were seriously injured in a fall on faulty stairs, you may be able to receive compensation for each and every type of damage you sustained, including:
- Physical pain and suffering for all of your injuries
- Emotional pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Lost income, past and future
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of future pension benefits
- Any other out of pocket expenses you incurred due to your injuries
How Our Lawyers Will Investigate Your Case To Prove Fault
In order to recover compensation for your injuries, you must be able to prove the following legal elements:
- The property owner had a dangerous condition on their property
- The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition
- A reasonable person would have discovered the dangerous condition on the property and taken steps to fix it
If we agree to accept your case, we will begin an immediate investigation of the unique facts and circumstances of your accident to build your claim. We will gather evidence to establish these elements so that you can recover compensation for the damages you sustained including:
- Obtaining all accident reports
- Securing all video footage
- Taking scene photographs
- Interviewing all witnesses and available building residents or tenants
- Researching all applicable building codes applicable to the accident location
- Demanding sworn statements from the other parties
- Consulting with experts in engineering or architecture
- Determining the existence of prior complaints or accidents concerning the stairs
Once we are able to prove that your injuries were the result of the fault of another party, our investigation will address the full extent of your physical injuries and the effects of any economic and non-economic injuries on your life. We will use our decades of experience representing accident victims just like you to gather evidence to strengthen your claim including compiling all of your medical treatment records, evaluations from medical experts, proof of lost wages and medical expenses as well as any other expenses that you incurred.
Our lawyers are ready to help you. Contact us today by calling (212) 732-2929.
Contact Us Today to Learn More About Your Rights
If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by defective or unsafe stairs, the lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates are here to help. We have over 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases and are currently accepting cases from clients who are injured throughout the greater New York City metropolitan area, including Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and securing maximum compensation for you and your loved ones. Because we work on a contingency-fee-basis, you do not have to worry about paying any attorney fees up front unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. Contact us today at (212) 732-2929 to begin.