Dangerous stairways often contribute to slip, trip and fall accidents across the U.S. Although some stairway slips and falls can be attributed to human error, many are caused by defective stairway design or a lack of proper handrails. A slip and fall accident lawyer from The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. can fight for your right to financial compensation after this type of accident.
Falls are a leading cause of injury and fatality in New York, but a majority of these falls are caused by unsafe acts, rather than the unsafe condition of the stairs. About 80 percent of all stairway accidents are caused by unsafe actions while the remaining 20 percent are caused by unsafe conditions. Individuals can be injured in slip and fall accidents on stairways because they are:
- Talking on the phone
These are examples of unsafe actions that likely would not place the premises owner at liability. The premises owner is liable when their unsafe actions, carelessness or failure to meet safety regulations cause unsafe stairway conditions that lead to injury or death. Some examples of situations where a premises owner could be held liable include:
- Stairways that do not meet residential building codes
- Stairways that do not meet federally regulated strength, angle and width requirements
- Slippery stairs (Ex: rain, ice or spills that have not been properly cleaned up)
- Lack of a proper handrail system
Improper Handrails and Stairway Accidents
Properly constructed and maintained handrails are essential to stairway safety. Building codes require handrails to accompany stairways, so if you were involved in an accident on stairs because there weren’t handrails, you may have a personal injury claim. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that “stairways having four or more risers (at a height of more than 30 inches total) must be equipped with at least one handrail and one stair rail system along each unprotected side.” They must also be strong enough to hold up under 200 pounds of pressure.
Stair Accident Statistics
Accidents on stairs are extremely common, and many of these accidents are caused due to improper stairway design or maintenance. Listed below are some shocking statistics about these accidents:
- More than 1 million people are involved in stairway falls every year
- Thousands of people are killed from stair trips and falls annually
- Nearly 100,000 children under the age of 5 suffer stair-related injuries annually
These are just statistics based off of reported stairway accidents. It is estimated that many stair trips and falls go unreported every year, and still more victims do not take the legal action that they may be entitled to.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. can fight for you if you or someone you care about has recently been injured in a stairway accident. We represent employees injured from falls off stairs at the workplace (such as in the construction industry), people injured in slip and fall accidents at home, and virtually anywhere else. If poorly maintained stairs or improperly constructed stairs were the cause of your injury, then you may be entitled to compensation for bodily injuries, emotional suffering and more. For a free evaluation of your case, contact a personal injury attorney at our firm today!