If slip and fall stairs accidents cause significant injuries that result in high medical bills and other damages, victims may have legal recourse against a property owner to recover compensation with help from an Atlanta, GA trip and fall attorney if stairway disrepair or hazards were to blame for the accident. There are many causes of these injuries and deaths, and we will explore a few of them here.
Common Issues with Staircases that Can Cause Slip and Fall Accidents
Stairs accidents on outdoor staircases may occur when stairs fall into disrepair because of the elements.
Breakage and stair erosion can be caused by:
- extreme heat; and
- the passing of time.
The weakened staircases may give way under the weight of someone who tries to use them.
Indoor staircases generally stand the test of time better than the outdoor variety simply because they don’t have to endure the punishment of the elements, but that doesn’t mean they’re 100 percent safe. Hazards such as bunched carpeting or loose stair boards can cause serious trip and fall accidents.
As far as indoor stairs go, basement stairs might be the most dangerous. Basements are often poorly lit and may suffer the effects of water damage that breaks down the building materials, particularly wood. Sometimes, basement stairs are not used as frequently as other stairs in a building so the damage may not be discovered until someone gets injured on the stairs.
Problems with Railings
Sometimes it isn’t the stairs themselves but the railings that cause slip and fall accidents. Railings can become loose or even fall off entirely. While many people take handrails for granted – or rarely even make use of them – it’s important not to overlook these important safety guards.
Many people, particularly young children, the elderly and the disabled, may rely heavily on handrails to keep their balance when using a staircase.
Atlanta, GA Trip and Fall Attorney Can Help Establish Liability for Slips and Falls
The types of injuries that can result from slip and fall stair accidents related to broken stairs or handrails are similar to those that are sustained in any type of fall. Back injuries are among the most common types of injury in a stair-related accident.
A back injury can cause months or even years of pain, and require hospitalization, physical therapy, and time off from work. A person with a serious back injury may suffer from complete or partial paralysis or chronic, hard to treat pain. Head injuries are also fairly common in stair accidents.
Head injuries can lead to brain damage resulting in:
- memory loss;
- personality changes;
- speech problems; and
- many other issues.
In addition to these major injuries there are also things like broken bones, pulled and torn ligaments, cuts, and other dangerous and painful injuries.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining staircases and railing. Periodically checking the stairs as time goes by and fixing any hazards as they arise can help avoid accidents. When accidents do happen, the injured party needs to look into his or her options.
If the owner of the property is negligent – meaning that the owner did not maintain the property to the standard expected of a reasonable property owner – then that owner might be held liable for the accident victim’s injuries. Atlanta, GA trip and fall attorney Jason Schultz can provide consultation if you've been hurt, so that you can learn more about premises liability law and how it may apply to your slip and fall case.