Thousands of people slip, trip, or fall on staircases every year. The concerned property owners are responsible for staircase accidents like how they are for a slip and fall accident in general. However, staircases present many more dangers – some obvious and some hidden – which merit special consideration. In the event you have had a staircase accident, here is how to find out if the owner is to blame.
Legal Responsibility for a Slip and Fall Accident
To be liable for the injuries that you sustained from tripping or slipping and falling on the property of someone else, one of the below-mentioned has to be true.
- The property owner or worker brought about the spill, torn or worn spot, or other dangerous or slippery surface or thing, to be constantly present and in the way of one.
- The property employee or owner was aware of the condition of the surface but did not do anything to fix it.
- The above-mentioned people should have been aware of the said condition, as a reasonable individual taking care of their property would have found and repair or removed it.
Besides, in almost every trip and fall or slip and fall case, it is the court or insurance company that will consider whether the victim’s carelessness contributed to that accident. The “comparative negligence” rules help measure one’s own reasonableness or carelessness in going where he or she did go, in the way he or she did, moments before the accident occurred.
In several accidents – for instance, when an item has already been dropped or spilled on the steps, the owner’s responsibility will depend upon the investigation into all of the above.
However, besides the standard facts considered in determining fault in slip and fall cases, staircase accidents are usually more complex. Stairs come with their own dangers, which are not often present on a level surface. In addition, some defects on stairs may stay hidden after an accident too. You might just need to make a conscious effort to find out what actually happened, and the way the stairs in question should have been maintained or built.
Looking into the Local Building Code
In order to find your county or city building code, just visit your law library, local library, or the building department in your area. You can also find the building code of your state in that state’s laws.
Verify the stair requirements in the building code to see whether the stairs in question fail to conform to any specifications. In the event your fall happened on, or was worsened by, a part of the stair or the stair itself that did not conform to the building code rules, then there is a strong argument it was dangerous.