Some of the most serious slip and fall accidents in California involve staircases and stairways. Slipping and falling from any surface is never ideal. However, slipping on a flat surface only involves falling a few feet, whereas slipping above or on a staircase can result in tumbling dozens of feet. Back injuries, spine injuries, head injuries, and broken bones are common results of these spills—many of which should have been prevented by the property owner.
What can make a stairway dangerous?
- A dark or unlit stairway. Sometimes the stairs are perfectly safe and built to regulations, but the stairwell or hallway is so dark that visitors don’t see the stairs at all. The property owner has a responsibility to properly light areas around stairs.
- A missing or broken handrail. Handrails are vital in preventing serious fall injuries. A handrail that is not properly secured or that is missing altogether is not acceptable. In addition, a handrail that ends abruptly or that is installed at the wrong height can cause, not prevent, falls and injuries.
- Improper stair height or depth. Check the building codes in your area. Most have regulations for stair height and stair depth. These regulations are in place to prevent staircase accidents. If property owners do not follow these regulations, they could be responsible for your slip and fall.
- Uneven or broken stairs. When we use stairs, we expect them to be even and uniform. An uneven or broken step can cause us to stumble and fall.
- Unsecured, ripped, or worn carpeting. A loose corner of carpeting, a worn floor covering, or ripped flooring can have serious consequences if on or near a stairway.
- Wet or slippery stair surfaces. Wet or slippery stairs in California homes or businesses, whether interior or exterior, can be caused by a number of sources. Slippery stairs may be due to liquid or debris, or due to worn wood or carpeting. A property owner is expected to keep stairs reasonably clear of such issues.
- Unmarked stair hazards. If stairways are hazardous in any of the ways mentioned above, the property owner must take reasonable steps to fix the problem and alert visitors of the issue, such as by posting a warning sign.
Liability Factors in a Fall Case
Liability may become an issue in your Orange County personal injury case if your injury was the result of a fall. You should discuss any liability concerns with Orange County slip and fall attorney. To gain a better understanding of how liability is determined, review the information below.
Contact Orange County Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you or a family member was seriously injured in a staircase fall that you believe was the result of property owner negligence, you may have a California slip and fall case. Call our Orange County slip and fall attorneys at Russell & Lazarus today to request a free evaluation. Reach us by calling (949) 851-0222.