Many slip and fall accidents occur on stairs. Apart from temporary conditions such as slipperiness or litter, improper stair design also contributes to these falls. Here are some of the stair design imperfections that may cause you to slip and fall:
Lack of Proper Handrails
Many states or local authorities have building codes that require property owners to include handrails for their stairs. The primary function of the handrail is to provide support for holding. Here are three factors that determine whether a handrail provides this support:
Aesthetic concerns shouldn't be left to interfere with the main function of a handrail. If you get hurt on stairs that should have handrails but doesn't have them (or has improper ones), then the court will determine whether the issue contributed to your injuries. The liability of your injuries will fall on the property owner if the court ascertains that proper handrails would have prevented your injury.
Improper Stair Depth or Height
Apart from the provision of handrails, stairs should also be constructed with properly-sized risers and runs. The risers are the vertical parts of the individual stairs while the runs are their horizontal counterparts. These sections should be of the right sizes so that stair users do not miss their steps while going up or down. For example, an extremely high riser may cause your fall if it causes you to raise your feet too high, especially when carrying luggage.
You may need the help of a construction expert, who will be your expert witness, to prove that the stairs have improper sizes. You also have to link this defect to your injury; the mere presence of a defect isn't enough (to win a claim) if it doesn't cause an injury.
Uneven Stair Depth of Height
Stair heights may be of the acceptable height, but they can still cause your injury if the individual stairs have uneven sizes. From the bottom to the top stair, each step should be equal to the next. There may be a small acceptable variance (as contained in the local building codes) that the builder shouldn't exceed.
This is because most people don't look at individual steps when using stairs. You are more likely to look down at the beginning of your descent or ascent, and trust your instinct for the rest of the way. If the steps are uneven, you may lose your footing and fall when you try stepping on a stair, and it isn't where your brain assumes it should be. If you have been injured due to stair problems, consult with a personal injury attorney in your area to see if you have a case.
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