Slip and Fall Accidents from Cracked or Uneven Steps
By Norman Younker on April 08, 2014
Many people take caution while walking up or down stairs, and for good reason: a fall from a stair or step can result in significant pain and injury. Still, not every misstep can be avoided, especially when the surface is inherently hazardous. If you slip and fall off of someone else’s steps, take note of what caused the accident. Cracked and uneven steps, in addition to similar liabilities, may be a valid reason for the owner to reimburse you on multiple fronts. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck with costly medical bills and missed wages due to an accident that was not your fault. Learn how our Ogden premises liability attorneys can help you from the moment you experience your injury.
The Danger of Stairwell Injury
Slip and fall injuries from stairs comprise the second largest source of accidental injuries in the United States, after auto accidents. Every year, over one million accidents occur on steps, including as many as 12,000 deaths. Children and the elderly are especially susceptible to falls, with children falling more frequently and people aged 65 or older sustaining greater injuries per fall.
Of course, not every accident is the fault of another person. However, steps are frequently a source of liability, given the numerous hazards that may arise with their use. When an owner knowingly neglects to provide a reasonably safe stairwell or even a single step, he or she may be held liable for the injuries and subsequent financial consequences of an accident.
How Can Steps Be Unsafe?
When people first think of an unsafe stairwell, they may imagine steps suddenly giving out or breaking. In reality, however, there are more common ways in which steps may be hazardous, and many of them are much more subtle. If you suffer injury from an accident on steps, any of the following factors may be a legal liability:
- Uneven surfaces: Whether due to poor construction or neglected upkeep, steps that are unevenly angled or “warped” present a clear risk to users.
- Cracked steps: Environmental conditions and time can cause cracks and damage in steps. Even if steps do not break, a person may lose his or her balance from a caught foot.
- Slippery surfaces: As wood and carpet become worn, they become smoother and thus more slippery. Some surfaces, such as tile, are naturally smooth, presenting an increased risk.
- Wet surfaces: A spill can greatly increase the risk of an accident on stairs. For outside steps, owners should take the proper precautions against rain, snow, and ice.
In addition to the steps themselves, the area must provide suitable safety conditions. A missing or faulty handrail is a particularly common reason for stairwell injury. Proper lighting should also be considered, as users must be able to adequately see the steps themselves.
Our Legal Team Can Help
If you are injured due to cracked, uneven, or otherwise faulty steps, don’t wait to contact our personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can gather evidence of the accident, the more accurately we can represent your case. Once contacted, our attorneys can:
- Take photographs of the steps and the surrounding area
- Take photographs of your injuries
- Speak with any witnesses of the accident
- Speak with those who were aware of the steps’ condition
- Obtain a copy of your medical records
- Obtain a copy of the accident report
- Speak with the property owner
By fully investigating your accident, we can determine liability and, if appropriate, seek a premises liability lawsuit. A successful lawsuit can award you compensation for medical bills, ongoing medical care, wages from missed work days, and possibly pain and suffering damages.
Contact Us to Learn More
You shouldn’t have to suffer due to someone else’s negligence. To learn whether your injury can be compensated, contact our legal team for a personal consultation or to meet directly at the site of your injury.
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