Five Important Things You Should Know about Staircase Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen on all types of surfaces. Staircase accidents are no exception when it comes to evaluating premises liability cases. You might be surprised to learn the number of accidents that occur when someone falls on steps or in a stairwell.
On an annual basis, close to a million people are reportedly hurt in staircase accidents. The extent of injuries from can range from minor to severe. In 2013, the National Safety Council reports that 2,233 individuals died as a result of injuries they received when they fell on stairs or steps. These are startling numbers.
Slip and Fall Accidents on Stairs Occur for a Variety of Reasons
People fall down steps for a variety of reasons. Many think that staircase accidents only occur when someone is descending downstairs. However, it is also possible to sustain injuries when walking upstairs. Here’s a breakdown of the five most common accidents involving staircases:
- Inadequate Handrails: Whether steps are located outside or inside, they should be equipped with proper handrails. The best case scenario might be for handrails to be on both sides. Handrails are obviously designed to help people maintain balance when walking up or down steps.
- Slippery Surfaces: Were the steps free of debris? Were they slippery? In a previous article, we told you the story of an office worker who fell on a wet substance in a stairwell. The same could happen as a result of falling down on steps made slippery by ice or rainwater. It will be important to determine whose responsibility it was to keep the steps safe.
- Improper Stair Design: The New Jersey Building Code contains information concerning standards for staircase design. This includes requirements for handrails and specifications for stair risers and treads. The latter involve maximum and minimum height and width numbers for each step.
- Poor Lighting: Poor lighting may contribute to a staircase accident. Often, it is aligned with one of the other hazards we have described.
- Torn or Poorly Secured Step Materials: Steps may be covered with carpeting or mats and lead to an accident. Someone’s shoe might even get caught on torn carpeting.
We have only touched on the five major contributors to staircase accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by falling down stairs, we would like to assist you. The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has many years of experience handling premises liability claims. Contact us to set up an appointment to discuss your case.