Falling accidents have the potential to cause serious injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Research, one out of every five falling accidents in the U.S. causes significant harm.
A fall can cause injury in virtually any setting. A simple slip and fall at the grocery store could result in broken bones, a concussion, and more. Falls on stairs tend to be particularly harmful.
Sometimes, a person falls on stairs because a property owner failed to maintain the stairway in safe condition. In this case, victims may be eligible for compensation for medical bills and other damages.
If you were injured in a stairway fall, discuss your case with a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options.
Falls on Stairs Cause Serious Injuries
Falls down stairs often cause more serious injuries than other types of falls. A person may fall down multiple steps and hit the ground after at the end of their fall.
These multiple impacts can cause severe injury trauma, including:
Many people assume that falling accidents are minor, especially compared to other types of common accidents like car crashes. However, falling down a set of stairs can have major consequences.
For example, if you were to fall down a staircase, you might hit your head and sustain a traumatic brain injury. This could result in cognitive difficulties, memory struggles, and even mood disorders. These struggles may never go away and affect your ability to work, enjoy life, and more.
Common Causes of Falls Down Stairs
There are instances when falls are random occurrences. Unfortunately, falling accidents often happen as a result of a property owner’s negligence.
A negligent property owner may cause stairway falls by:
- Failing to replace torn or loose carpeting
- Not cleaning up a spill in a timely manner
- Not putting up a caution sign indicating a stairwell is wet
- Failing to address flooring weaknesses
- Not installing adequate lighting in a dark stairwell
- Not applying deicing agent after ice has accumulated on outdoor stairs
- Failing to repair or replace broken handrails
These are merely a few examples. Under premises liability laws, property owners and managers must take reasonable steps to keep their property safe for guests. This includes ensuring stairs are in safe working condition.
Fall victims may be able to recover compensation for their losses if they can prove a property owner failed to maintain a stairway properly. This can be difficult without conducting an investigation. It’s wise for a victim to seek legal representation from an injury lawyer.
What to Do After Falling Down Stairs
If you’re ever involved in this type of accident, take the following steps right away:
- Check yourself for injuries
- Report the incident to the property manager or any other authorized individual on the property
- Don’t make any statements that suggest you were at fault
- Get the names and contact information of witnesses
- Take pictures of the stairs
- See a doctor right away, even if you don’t believe you’re seriously injured
Strongly consider reviewing your case with an attorney after seeing a doctor. Bring any evidence you may have (such as pictures of the stairs) with you to your consultation. A lawyer will review the details of your case and determine if you have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit.