Do You Have A Claim For A Fall from A Faulty Stairway?

Falling down stairs can lead to devastating injuries. If your slip and fall injuries were caused by the negligence of another business, city, or person, you could have a slip and fall claim against that business or person.


What Are Example Of Stairway Negligence That Can Lead To Injuries?

1.) Defective Handrails

One way a stairway fall can be caused due to the negligence of another, is if the stairway has a broken or missing handrail. An example of such a claim, is if you are using the handrail for support while walking down stairs and the handrail breaks leading to your fall. Alternatively, if a portion of the handrail is unexpectedly missing when you reach out to grab it.

If your fall was caused by a defective handrail you will have to prove the property owner either caused the defect, or that the property owner knew or should have known of the handrail defect but did nothing to fix or warn about it. For example:

  • A business owner usually has a duty to inspect its handrails as part of it’s business maintenance responsibilities. That business owner may not perform those inspections, or misses performing most inspections.
  • Evidence of this can be found through inspection logs the business owner keeps as well as testimony of the business owner’s employees.
  • If the business owner failed to make regular stairway maintenance inspections, and you can show the defect in the handrail would have been discovered if those inspections were performed, you can prove the defect with the handrail is something the business owner should have known about.
  • Therefore, you can prove your slip and fall at a business. The business owner will be liable for your injuries from the fall.

Another scenario where a business owner could be liable for a defective handrail that causes you to fall is if a defect is reported to the business owner. If the business owner had adequate time to fix the defect, and the business owner did nothing to fix the defect, or the business owner made shoddy repairs that would foreseeably not hold up, they can be held liable for your slip and fall injuries.

2.) Stairway Hazards or Repairable Defects

You can hold a business, property owner, or a city liable if you fall down stairs on their property due to a slippery substance or other hazard on the stairs. They also may be liable if the stairs have a defect the business or property owner was aware of and failed to fix, and that defect causes you injury. Just like with the defective handrail you will need to prove the hazard or defect was there due to the negligence of the business or property owner, or that the business or property owner had notice of the hazard or defect and did nothing about it.

An example of a business owner’s negligence would be an employee of the business owner spilling or dropping something on the stairs and doing nothing to clean them up. If there is a notice issue this can be proven in various ways:

  • There could be evidence of a past fall due to a defect in the stairs that never gets addressed, and that same defect leads to your fall.
  • The business owner may have addressed a defect with the stairs, but sometimes the repairs to fix the defect are inadequate, will foreseeably not hold up, and eventually will lead to another accident.
  • There could be evidence of complaints to the business owner of a defect with its stairs. Or complaints of a slippery substance on the stairs from a leak or some other source.
  • There may be evidence that the hazard or slippery substance on the stairs was there for an extended period of time and nothing was done about it.

Who Can Be Held Liable In A Stairway Slip And Fall Case?

Photo by Peter H via Pixabay

A fall down stairs claim is not limited to falls at a public business. If you are a guest at someone else’s home, and you fall down the homeowner’s stairs due to the negligence of the homeowner, you could have a claim against that homeowner. A lot of the same principles from business owner claims will apply to the claim against the homeowner. For example, was your fall due to a defect or other hazard with the stairs or handrail caused by the homeowner and not told to you? Or was the homeowner aware of an issue with the stairs that could lead to a fall which the home owner did nothing to fix, and did not tell you about?

Another important aspect of fall down stairs claims is your legal status and duties owed to you at the time of your fall. If you are a guest in someone’s home, or a customer at a business, a greater duty is owed to you to make sure you are not injured versus if you are a trespasser on someone’s property.


A Stairway Injury Lawyer Will Help You Get Compensation.

In order to have a claim for falling down stairs you must also prove what your damages are from your fall. You must collect the right evidence for your slip and fall case. These include your physical injuries from the fall and how those injuries affect your life. Your attorney can prove your physical injuries by obtaining medical records of your treatment. Your attorney may also need to obtain expert medical testimony about your injuries. Your attorney will look at what limitations you will be left with from your injuries, what activities you can no longer do or are more difficult to do, and if you have any lost wages from missed work.

The Thistle Law Firm is experienced at handling slip and fall claims. If you fell down stairs due to the negligence of another and think you may have a slip and fall settlement claim, the Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at The Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call and answer your questions for free at 215-568-6800.

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