Slip-and-Fall Accidents on Stairs
Staircases can be especially dangerous places for slip and fall accidents. Several considerations apply to slip and fall accidents on stairs. Firstly, it can be difficult to determine precisely why you slipped and fell on stairs. Secondly, building code violations can assist you in proving your case in court.
There are a number of reasons someone could slip and fall on a staircase. With obvious defects like a torn carpet or a broken step or handrail, the property owner is generally responsible. This is true as well if there has been something spilled or dropped on the stairs. Alternatively, the stairs may be covered in ice or snow, which may preclude you from seeing the steps as well as making them more slippery. But in addition to these fairly obvious reasons for slipping and falling on stairs, there may be more hidden reasons responsible for your accident.
One common stair defect is a worn-down carpet or worn-down wood on the part of the stair that you step on, called the “run”. Individuals are unlikely to notice slight wear and tear on this part of the steps, especially on the edge, but may find it increasingly slippery. Some stairs are also designed without wood or carpet but instead with tile, a more slippery surface especially if wet. These types of stairs are especially dangerous and can contribute to a fall (so if you are thinking about installing stairs, keep this in mind).
Building Code Violations
Every state including South Carolina has a building code that must be followed when constructing buildings, including stairs. An experienced slip and fall attorney will know when and how to check that the stairs meet your local building code.
Handrails are also often part of a building code. Most building codes require one or more handrails on stairs depending on their height and width, and require them to be properly attached at a specified height. Remember that reaching for a handrail at an awkward height can cause someone to fall, even if there is nothing else wrong with the stairs.
Finally, building codes often have provisions for maximum and minimum stair height, width, and depth as well as for the maximum variance between stairs, that is, the difference between the height of one stair and the height of the others. An experienced slip and fall attorney will know when and how to have these measurements taken to ensure that the stairs on which you slipped are in compliance with the building code. If not, you will still have to prove that the defect is what caused you to slip, but you will have come a long way towards proving your case by demonstrating that the stairs themselves were unsafe.
You Need a Good Attorney
Many attorneys will line up to take your slip and fall case. However, the best attorney for your case is one with experience in slip and fall cases. You can contact a Columbia slip and fall attorney with experience at The Stanley Law Group. Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.