senior citizen falls down steps

In this country, falls down stairs account for more than 1 million injuries each year. While any slip, trip, or fall can lead to serious injuries, falling down stairs is a greater threat, for a number of reasons:

  • There is a longer way down to fall
  • Treads and walls mean there are multiple hard surfaces that can cause injury

If people who are injured falling down stairs do not know their rights, they may be left with climbing bills and unaddressed medical needs. For those dealing with stair injuries in Southern California, the Salamati Law Firm is here to help. We know what it takes to succeed in a premises liability claim so those injured can be fully compensated.

Common causes of stair falls

Falls down stairs can be caused by lots of things, including the condition of the stairs themselves or hazards on the stairs. Some of the more common causes include snow or ice buildup and slippery surfaces.

One thing we always look for in stair fall injuries is whether the stairway was in compliance with the building code. Some of the common violations include the wrong size stair riser height and tread width, poor lighting, loose handrails, loose flooring material, and lack of anti-slip coating on the treads. Hazards on the stairs can include a buildup of snow or ice, worn carpeting, or even objects left on the stairs.

Common injuries from falling down stairs

Falls down stairs lead to more than one million emergency room visits per year, or one every 30 seconds.

In addition to broken bones and fractures, these falls can cause serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. In some industries, falls down stairs are the most common cause of fatal injuries so the risk should not be taken lightly.

Who is responsible for my fall down the stairs?

Falls down stairs are a type of premises liability claim – the owner, occupier, or party responsible for the condition of the property can be liable if they knew (or should have known) of a dangerous condition but did not fix it or warn those who would encounter it.

If you suffer an injury from a fall down stairs, it may not take long to realize the value in having a strong advocate by your side. Even more so than in other personal injury situations, insurance companies and property owners will quickly assume that the victim was at fault for the fall. After seeing many stairway accidents, we know that this is overly simplistic.

Often it is the property owner who is liable due to a hazard with the stairs. In other situations, it is a maintenance company at fault for not keeping the stairway in safe condition. There may even be another party at fault – each case is unique.

Can a tenant sue a landlord for falling down the stairs?

The landlord, property management company, or another party responsible for maintenance may be liable if the tenant can show that any of these parties knew of the hazard but did not take action.

If you are considering your landlord – or someone else – take action early to strengthen your case. As soon as possible after a stairway fall, it is very helpful to gather important information like the names and contact information of witnesses and photos of the location of the fall. This will be helpful later if there are conflicting stories of the condition of the stairs or if the responsible parties try to push blame.

Compensation for falling down stairs

What a stairway injury is worth will depend on factors like:

  • Seriousness of the injury and prognosis for recovery
  • Amount of medical bills
  • Related medical treatment anticipated for the future
  • Time off from work
  • Extent of disability due to the injury
  • Whether the victim was partly at fault for the fall

Speak with a lawyer about falling down stairs injuries

California’s statute of limitations for premises liability injuries is two years but it is wise to act as soon as possible for a stronger case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall down stairs on someone else’s property in California, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses such as medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. A Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer from the Salamati Law Firm is here to answer your questions and fight for fair compensation.

We are committed to fighting aggressively for your rights but we never charge a legal fee unless we win an award on your behalf. We work with skilled experts to prove your case and provide thorough communication so you are always aware of the status of your claim. Call 888-259-4060 today to set up a free consultation.

Additional stairway accidents resources:

  1. Reuters, Injuries on stairs occur in all age groups and abilities, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-injuries-stairs/injuries-on-stairs-occur-in-all-age-groups-and-abilities-idUSKBN1CE1Z4
  2. Church Mutual, Risk Alert: Recognizing the importance of slips and falls on steps and stairs, https://www.churchmutual.com/media/riskalert/pdfs/RAStairandStepSafety.pdf
  3. National Safety Council, Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention will Keep Older Adults Safe and Independent, http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-falls.aspx