By one measure, more than one million people suffer injuries in the United States every year from falling on or around stairs. When those falls are the result of a property owner’s failure to keep them clean and free of hazards, the victim can sue the owner to recover compensation for their injuries. An individual might also have a claim against other parties for defective construction or installation.
Individuals who suffer injuries from falling down stairs in southern California should consult with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney from our firm to assess their right and opportunity to recover damages from the negligent parties. We can assess the specific facts and details of the fall to determine whether you can sue a property owner or another third party.
The California Building Code explicitly states that stairways shall be maintained clear and in good repair. An injured party will need to show more than a violation of those obligations, however, to prevail in a lawsuit. Specifically, the accident victim must demonstrate that a blockage or the owner’s poor maintenance of the staircase was the direct and proximate reason that they fell. Further, they have to prove that the accident caused real economic losses and injuries. An individual who was running on the stairs or ignored visible warning signs of problems will face a greater challenge in recovering all of their damages.
In some cases, a staircase might collapse or crumble if it was not built or installed correctly. An accident victim will always sue the property owner in the first instance to recover their damages. However, experienced lawyers will often get an engineering analysis to determine if the claim can be extended to include manufacturers or contractors. Claims for product defects and negligent construction can help an accident victim to recover the largest available damages in a lawsuit.
Modern building codes require staircases to have handrails and to limit stair height and width to defined maximum dimensions. Building code violations can be strong evidence of a landlord’s failure to maintain a property. However, non-compliant staircases in some older southern California buildings might be exempt from code requirements. A personal injury lawyer representing an accident victim will typically look at a building’s age and whether any stairs in the structure were built and installed within the code specifications that were in effect at the time of construction.
You can improve your opportunity to recover the largest available damages award if you collect as much evidence as possible as soon as is possible after your accident.
Contact us for a free consultation
If you have suffered injuries after falling down stairs at a property in southern California, call us for a free consultation with a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer about how you can recover damages for your injuries. Our personal injury attorneys have represented California accident victims for more than twenty years. We will fight tirelessly to recover the largest amount of damages that are available to compensate you for your losses and injuries.