Southern California’s abundant sunshine does not insulate its residents from suffering serious injuries in slip and fall accidents. For multiple reasons, including faulty construction or negligent maintenance, these accidents frequently occur on staircases. Building owners and managers are often well aware of these risks but fail to implement simple safety precautions that can prevent them.
If you have been injured after slipping and falling on a staircase in Los Angeles County, you may have a valid claim to recover monetary damages against the negligent party. With the guidance of our team at Salamati Law, you can put yourself in the best position to recover compensation for your injuries. Call today for a free consultation.
One of the most common causes of a slip and fall on the stairs has nothing to do with the integrity of the stairs. Inadequately lit stairwells can present a slip and fall risk to even the most able-bodied person. Your inability to see a stair path can pose challenges in safely navigating your way up or down. In some cases, poor lighting combines with other hazards to increase the chances of a serious trip and fall injury. If you struggle with depth perception or have other physical limitations, you may face an even greater challenge when you attempt to negotiate dimly lit staircases.
Wet or Slippery Stairs
Southern California’s temperate climate keeps its residents safe from challenges caused by accumulations of ice or snow. However, this region is no stranger to rain and other water sources that can make staircases slippery. For example, older or worn-down staircases with stone or metal surfaces pose high slip and fall risks when wet. Property owners who know that their staircases are slippery when wet but who do nothing to make those staircases safer will be almost de facto liable for injuries.
Lack of Handrails
Building codes require staircase handrails because they are one of the most basic safety features. They provide an individual with an option for steadying themselves and preventing their loss of balance as they ascend or descend. Staircases with missing or broken handrails are notoriously dangerous because they lack that primary safety feature. A building owner or manager aware of a missing handrail or who does not have proper inspection protocols to discover these issues may be responsible for all of an injured party’s costs and expenses resulting from a slip and fall on that staircase.
Some staircases may become hazardous over time due to poor maintenance. For example, maintenance issues can manifest themselves through the accumulation of dirt, trash, or water in stairwells or cracked or loose steps on stairway risers. Building owners should implement policies and procedures for thoroughly cleaning and repairing staircases to remove this common skip and fall risk factor. An owner’s failure to do this may result in liability for an injured party’s expenses.
Broken or Collapsed Stairs
Older or heavily used staircases are susceptible to having broken or collapsed stairs that pose a high risk for injury. A building owner who cannot immediately make necessary repairs is obligated, at a minimum, to place warning signs and other caution markers around them and to provide reasonable alternate means of access around them.
Suppose a stairwell is inherently flawed with stairs that are too shallow, too tall, or a combination of both. In that case, slip and fall liability may fall on the architect or contractor who designed and installed them. The material used in a staircase may also play a role if it is unduly slick or has a surface that exposes a user to a tripping hazard. An experienced attorney at Salamati Law will always consider whether the staircase design added to the slip and fall risk when they represent an injured slip and fall accident victim.
Contact Salamati Law After a Fall on a Staircase
The cause of a staircase slip and fall accident might not be immediately apparent. A Los Angeles slip and fall attorney from our team will carefully review the facts of your case to develop a theory of liability for your claim, e.g., the building owner failed to adequately maintain the stairway in a reasonably safe manner. Our attorneys can review your case and advise you on your options. Call as soon as possible to schedule your no-fee, no-obligation consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees.