Hazardous Stairways

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Accidents due to hazardous steps or stairways are a leading cause of serious injury, if not death. Falling down a flight of stairs can easily result in spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, broken bones, and other devastating injuries. For this reason, steps and stairways must be maintained in good condition, free from dangerous defects.

When a person is injured using a stairway on another’s property, a claim may be made against the property owner or party in control of the property, such as a lessee. Homeowners, business owners, and public entities must provide safe stairways to those using their premises, including people invited to the property and the general public.

Consider these statistics from the National Safety Council.

  • Over 1 Million injuries occur each year as a result of stairway falls.
  • Staircase and stairway accidents constitute the second leading cause of accidental injury, second only to motor vehicle accidents.
  • Each year, there are 12,000 stairway accident deaths.

At Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve represented those injured by defective and hazardous stairways for over 30 years. We obtain maximum compensation for our clients injured by faulty stairways.

Causes of Stair Accidents

Accidents on a stairway may result from:

  • Crack in the stair
  • Uneven stairs
  • Ripped carpeting
  • Object or slippery substance left on the stairs
  • Snow and ice accumulation
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Lack of handrails
  • Defect in the handrails

Liability of Owner or Occupier

Suppose a home or business is being rented. In that case, the owner may not be liable for any accident occurring on the leased premises since the hazard may have originated by or been caused by the renter alone. In other cases, if a contractor caused the hazard, then both the owner and contractor may be accountable in some cases.

Homeowners and Landlords

A homeowner has a legal obligation to invitees or others lawfully on their property such as police or fire personnel or meter readers to warn of known hazards. For example, if they are going to use a stairway and a step is uneven, then the owner or renter must warn of the hazard. Homeowner are generally not required to inspect their property for hidden dangers or for hazards that just recently came into existence.

Business Owners

Business owners have a duty of care to customers and must periodically inspect their premises for hazards that pose an unreasonable and foreseeable risk of harm. Regarding stairways, business owners do have to have had notice of the hazard, either directly by observation or having been informed of it, or constructively if the hazard has been in place long enough so that it should have been seen. The owner, in such cases, must either remove the hazard or place adequate and conspicuous warnings.

Public Entities

Public entities, such as public buildings, are also liable for negligence and a person who is injured using a staircase on public property. The rules for filing a case against a municipal entity – Notice of Claim within 90 days and lawsuit filing within one year and ninety days – apply and must be followed for a successful claim.

Snow and Ice

New York has particular laws and legal obligations to homeowners and business owners regarding snow and ice clearance. Property owners may have a legal duty to clear snow and ice off their premises within a reasonable time after a storm, regardless of the amount of accumulation as it constitutes a dangerous condition. What constitutes a good time depends on the circumstances. Snow removal must be done carefully. When improper snow removal leaves behind patches of ice, the party performing the negligent removal and the property owner can be held liable.

Damages in a Stair Accident Claim

Damages in a slip and fall, stair accident claim, and other premises liability matters depend on how clear liability is established, whether the property owner knew of the hazard but was indifferent to it, and the extent of the injuries sustained.

In a stair accident claim, your damages may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future wage loss
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disability and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Spousal claim for loss of consortium

Make The Right Choice For Your New York Staircase Injury Law Firm

Bear in mind: If you have suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence and you wish to recover financial damages — you can’t do this alone. Successful legal claims in this area of law require the services of an experienced New York personal injury law firm. Whoever is responsible for your injuries will almost certainly be represented by a liability insurance company – more specifically, the insurance company’s lawyers. Our firm fights for your rights, gathers all the necessary legal and medical evidence and makes sure you receive the maximum damages and financial compensation possible.

A personal injury can be emotionally and physically devastating. Michael J. Asta, Esq. is one of New York’s leading accident attorneys with over 500 Million Dollars recovered for clients and over 30 years fighting for New Yorkers like you. You can be confident that the legal team at Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers is fully committed to winning the best possible results for our personal injury clients and their families. If you’ve been injured, call Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers at (212) 244-6555 or complete the contact form here on our website so we can help you. The consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis meaning there is no fee until we obtain compensation on your behalf, guaranteeing you’ll never come out of pocket.

Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, Where Quality Representation Doesn’t Cost, It Pays.

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