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How to Prove Fault in a Stair Accident


Not many people concentrate on what they are doing when climbing or descending a staircase because doing so is second nature, but you might want to do so more often, especially when on the staircase of public property. There’s nothing you can do if injured on your own staircase. However, if you are ever injured in a staircase accident at a store, restaurant, or another public location you might be able to hold the property owner accountable for your injuries. Below, we will discuss how you can determine liability in a stairway slip and fall case.

How Liability is Handled for a Slip and Fall Accident

Staircase accidents fall under the slip and fall category of personal injury. One of the following items must be true in order to hold someone else accountable for your slip and fall accident on their property:

  • An employee or the property owner caused the slippery floor, the torn carpet, the nails to stick up from the stairs, or stairs to be missing.
  • An employee or the property owner knew that there was a dangerous hazard present on the floor or stairs but did nothing to rectify the situation.
  • An employee or the property owner should have known about the dangerous hazard and fixed it because a reasonable person caring for the property would have done so.

The insurance company involved in the claim will examine your role in the accident as well. This is what’s known as comparative negligence. It’s possible that you could be assigned some portion of the blame in a slip and fall accident on stairs, which can lessen the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries.

Icy or Wet Stairs Outside

The likelihood of an accident happening increases when the stairs outside of the property are covered in ice, snow, or are otherwise wet. Even though visitors should use caution when encountering inclement weather, it does not remove the liability of the property owner to provide a duty of care to their visitors. Stairs without anti-slip material or that are built without the ability to avoid the buildup of moisture can lead to the property owner being held liable for any injuries you suffer.

Violations of the Building Code

Another way a property owner can be held liable for injuries you suffer in a staircase accident is by looking at the local building code. The stairs you were injured on might not meet the building code of your town or county. If this is the case, the property owner can be held responsible for your injuries. The building code will outline the requirements for the height and depth of the steps, the handrails that are required, and many other requirements. If you believe that the property owner did not follow the building code when it comes to the steps on their property, it is in your best interest to research the building code. Take pictures of the stairs and bring them with you when looking at the code, which can be found at your local library or county offices. 

Contact a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Premises Liability Case in New York

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a slip and fall on the stairs in New York? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. Proner & Proner represent clients injured because of slip and fall accidents in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and throughout New York. Call 212-500-1003 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 60 E. 42nd Street, Suite 1503 in New York, NY 10165 as well as offices in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Bethel, Connecticut.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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