A fall on a stairway can cause serious injury or death. In too many cases, those who are injured in falls on staircases in South Carolina have fallen because of defects in the stairs or handrails, or because a stairway is cluttered or poorly lit. Some falls happen on unmarked steps in places where walkers don’t expect them.
Property owners, occupants and other responsible parties have a duty to ensure that stairs and handrails on their premises are reasonably safe. Contractors and others who design, build and install stairs and handrails have a legal obligation to ensure the work they do results in safe staircases.
If property owners, managers or others know about problems with a staircase or handrail, and the hazard leads to a fall, they may be held liable for resulting injuries.
Just Call Joye Law Firm
We can help you obtain compensation for your injuries and other losses if you have been injured in a fall on a negligently built or maintained staircase.
Our attorneys have experience with cases involving dangerous staircases. For example, we secured a $2.775 million settlement for a man whose leg was amputated after a stairwell collapse in Charleston.
See the Our Results page for more information about recoveries Joye Law Firm has obtained for our clients. Every case is different, and past results do not imply that a similar outcome can be achieved in another case. However, they do indicate a firm’s experience with cases involving accidents that caused serious injuries.
Common Causes of Falls on Staircases
Stairs that are uneven, cluttered, poorly lit or poorly maintained can cause users to misstep, slip or trip and fall. Falls on stairs often cause serious injuries.
Researchers and risk-management professionals have identified several common factors in falls on stairways and what should be done to prevent these accidents. They include:
- Falls on stairs are primarily caused by slipping or tripping. Staircases should have even surfaces and even tread heights. Steps should be free of clutter or other obstacles. Loose stair treads, frayed carpet or other deteriorating coverings should be repaired or replaced.
- Lack of handrails contributes to many falls on stairs. There should be handrails on both sides of a staircase. They should meet local building codes for appropriate size, height, length and distance from the wall.
- Many falls happen on steps that are in places where people don’t expect them, such as one or two steps in a hallway or doorway. These steps should be marked with warnings. Staircases of all lengths should be well lit, with light switches at the top and bottom.
- Outdoor staircases should be cleared of accumulated ice, snow, water, mud and other slippery substances.
- In commercial or industrial settings, stairs should have visual cues that highlight the edge of each step, such as paint or tape in safety yellow. Traction strips applied to each step also increase safety.
- Flooring below stairs or staircases must be maintained. Rotting boards or crumbling cement may allow stairs to collapse under users’ weight.
Property owners have a duty to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors. This includes designing, constructing, installing and maintaining staircases with handrails that can be safely used by most people who are exercising reasonable care.
Property Owner Liability for Falls on Staircases in South Carolina
Property owners, occupants or other responsible parties who neglect their duty to provide for the safety of visitors may be held liable for injuries that occur if someone slips or trips and falls on stairs at their property.
Someone who is injured in a staircase fall at a store, office, apartment complex or other public place, or at a private residence, could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income and other losses. In most cases, a legal claim would seek payment from the property owner’s liability insurance.
Joye Law Firm is ready to investigate your fall on a staircase in South Carolina. We may be able to obtain evidence such as security camera footage and witness statements to help prove your claim. In cases where faulty staircase design or installation contributed to the accident, we often work with qualified trade professionals who can examine the stairs in question and testify as experts about the defects.
We work on cases involving staircase falls with a dedication to securing the full and fair compensation that our clients deserve. We know how to get results, and we’ll take your injuries and your recovery needs seriously.
Ask Our Lawyers How they Can Help With Your Staircase Fall Claim
If you have fallen and suffered serious injuries on a staircase because of problems with the steps or handrails in South Carolina, Call Joye Law Firm now or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential initial consultation about your potential claim.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention for Healthcare Workers
- Cornell University Department of Design – Preventing Falls on Home Stairs
- University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Safety & Health – Accident Prevention: Slips, Trips and Falls