Key Points of This Article:
- Stairwells and stairways are inherently dangerous but are more dangerous when there is an added hazard.
- Slip and fall accidents commonly occur in stairwells or on stairways.
- Slip and fall stairway accidents are a matter of premises liability, and the property owner could be held liable.
- There is no limit to how much victims can recover when they sue for a slip and fall accident.
A slip and fall accident can happen almost anywhere. Essentially, anywhere there is a hazard that causes someone to slip or trip and then fall is considered a slip and fall accident.
It is quite common for these types of accidents to occur on stairways or in stairwells on private, public, commercial, and residential properties. Stairways are naturally uneven surfaces, which means someone can easily lose their footing and fall. So if there is an additional hazard added to the situation, it can make a slip and fall even more likely to occur.
While some slip and fall accidents might only result in minor scrapes and bruising, these accidents can also lead to severe injuries, depending on how bad the fall was and where it happened. And no matter how minor or severe the injuries are, the victim has a right to pursue a slip and fall accident claim for compensation if this happened due to someone else’s negligence.
Again, stairwells and stairways are inherently dangerous as they are uneven surfaces. If there is a hazard on the stairway, however, it can make going up and down the stairs even more dangerous.
Some of the most common hazards that can cause a slip and fall accident in a stairwell or on a set of stairs include:
- Loose flooring or carpeting on the stairs
- Missing, broken, or unsturdy handrails
- Wet or icy stairs from snow, rain, or spilled liquids
- Poor lighting in a stairwell or over a stairway
- Broken steps
- Items left sitting on the stairs
The injuries that result from a slip and fall can vary depending on how exactly the fall happened and where it occurred. For example, a slip on a hard surface from a greater height is likely going to lead to more severe injuries than a slip and fall low to the ground on cushioned flooring.
Still, every situation is unique. The age of the individual can also play a role in the injuries sustained. Elderly individuals are more susceptible to severe injury and thus would be more likely to sustain something like a severe hip injury after a slip and fall.
Below is a list of the most common injuries seen after a slip and fall stairway accident:
- Broken or fractured bones, especially in the arms, hands, wrists, and elbows
- Hip injuries
- Twisted, broken, or sprained ankles
- Back injuries, such as a disc herniation or a pulled muscle
- Torn ligaments or tendons, especially in the legs and knees
- Shoulder injuries
- Head trauma, such as traumatic brain injury
Slip and fall accidents, no matter where they occur, are generally a matter of premises liability. This means that the property owner could be held liable for the accident and the victims’ injuries.
Detroit property owners are responsible for providing a safe space for their guests. If there is a hazard on the property that they were aware of or should have reasonably been aware of, and if that hazard is what caused the slip and fall, they will most likely be found guilty of failing to uphold their duty of care.
Premises liability law in Detroit holds true for just about any property. So whether you fell while at someone’s house, in a store, in an office building, or at an amusement park, you have a right to file a claim against the property owner to recover damages if the owner was responsible.
Finding a property owner liable for a slip and fall accident, however, can be tricky and often requires the help of a slip and fall accident attorney. Again, property owners do have a responsibility to keep their property free of hazards, but proving that they knew about the hazard or should have known about the hazard before the slip and fall happened can be a challenge.
In these cases, you will need an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of premises liability law and has experience handling slip and fall cases. They can help you gather sufficient evidence to ensure the property owner is held responsible.
Calculating a settlement amount for a slip and fall stairway accident takes time. There is no way to determine upfront how much the case will be worth before all evidence and other important factors are reviewed.
Things that will be evaluated and that can play a role in how much compensation you receive include:
- Where the accident occurred, and who was responsible
- What injuries were suffered, and how severe they were
- How much the medical expenses were to treat the injuries
- How much the injured victim suffered physically
- How much the victim suffered emotionally or mentally
- Any future medical expenses that may be necessary to further treat the injury
- How much income or wages were lost while the victim recovered
- If there will be a reduced earning capacity in the future if the victim is no longer able to work or work full-time as a result of their injury
- How the victim’s overall life was affected by the injury
If the settlement from the initial claim is not enough, you can potentially sue the property owner for additional compensation. In this case, there is generally no limit to the amount you can receive. It will simply depend on how much the court determines you are owed based on all that you have suffered and all the expenses you have had as a result of the injuries sustained.
In most cases, you will be more likely to receive a higher settlement amount when you work with an attorney. An experienced Detroit slip and fall attorney can help argue for your rights and help you provide evidence to ensure you get the full and fair settlement you deserve.
Stairway slip and fall accidents can leave you severely injured and in need of compensation to help you pay for your medical bills and other potential damages. At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we have years of experience handling slip and fall cases and know what it takes to ensure our clients are fairly compensated for their losses.
Call our Michigan slip and fall attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). Our consultations are free and confidential, and you’ll pay nothing until we settle your slip and fall case.