A flight of stairs is a spot that is full of special dangers. For that reason, many slip and fall incidents happen in the dangerous location.
Potential dangers in a stairway
Stairs can have slippery surfaces. A marble staircase has a polished surface, the sort of thing on which shoes tend to slide. A wooden staircase could also be polished. A carpeted staircase might contain spots of worn carpet. If the stairs were outside and exposed to the elements, then they could get wet of icy. Someone walking on the wet or icy surface might slip and fall.
The person that has constructed a given stairway might have failed to follow the recognized building code. Those building codes usually provide details on the height and dept of each step. No step should be so narrow that a foot could not fit onto it comfortably.
No step should be one height on the one side and a different height on the other side. The stairs are supposed to be even. Furthermore, there must be a consistency in the steps’ height. Someone using a flight of stairs expects each step to be the same height.
Building codes usually require that all stairs have handrails. That should apply to both stairs inside and those outside of a building. The Personal Injury Lawyer in Bedford knows that absence of a handrail increases the chances for someone to fall, after having slipped or tripped on a step’s surface.
What are the usual defenses, when an incident that involved slipping and falling on stairs has resulted in an injury?
First, the defense would check to see if the plaintiff had ignored a sign that was supposed to keep people off of the stairs. That would make the plaintiff responsible for the injury.
Where was the stairway located? Was it in a building that was still under construction? That would be another example of poor decision making on the plaintiff’s part. Common sense should tell someone to avoid using the stairs in a building that is still under construction.
Had the plaintiff failed to pay attention to his or her surroundings? That could be a strong argument, in a case where someone has fallen on the stairs. Common sense should make a person pay close attention to what was underfoot, when walking up or down a given stairway.
This strategy might run into trouble, if the plaintiff had fallen on a short flight of stairs, one that was not too obvious. Still, witnesses might admit that the plaintiff had been admiring objects on the wall, instead of checking to see where he or she was stepping. Smart homeowners learn how to make a less obvious group of stairs easier to spot, or to avoid.