Property owners, managers and other responsible parties have a duty to protect those who live, visit or work at their properties. This duty includes the proper maintenance of stairways. People who trip and fall on a stairway are often seriously injured, and may suffer permanent or fatal damage.
The causes of these accidents are often related to a failure to correct a known hazard. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, our team of professionals handles premises liability cases in which a serious injury occurred in a trip-and-fall accident on a stairway.
The National Floor Safety Institute reports that more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms every year due to various types of slip-and-fall accidents, accounting for 12 percent of all falls nationwide. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by tripping or slipping and falling on a dangerous stairway on someone else’s property, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable through legal action to recover damages.
To find out more about your potential right to compensation, discuss your case with a qualified premises liability attorney at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe on Long Island. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Stairway Accidents in Long Island
Some of the common causes of serious or falls on dangerous stairways involve the following situations:
- Broken or loose steps – A step that has broken sections or loose tiles or boards poses an extreme danger to anyone who uses it. Whether the stairway is located on public, private, commercial or government property, the owner or manager of that property has a duty to repair broken steps. A failure to maintain or repair the steps that leads to an injury may allow for a personal injury claim or lawsuit to be filed.
- Inadequate lighting – Burned-out lights, lighting that is too dim to adequately illuminate the area for safety and a failure to keep a stairway brightly lit so that those who walk can see the stairs and avoid falls are examples of poor maintenance. A trip and fall on a dimly lit or unlit stairway may open the door to a premises liability claim against the owner or manager of the property where the accident happened.
- Missing or broken handrails – A broken or missing handrail can lead to a fall that results in serious injuries, and in some cases, loss of life. Landlords and property owners or managers are required to keep their premises reasonably safe. A stairway that has missing or broken handrails could cause a fall that may result in liability on the part of the responsible party.
- Clutter on stairs – Stairways must be kept clear of hazards, including clutter placed on stairs. Some property owners become sloppy, and allow items to be stored or left on stairways, posing a serious danger to those who live, work or visit at the property.
- Unmarked steps – Steps must be marked in a way that allows those who use the area to clearly see where each step begins. If there was a failure to clearly mark steps and it caused an injury in a trip-and-fall accident, the property owner, manager or other responsible party may be held liable for damages.
- Icy, wet or slippery stairways – Especially during the winter months, property owners must pay close attention to the condition of all floors, including those on stairways, and keep them safe and clear from water, snow and ice. A failure to do so could cause a serious slip-and-fall accident.
Types of Injuries in Stairway Accidents on Long Island
The types of injuries sustained by a victim can vary widely. While some victims may incur soft-tissue injuries such as sprains, strains and bruising, many others have more serious injuries. These include the following types of injuries:
- Broken bones – A fracture is a very serious injury, requiring many months to heal, or longer for more serious breaks. The victim often suffers long-term consequences, including limited mobility and aches and pains that are never fully resolved.
- Traumatic brain injury – One of the most common and deadly types of injuries are incurred when the head suffers an impact. The subsequent bleeding and swelling of the brain restricts oxygen and can lead to permanent brain damage with both physical and cognitive impairments that may never be fully resolved.
- Spinal cord injury – A spinal cord injury is exceptionally difficult to treat, and a full recovery of mobility may be impossible. The location of the injury will determine what areas of the body are affected. In many cases, a severe injury will lead to paralysis, either complete or incomplete. Many victims face an uncertain future with serious impairments.
- Soft-tissue injuries – A soft-tissue injury may take many months or longer to resolve. Heavy bruising, tendon damage, sprains and strains are extremely painful and limit the injured person’s motion, often making it impossible to sit, stand or even lie down comfortably, much less go to work.
Contact Our Experienced Premises Liability Attorney on Long Island Today
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a fall on a dangerous stairway on someone else’s property, please contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP for a free consultation. Our personal injury attorneys have been representing injured people in in New York since 2003 and have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients.
Our attorneys work with investigators, medical professionals and financial specialists to ensure we fully document your case before we present compensation demands to insurers or jurors. When we go to court for you, we go prepared to win.
Don’t settle for less. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.