Falling down stairs injures more than a million Americans a year, according to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. These are often caused by defective, broken, or uneven stairs. In fact, the New York State Department of Health indicates that two New Yorkers are fatally injured in falls every day. Some of these are likely stair-related, and besides potential fatalities, falling down the stairs can result in injuries ranging from bumps, bruises, and sprains to hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). This can be a painful and confusing time, but remember, you may have options under the law.
When someone else’s negligence caused a serious stairway accident, you deserve the chance to pursue compensation for the resulting damages. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our NY premises liability attorneys know you probably have a lot of questions, and we have a record of getting accident victims everything they need and deserve. Let us investigate what happened, identify who is at fault for your stair accident, and advise you what comes next.
While all ages can be victims of stairway accidents, senior citizens, young children, and women report the most injuries, according to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Young adults also had high injury rates from stair accidents.
Most accidents, some 60%, happened in the home, including rental properties like New York City multi-unit buildings with common stairwells. Other places where falling down stairs is more likely to occur are workplaces, entertainment and sports venues, and public transportation sites, such as subways.
Slips, trips, and falls on stairs can lead to various injuries, including trauma to the neck, back, and brain, as well as damage to your extremities. Broken bones and bruises are painful and expensive to treat in the short-term, but some devastating and life-altering injuries like TBIs and spinal cord damage mean a lifetime of pain and expense related to medical and living costs. Making sure those responsible contribute to your recovery is essential, and our attorneys can help.
Accidents involving stairs may have several possible causes and various responsible parties. When you meet with our attorneys to discuss your, or a loved one’s, stair accident they will determine who may be required to pay damages for your injuries.
Some possible legal arguments that may entitle you to compensation include:
Under premises liability law, if you are injured on someone’s property, they might be responsible for damages that arise from your injuries. So, if you suffer a neck injury when you fall down the stairs at your apartment complex, the property owner could be liable. But, just being injured on another’s property doesn’t automatically make the owner liable.
To recover damages you must prove:
When you work with our attorneys, we will identify who is at fault and determine if your stair accident injuries resulted from broken, defective, or uneven stairs, or failure to properly install or maintain a handrail. From there, we will pursue a favorable resolution from the owner or property manager responsible. That could mean filing a personal injury claim against a landlord or venue owner if you were injured in settings like a club, bar, restaurant, sports complex, or concert hall.
Sometimes staircase falls are attributable to design or manufacturing defects in the products used to build and maintain the stairs. For example, an important safety feature of stairs is the handrail. If a handrail is poorly designed or placed, it could fail. If stair treads don’t have proper non-skid treatment, serious falls can happen. In such cases, Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. will investigate and identify those companies responsible. Not only will we work to have those parties compensate you for your injuries, but we’ll also fight to ensure the defective parts are fixed, potentially saving others from injury.
Besides determining if a property owner or management company was at fault for your stair accident, our attorneys understand there may be others who should be held accountable. For example, if a handrail gave way and you were subsequently injured, it may have been negligently installed. The company that installed it could be liable for your damages. Or, if you are hurt at work, outside of your workers’ compensation claim, there could be an avenue to pursue a third-party work injury claim (other than your employer) for your injuries.
If you can establish that someone else’s negligence caused your fall and subsequent injuries, then you can seek compensation for your:
Falling down the stairs and suffering injuries is traumatic, embarrassing, and painful. You may be hospitalized, need extensive physical therapy, and miss significant amounts of work. Even worse, you could suffer a life-altering injury to your brain or spinal cord. Whatever the extent of your, or a loved one’s, stair accident injuries, you need to consult a New York personal injury attorney at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. By allowing us to evaluate your stairway accident case, we can determine if you are entitled to compensation.
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