Falls Down Stairs
According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, more than one million people hurt themselves on the stairs every year. Stairs are indiscriminate, as old and young people alike can experience a variety of injuries related to a fall. If you've been one of the unfortunate people who has experienced falling down stairs, you know it can be not only the cause of severe injuries but also severe trauma. It is important to know you may have legal rights as an accident victim. The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd, LLC are experienced personal injury lawyers who know how to get our injured clients the compensation they deserve. Call 404-255-6677 today to schedule your free consultation.Conditions that may Cause a Fall on the Stairs
A building owner is responsible for the basic maintenance and upkeep of his or her property. While there are a variety of laws that may make the owner responsible, the facts of why the fall occurred will ultimately determine liability. A variety of factors and conditions may create a situation in which a property owner is liable for a victim's losses, including:
- Wet Outdoor Stairs - While the citizens of Atlanta rarely have to worry about snow, outdoor conditions can contribute to slip and falls on stairs. Generally, building owners have a duty to keep stairs safe even in adverse weather conditions, such as rain or sleet. In fact, if an owner creates a situation that causes the stairs to be extra slippery or possibly build up with standing water, the owner should be liable if someone falls.
- Building Code Violations. The State of Georgia has its own set of building codes. In addition, counties, whether it's Fulton County or Cobb County, will impose their own set of building codes. Finally, each city, Atlanta or otherwise, will have further codes to follow. And of course, all these codes have something to say about stairs! An owner may face penalties for code violations, and if injuries occurred because of these violations, they can also be liable for any injury-related losses.
- Maintenance. An owner has a responsibility to manage the general maintenance and upkeep of stairs. This includes ensuring the proper width and depth of stairs, necessary handrails, and more. It also includes making sure that there are no defects. When an owner allows stairs to fall into a state of disrepair or allows dangerous conditions to persist, they should be responsible if someone falls and gets hurt.
A fall can result in a variety of injuries, many of which require immediate medical attention. Some common injuries from stair-related accidents include:
- Broken Bones - Broken wrists or limbs are very common as a result of a fall, as are head fractures. Compound fractures may be serious and may require surgery.
- Back Injuries - Back injuries can be extremely painful. Often, these injuries are slower to surface and you may think it's just a strain, but over time, the strain may not improve without a lengthy course of physical therapy. Stairway falls may also result in a slipped disc.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) - When you fall on stairs, there is a serious risk you will hit your head. Any trauma to the head can result in a brain injury, which can range from a concussion to severe damage that leaves you permanently disabled.
- Spinal cord injury - Trauma to the spinal cord can cause life-altering damage, which can leave you paralyzed. Many spinal cord injury victims can never walk again and may not be able to care for themselves.
These are only some of the many severe injuries that can happen suddenly if you fall on the stairs. Such injuries can result in piles of medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If you fall, you should always see a doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Many fall-related injuries require immediate medical treatment or you may risk long-term complications and effects. Having timely and accurate medical records can also help a future legal claim.Liable Parties in Premises Liability Cases
There are a lot of considerations when determining who can be held responsible for an injury. The owner of a building seems a logical place to start. However, the owner is not always the liable party and there may be multiple liable parties, including:
- A property owner, which may be an individual or a company
- A business that occupies a property and is responsible for inspection and maintenance
- A government entity that owns a building or property
- A construction company that built defective stairs
- A manufacturer that produced defective materials for stairs or handrails
Claims can differ significantly depending on the type of liable party, as well as the cause of the accident.
There is no legal requirement that you retain an attorney to represent you after an injury. That being said, it's important to understand that a lawyer can protect your rights to compensation. Without a lawyer, there's a good chance that you will not receive the compensation you are owed under the law. Insurance companies are committed to minimizing the amount they pay out on each claim, and victims who choose to represent themselves put themselves at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to negotiating a settlement. In addition, should your case go to court, it's essential that you have an attorney representing you, as you can be sure that the insurance company lawyers are ready to take advantage of the fact that you don't have a lawyer.Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
A fall down the stairs can suddenly and unexpectedly disrupt your life and leave you facing overwhelming losses. It is important to know your rights and discuss what happened with a highly experienced Atlanta premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. If you are in Fulton County, Cobb County, or the rest of Georgia, the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd, LLC are ready to evaluate your situation and advise you of your rights. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our premises liability lawyers, call our office today at 888-474-9616 or contact us online.