According to the National Flooring Institute, falls are one of the leading causes of injury every year in the United States. In fact, falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, accounting for 21.3% of all trips annually. Around eight million people visit emergency centers for treatment following a fall.
Falls can occur in any number of settings, but one of the most common is staircases. Faulty staircases can lead to serious injuries and are often the result of negligent upkeep. Unfortunately, the city is full of unsafe and defective staircases, nestled away in apartment buildings and offices. Some property owners are more focused on turning a profit than protecting their tenants, which can have dangerous and devastating consequences.
If you’ve recently sustained an injury from a staircase, you may be able to recoup your medical expenses, lost wages, and even compensate for your pain and suffering. The attorneys at Frekhtman & Associates can help you determine who is liable for your injuries – and if your injury entitles you to compensation.
A Matter of Premises Liability
Staircase injuries in New York fall under a category of personal injury law called “premises liability.” This broad concept refers to the idea that owners of property must take reasonable steps to maintain the premises and keep it safe for both occupants and visitors. Proving liability in a staircase injury requires the following elements:
The property owner knew or should have known about a defective or dangerous condition on their stairway. Examples may include a broken stair, a lack of guardrails, or even inadequate lighting.
The owner did not take steps to rectify a dangerous or defective condition;
Their lack of action directly led to your injury, and;
You suffered harm as a result.
Premises liability claims usually hinge on the idea that an injury was “foreseeable.” For example, a reasonable person would foresee the hazard of an unlit stairwell, and take steps to fix it could cause an injury.
Building Codes and Regulations
Buildings and stairwells throughout the city must adhere to regulations and codes set forth by public officials. If building owners experience building violations and fail to fix them, they may be on the hook for any damages sustained when someone falls or trips.
Litigating these cases requires a firm experienced not only with local codes and regulations but also premises liability law. The premises liability attorneys at Frekhtman & Associates are committed to holding negligent building owners responsible and getting you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation
If someone else’s neglect in a building’s upkeep or maintenance caused your fall on a stairwell, you may be able to collect damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Your first step is to contact Frekhtman & Associates to schedule a free initial consultation with our firm. We are committed to holding negligent building owners and property owners responsible for their actions. For a free, no obligation review of your legal options, please contact us.
In New York City serious injuries often occur on stairways in apartment buildings, private homes, commercial enterprises, and public areas. These types of accidents may be due to dangerous or defective conditions of the stairs including the design of the stairs.
Types of Staircase Accidents
trips and falls over a hole, crack, protrusion, or crevice in the staircase
lip of a staircase not attached causing a tripping hazard
carpeting over a staircase which becomes worn, frayed, loose, and detached from the staircase and overhangs the stairs
a transient condition on the stairs including oil, water, puddle, debris, or other similar condition
improper design of the stairway when the risers or treads of a staircase are not a uniform height or width
lack of a handrail
defective handrail including one that is not secure, wobbly, or detaches from the wall
improper height of a handrail in violation of NYC Multiple Dwelling Law 52 which regulates appropriate minimum and maximum heights of handrails on staircases in multiple dwellings defined as properties with three or more families
improper lighting on the staircase in violation of NYC Multiple Dwelling Law 37 which regulates illumination of staircases
Types of Staircase Injuries
orthopedic injuries including broken bones to the arm, wrist, elbow, or hand
knee injuries including torn meniscus, torn ACL, which may require arthroscopic surgery, ACL reconstruction surgery, or total knee replacement surgery
back injuries including herniated or bulging discs which may require pain management and or spinal surgery including discectomy, laminectomy, and or spinal fusion surgery
Proving Liability in a Staircase Accident
The first hurdle on a staircase accident claim is to prove the landlord, management company or other defendant was liable for the accident. To prove this, you must show the defendant had a duty to maintain the staircase using reasonable care which he or she failed to uphold. A statute, code, or ordinance may also lead to a duty by law to take certain actions and a violation of the statute will prove negligence on the part of the defendant.
Often in staircase accidents, a plaintiff attorney will retain an expert in the field of safety and engineering to examine the location of incident including the staircase and conduct a full investigation known as a discovery and inspection. The expert will then explain the standard of care, cite statutory violations, and help build a solid liability case. The staircase accident attorneys at Frekhtman & Associates utilize top engineering experts to help prove liability at the time of trial.
If you or a loved one was injured in a staircase accident, call the attorneys at F&A for a free no obligation confidential consultation. We can explain your rights as a trusted advisor and if we accept your case there will never be any attorney’s fee until you receive compensation first. Call us at (866) ATTY LAW or (212) 222-1111.