A poorly constructed, poorly maintained, or poorly lit stairwell can be a tremendous danger.
When stairwells are improperly designed or constructed, it can lead to a person stumbling or falling on the stairs, potentially leading to a serious injury. When stairwells are neglected or are in disrepair, it creates a dangerous and unsafe condition for those who use them.
In Connecticut, many stairwells are governed by municipal codes, requiring strict compliance of those who own and maintain stairwells to make them safe and accessible. When a building owner fails to comply with this code, and the failure causes someone to fall and become injured, the victim may be able to bring a claim against the owner for the injuries and damages incurred as a result of the owner’s negligence.
While a typical stairwell may be safe, there is a potential for hidden dangers that can lead to slipping, falling, stumbling, or tripping on the stairs or stair coverings.
Broken stairs are a common threat. When a stair or a portion of the stair’s support system is cracked, chipped, or broken, the strength of the stair is limited and can lead to a stair collapse.
Sometimes a broken stair may be easy to identify if the break is obvious and the stairwell is illuminated. In other cases, the broken stair may not be easy to see or may be obscured by carpeting or other material. Placing weight on a broken stair can cause the stair to give way and the patron using the stairs to fall into the stairwell or to fall up or down the flight of stairs. Any of these situations can lead to injuries, including fractures, back and neck injuries, or even death.
Another common issue with stairways presents itself when water or another slippery substance is present in the area. This is most common in stairs that are outdoors, like stairs to a train platform, to an outside deck or rooftop, or stairs under a leaky roof. Water that accumulates in an unnatural manner can pose a serious threat to safety and can lead to slip and falls on the stairs, especially if the water freezes into ice. This type of stair accident claim can be legally complicated and it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer experienced in these matters if you become a victim of a slippery stairway.
The codes that govern public property in a city or in a state exist for a reason. They are designed to increase safety while still making a building functional. In the case of stairwells, municipal codes often govern the height of individual steps, the slope or incline of the flight of steps, the presence or absence of handrails, the degree to which the steps are able to curb or turn in a given area, and the amount and location of lights. Failure to adhere to these codes can be a contributing factor to accidents.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a stairwell accident contact The Scalora Law Group for a free legal consultation. We are experienced in handling stairwell accident cases and have an established track record getting compensation for victims of stairwell accident injuries. Contact us today at 860-344-9051 or fill out our contact form to have an attorney contact you back immediately.