“Don’t run down the stairs,” is a phrase we have all heard in our lives. Serious injuries can occur if you lose your balance on a tall staircase. Still, we take stairs for granted. When stairs are defective or in disrepair, they present a hazard more dangerous than a decision to travel them quickly. Falling down a broken staircase can result in severe injuries, as well as an economic loss. Property owners are required to maintain stairs to provide a safe means of travel between floors for Miami residents.
Prosper Shaked is a Miami-based attorney dedicated to helping people injured by defective or broken stairs receive their just compensation. Property owners need to be held responsible when they fail to provide a safe environment for residents of the Miami area. To learn more about our services and how we can assist with your case, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.
Miami Stair Accident Injuries
According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, accidents involving stairs injure more than one million people in the United States every year. While many of these are due to carelessness, in some instances, accidents occur because of the hazardous or dangerous condition of the stairs. Broken, defective, or uneven stairs are often the result of the negligence of a property owner or building manager.
A single structural defect in a set of stairs can cause you to fall and suffer a serious injury such as broken bones or a damaged spinal cord. Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe for their guests. This includes scheduling regular inspections of the stairs and other common areas to ensure there are no hidden defects. Once a defect or hazard is discovered, a property owner or manager should take reasonable precautions to cordon off the stairs or provide notice of the dangerous condition until it has been repaired.
Should a property owner or manager neglect to inspect their property or fail to address a known defect, they may be liable for any injuries sustained. Under these circumstances, and with the help of an experienced Miami attorney, you may be able to win compensation from the property owner or manager through a personal injury or insurance claim.
Types of Defects in Stairs that Can Cause Injuries
Several types of defects and hazards can make stairs unreasonably dangerous. Many of these are preventable if the property owner takes reasonable care.
The surface of the stairs may present a hazard that is not easily noticeable. Stairs made of polished wood or tile might be more slippery than anticipated. Choosing a material that creates a dangerous condition might make the property owner or builder liable for any injuries. Additionally, stairs that are made from well-worn carpet or wood are often treacherous, and a spilled substance on the stairs may make them unsafe. While a property owner or manager cannot be expected to keep stairs free of all accidental spills at all times, if they had notice of the condition and failed to address it in a reasonable amount of time, they could be held responsible for any harm or damage.
Outdoor Stairs Affected by Weather
While snow and ice may not be an issue in the Miami area, rain can pose a hazard. Outdoor stairs should be constructed and maintained in such a manner that rainy and wet conditions do not create unnecessary risk. Not installing a runner or outdoor carpet on stairs known to be slippery on rainy days could constitute negligent conduct on the part of a property owner.
Miami Building Code Violations
Builders and property owners must adhere to Florida and Miami building codes, including requirements for stairs. A building code violation citation could be evidence that a property owner failed to address a known hazardous condition. For example, the building code sets specific requirements for handrails. If handrails are improperly installed or maintained in violation of the building code, the builder or property owner could be held liable for any injury that is directly connected to the defective handrail.
Additionally, the building code prescribes the minimum and maximum height of stair risers, as well as the allowed variance between steps. Because your mind tends to automatically anticipate the next step when climbing a staircase, a significant height difference between individual steps can easily cause a misstep and loss of balance. Any violation of these requirements would render the stairs defective. Our knowledgeable Miami attorney is familiar with Florida building codes and will carefully evaluate your case to determine if any violations exist.
Get a Free Consultation with a Miami Attorney for Injuries on Defective or Broken Stairs
Injuries from falling down a flight of stairs can be serious. Broken bones can take weeks or months to heal, limiting your ability to work and generating unforeseen medical expenses. More severe injuries, such as damage to the spinal cord or a traumatic brain injury, can have adverse effects on the rest of your life. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we will diligently fight to hold the proper party responsible for your injuries and get you the compensation you deserve. Miami attorney Prosper Shaked has represented hundreds of area residents who have been injured through no fault of their own. Put that experience to use for your case; call (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free and private consultation.