If it hasn’t happened to you, you may have witnessed someone miss their footing and fall on a flight of stairs. Data from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine (AJEM) shows that over one million Americans suffer injuries from staircase-related accidents every year.
Most people get up as soon as they fall and are able to walk away without serious injuries. However, falling down a flight of stairs is not always a result of your carelessness. It could be a result of the negligence of the property owner where an accident occurred. If a property owner’s negligence results in an accident where you suffer injuries, you could be eligible for compensation.
Main Causes of Staircase Accidents
A property owner is responsible for ensuring that their land is safe for legal visitors. If their negligence causes a slip and fall, they are liable for all damages resulting from the accident. Staircases are a frequent location for property accidents stemming from negligence.
Common causes of staircase accidents include:
● Wet or icy stairs
● Substandard depth and height in the staircases
● Poor lighting
● Loose screws for metallic or wooden staircases
● Chipped, broken, and wobbly stairs
● Loose carpets
● Loose handrails
The level and nature of injuries in staircase slip and fall accidents vary based on the circumstances, like the height of the staircase and its material. Some common injuries after a fall on a staircase can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken ribs, and other fractures.
After an Accident
After a slip and fall on a staircase, the worst thing you can do is leave the scene without seeking medical attention. While you could feel fine at the height of the adrenaline rush, you may still be injured. The most important thing to do after a serious accident is to call 911. After getting to the scene, paramedics offer first aid depending on the nature of your injuries and get you on the way to the hospital. Calling 911 at the accident scene is critical because it helps create a clear trail of your medical treatment right from the scene.
After getting to the hospital, the ER doctor will recommend treatment based on the nature of your injuries. Ensure that you follow the doctor’s recommended treatment without fail to avoid creating gaps in your treatment that could affect the value of your claim.
You will also need to ensure that you keep all medical records and bills, as these can help determine the value of your damages. Unfortunately, the cost of treating staircase-related injuries can be steep, with Americans directly or indirectly spending billions each year due to injuries sustained in staircase falls, according to AJEM.
The Quality of Your Legal Counsel Matters
“Severe injuries attract large payouts that can result in highly contested lawsuits,” says attorney Rich Godshall of the Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers. That means the quality of your legal counsel can have a significant effect on the outcome of your case.
You may have some time between your fall and the ambulance arriving at the scene. If possible, it is a good idea to document the scene by taking pictures with your phone camera. Ensure that you note every detail relevant to your fall, such as the hazard that caused the accident. Also, you may need to notify the property owner of your injuries. After gathering evidence, pass it to your lawyer and let them do the rest for you.