Slip and Trip Accidents: Dangers of Stairs

Slip and Falls Dangers of Stairs

Slip and trip accidents while going up or down the stairs can result in serious injuries. When you add height, the repeated impact of multiple stairs and unsafe conditions, the dangers of stairs multiplies.

Slip and trip accidents can result from hazards such as:

  • Slippery surfaces
  • Wet or icy stairs
  • Uneven stair height or depth
  • Lack of handrails

Whether you are on a commercial property or residential, stairs can present dangers to both able-bodied and disabled persons, young and old alike.

According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), over 1 million hospital emergency room visits are due to slip and fall accidents, or 12% of total falls.

Slippery Surfaces

What the stairs are made from and covered with can determine how slippery that surface is and the hazards they hide.

  • Torn or loose carpet, worn-down or even slight wear of the stair where your foot lands. Slight wear especially is not as easy to see or visible and may cause a slip, trip or fall hazard.
  • Highly polished wood and/or tile surfaces tend to be more slippery than other surfaces like stone or carpeted stairs.
  • Liquid spills of beverages, grease, oil and/or other debris on or blocking the stairs can quickly become a fall hazard.

Case Result

We obtained a $250,000 settlement for a client who suffered orthopedic injuries in a slip and fall accident at Cheddars Restaurant in Kansas due to a buildup of grease on the floor. The floor where the fall occurred was next to the kitchen and patrons were required to walk across it to reach the restrooms.

Wet or icy outdoor stairs

Ice, rain and snow can collect on outdoor stairs. Outdoor steps are supposed to be built and maintained so that water and/or ice does not excessively build up. In addition, outdoor stairs must have a surface that does not become extra slippery in these conditions; one solution is to use non-slip runners.

When the weather is wet or icy, you should always take precautions when navigating outdoor stairs.

Uneven stair height or depth (stair design)

height of stairs multiple stairs unsafe conditions dangers of stairs slip trip and fall

Stairs themselves consist of two basic parts: the run and the riser. The riser goes up vertically and the run is the horizontal part of the stair you step on. Damage to either part can lead to serious injuries.

Stairs must meet building codes regarding the size of the risers and runs.

Case Result

An elderly female client sustained severe injuries when she fell down stairs at a local pharmacy. Until the accident, our client was self-sufficient and lived with her husband at their home in Kansas City. Unfortunately, the injuries required the client and her husband to move from their home of 30 years into a nursing home. The expert engineer obtained by Nash & Franciskato was able to prove that the stairs were defective and violated Code requirements, resulting in a confidential settlement for the client.

Lack of and/or broken handrails

Handrails provide balance and stability and if missing or broken can contribute to falls.

Case Result

An elderly female client fractured her hip when she fell down the stairs of the Iron Horse Restaurant in Blackwater, Missouri. After her hip replacement surgery, she developed post-operative respiratory failure and other complications that required her to be hospitalized for almost 2 months and ultimately led to her death. The attorneys at Nash & Franciskato were able to prove the stairs were defective because of inadequate lighting and the installation of an improper handrail. The case settled for a sum of $475,000.

Do You Have a Slip and Trip Personal Injury Case?

slip and trip accidents accidents on stairs serious injuries slip and fall

Just because you are injured in a slip and trip accident on someone else’s property does not mean you will receive compensation from the property owner.

What typically makes a slip, trip and fall accident a personal injury or premises liability case is that there is some neglected hazard or a potential for a hazard while on another person’s property. An experienced personal injury lawyer familiar with premises liability can help you.

Questions? Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

RECEIVE A FREE EVALUATION from Experienced Premises Liability Attorneys

Slip and fall cases can be difficult to prove. To obtain compensation for your injuries, you need an experienced and aggressive personal injury legal team who knows what to look for and how to prove unsafe conditions. The legal team at Nash & Franciskato Law Firm is that team, having obtained substantial settlements for premises liability cases. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Past results afford no guarantee of future results and each case is different and is judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published June 10, 20195. It was reviewed on April 18, 2023 and updated for content and accuracy.

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