Aug 122013

Stairway fall accidents almost always end in serious injuries. Broken bones, spine and head injuries are very common. In general, there are two types of stairway fall accidents, those due to a defect (trip/fall) and those due to water/fluid accumulation (slip/fall).

Under Pennsylvania law, those who are injured in stairway accidents may be able to obtain financial compensation for their injuries and losses if they can prove that the individual or business which owned/maintained the stairs was negligent.

Stairway Fall Accidents Due to a Defect

Stairway trip and fall accidents commonly occur due to any number of the following types of defects:

  • uneven steps (irregularities in riser/tread height),
  • missing pieces of steps,
  • failure/lack of slip resistance materials,
  • missing/broken step nosings,
  • structural collapse.

Succeeding in a case where an individual trips and falls down stairs requires proving that the owner of the building where the stairway is located either knew about the defect (i.e., someone previously fell due to the same defect) or should have known about the defect (i.e., the defect existed for such a period of time that it is fair to say the owner should have known about it).

Stairway Fall Accidents Due to Water/Fluid

Stairway slip and fall accidents usually occur due to the following types of issues:

  • water accumulation from rain,
  • water accumulation from defective design, and
  • trash/fluid on the stairs.

stairway water accident with signSucceeding in a slip and fall stairway accident case is a bit more complex than a stairway defect case. That’s because unlike a missing chunk of a step, water or trash on a stairway tends to be transitory or short-lived. In other words, it is more difficult to prove that the owner knew or should have known about the problem.

However, these cases can be successful. They require careful investigation and workup. In some cases, it will be necessary to have an expert examine the stairway/steps and see if there are any structural defects which affect water accumulation. For instance, a stairway which slopes may cause rain water to accumulate in an unreasonable and dangerous manner.

In addition, each case depends on the unique facts. No two cases are alike. For example, in a case where an individual slips on trash left on a stairway, the case may hinge on whether other people previously slipped on trash. Perhaps a trash bin adjacent to the stairs which was always overflowing resulted in excessive trash accumulation on the steps. Again, the facts will determine the success of the case.

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Pennsylvania & New Jersey Fall Accident Lawyers

Schwartz & Blackman has been representing the injured and their families for over thirty years in fall accident cases. Our firm offers a free consultation for all Pennsylvania and New Jersey injury and accident victims. Call now and ask for your free consultation. 215.925.4451

Schwartz & Blackman handles fall down accident cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

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  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities

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