Can The Property Owner Be Blamed For A Stair Accident?

Certain issues get raised if someone slips and falls in a public location. Those same issues become part of any case that concerns a fall on a stairway. By the same token, specific other issues also come into play.

Questions that demand answers

• Did the owner of the property cause the fall? What was the purpose for the stairs, or any feature on the stairs? An owner cannot sacrifice the safety of guests, in order to add to the beauty of the location.
• Did the owner know of a danger? Did the stairs have a slippery run? If the stairs were outside, did they have a non-slip surface?
• Should the owner have recognized the existence of a danger?
• Was the victim careless?
• Did the stairs require handrails? Did they have handrails?
• Was the handrail at the proper height?
• Do the stairs’ riser and run match with what is required, according to the building code? Details on the building code can be found at the library or at a county building.
• Did the steps have too great a variance in height or depth?

When could stairs that satisfied the building code be declared unsatisfactory?

Such a declaration might be made about a stairway in a building that was not ready to handle any guests or customers in a wheelchair. Such a facility would need to install either a ramp or a lift. Either of those features would also need to adhere to certain regulations. For instance, a ramp could not be too steep, or it would be difficult to control a wheelchair, if that chair must be guided down that steep ramp.

Moreover, even a ramp could prove dangerous, if the rails on the side allowed room for a small body to slip between them. A child might try using the ramp, and then fall off the side. Of course, the owner could not be blamed for that. It could be said that the victim was careless, or the person in charge of childcare was careless. As per Accident Lawyer in Cambridge, it that can be proven, the property owner cannot be held liable for any injuries.

On the other hand, out of concern for children, it would seem better to install a ramp, as opposed to a lift. A child could easily become intrigued with the idea of using a lift, as an alternative to a group of stairs. Spurred by that level of intrigue, a child might decide to play with a particular lift, and thus get hurt.

A smart business owner would have good reason for renting a space that allows this: All of the business’ furniture and equipment gets to stay on the same floor, preferably on the ground floor.

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