David Azizi is a champion of the injured in Los Angeles, having practiced personal injury law for 20 years. Stairway slip, trip and falls are common, and injuries can be serious. When that happens, you are not just injured but traumatized, and you need someone to fight for you. Call David at (800) 991-5292 any time to set up a free, no-obligation case review. Let David tell you your options and what you can expect your case to be worth. There is never a fee until you win, and David wins 98 percent of his cases.
What Do I Do If I’ve Fallen Down the Stairs?
There are things that need to be done in the moments and hours after an accident. First off, if you need emergency care, call for an ambulance and go to the hospital. If not, follow the following steps:
- Take a picture of the dangerous condition. In some cases, you may fall down several or many steps before landing. Climbing up the stairs to take a picture right after the accident may be difficult or dangerous. If someone else can safely capture the reason you fell, ask them to take the picture for you.
- Look around for video cameras that may have captured your fall and the reason for it. Snap a picture of them and any others in the surrounding area.
- File an incident report. If the fall occurred in a private residence, ask the homeowner for his or her insurance information.
- Go to the doctor as soon as possible. It is important to be examined to get a professional view of how you are. Tell your physician you were in an accident. The medical notes will document your injuries and firmly link them to the accident.
- If you are taken to the hospital by an ambulance, get a copy of the paramedic’s transfer report. This will document your immediate condition after the fall.
- Take pictures of your injuries when you get home.
- Keep the clothes and shoes you were wearing separate.
- Start a daily diary to document how you feel over time.
Proving Slip and Fall Liability
- The owner/person in control of the premises knew, should have known or caused the dangerous condition.
- There was no attempt to warn or repair the dangerous condition.
- The dangerous condition caused your injury.
- There are financial repercussions associated with the injury.
Dangerous Conditions Associated With Stairs
There are conditions that should be considered when you slip, trip and fall on stairs:
- The stair has a torn piece of carpet on it making it dangerous.
- Wooden stairs are damaged or have worn areas predisposing climbers to an accidental fall.
- The stairs are made of a slippery substance and lack stair mats that provide traction.
- Outdoor stairs lack anti-slip mats or surfaces or have not been cleared of mud or debris.
- Accumulated water on outdoor stairs has not been removed.
- Building code violations are present.
- Necessary handrails are missing.
California Building Codes
The California building codes specify safety standards for stairs. They are:
- The run of the step must measure a depth of not less than 10 inches when measured horizontally. The longest run in any group of steps or their variance cannot exceed the smallest by 3/8 of an inch.
- The rise or height of a step must be between 4 and 7.5 inches. There is an exception to this rule when the stairway is private with an occupant load of less than 10 or leads to the roof. In such cases, the rise may reach a maximum of 8 inches and the run a minimum of 9 inches.
- The width of a stairway is dependent on the occupant load. For those that handle more than 50 occupants, the width must be at least 44 inches. If the load is 50 or lower, than the width is 36 inches. If the stairway is in a private area with no more than 10 occupants, the width can be 30 inches.
- The treads on the stairs must be slip resistant.
- There should not be clutter on the steps.
- The landing area should be equal to the width of the stairway, not greater than four feet if the stairway is straight.
- The headroom clearance must be at least 78 inches. If a pre-existing stairway is less than this and cannot be remodeled, a warning sign must be available.
- Handrails must be installed at the proper height to ensure safety on certain types of stairways.
- Nosings, which is the overhang on the front of a step, need to be consistent.
When building code violations exist, particularly concerning the rise and run, the steps are considered to be defective. If the variance is different from one step to another, this can lead to a fall since the brain automatically remembers the position of the steps. If the steps are uneven, the person climbing them will lose their balance.
Violations of the building code can be useful in a claim against the owner of the building. Once you know violations exist, you must prove that this caused you to fall. Being familiar with the building code helps in arguing your case.
Injuries Due to Stairway Falls
While the injuries generally found in a slip and fall accident are common, falls on stairways have additional concerns. For instance, losing your footing on a defective step can cause you to tumble down the stairway and gain momentum before striking your head. The force with which you hit your head or impact will be greater, potentially increasing the type of head injury.
The Law offices of David Azizi – Slip, Trip and Fall Attorney
If you or a member of your family has fallen due to defective or wet/worn stairs, reach out to our Los Angeles slip and fall law firm. David will evaluate your case and give you an idea what settlement/verdict can be expected. If you want to get a head start, go to the Azizi slip and fall settlement calculator, and provide the requested information. When you are done, submit it and David will use the information during your free, no-obligation case review.
David is a trusted attorney in the community and has been called one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles by Expertise.com. Super Lawyers calls him a top-rated attorney in Beverly Hills. Such praise is not given lightly. Rather, it reflects David’s tenacity when working for a client and his knowledge of the law. Call him at (800) 991-5292 any day of the week, any time of the day, and schedule your free case evaluation now.