Stairs are a fast and efficient way to get from one level of a building to another, and they are common in all kinds of buildings, including commercial properties and multi-unit residential properties. They may serve as an entranceway into an office or apartment building, or they may be on the exterior of the building.
Stairs present an increased risk for falls and injuries, which is one reason why property owners and landlords need to take great care to inspect and maintain safe stairways. If you got hurt because you fell down the stairs in a business or in an apartment building, you may have a claim for premises liability against the owner or manager of the facility.
Were any common unsafe conditions present in the stairway?
Many different issues can contribute to the likelihood of a stairway accident taking place. For example, taking the stairs just after a storm could mean that the floors are wet, and therefore, slippery. Proper building maintenance could include placing mats that absorb liquid at any doors near stairs and possibly installing nonslip grips on individual stairs.
Another issue could be a lack of guardrails/handrails or grab bars that did not receive adequate installation or maintenance, leaving them weak and vulnerable to displacement if someone grabs the bar in an emergency.
Other risk factors for stairway falls could include narrow stairs, worn floor surfaces, loose flooring, carpeting, loose rugs, uneven stairs or even poor lighting. If you believe that a fall you experienced in a stairway directly relates to a maintenance failure on the part of the building owner, discussing the situation in depth with an attorney may give you better insight into your potential rights.