When you are walking up or down a flight of stairs, most people are as cautious as possible: they do not run, they hold onto a railing, and they look at the stairs ahead of them. If you are in someone else’s home or another person’s property, you may be wondering how to determine who is at fault if you become injured in a slip and fall accident on their stairs. Will you be blamed for tripping? How can you prove that it was someone else’s fault? In general, a slip and fall accident that occurred on someone else’s stairs will be viewed in the same way that a general slip and fall accident would be. You will need to bring forth the same kind of evidence to show that it was the property owner’s fault and not your own. 

Who is liable for the stair injuries?

There are typically certain things that must be true for someone else to be responsible for your injuries if you were going up or down a flight of stairs and became injured. 

  1. There was a danger on the stairs and the owner of the premises knew that there was a danger and did nothing to fix it. 
  2. If you slipped and fell on stairs because an employee of the building or the owner spilled something or caused the surface to become slippery. 
  3. There was a danger on the stairs that the owner should have known about and should have fixed or had someone else fix but did not, thus causing you to fall down the stairs and become injured.

Determining if You Are at Fault

While it may seem like the case is clear regarding who is at fault, the insurance company and the owner of the property will likely consider whether your actions were wholly or partly at fault as well. For example, if you were walking down the stairs and slipped on a puddle of water, it might seem obvious that the owner is responsible. However, if the puddle was clearly marked, had warning signs, and was blocked off but you still managed to slip on it, the insurance company may argue that your carelessness also contributed to the accident. 

What about building codes?

We can look through the building codes and determine what kind of responsibility the owner has regarding things like uneven stairs, handrail safety, and even the height and depth of the stairs. The building codes will play an important factor in determining whether the building owner was following the proper procedures regarding how their stair safety. 

If you became injured from a slip and fall down a set of stairs on someone else’s property, please reach out to a lawyer, to see how they can help you with this premises liability claim today.