In the United States, falls from stairs are a major cause of injury. In fact, an estimated 1,307 deaths occurred as a result of falls from stairs in 2000.3 OSHA estimates that 24,882 construction injuries and 36 fatalities occur as a result of falls from stairs and ladders used in construction each year, while falls from stairs account for an estimated 85 percent of injuries in children and 70 percent of hospitalizations among the elderly.4
These statistics show that falls from stairs and stairwell injuries are a very real concern. Many of these falls are caused by various defects in the stairs or stairwell, such as improper lighting, dangerous stair risers, damaged steps or bad railings or handrails. When a fall or other stairway injury occurs as a result of some hazard or problem with the property, the owner of the property may be liable for injuries. To learn more about when a property owner can be held liable for stairwell injuries, contact an experienced Boston personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today. We can be reached to schedule your free consultation by calling (617) 367-2900 or using our online form.Massachusetts Laws on Stairwell Injuries
Property owners or individuals who are renting or occupying a property are expected to ensure that the property is reasonably safe for visitors and guests.
Customers in retail establishments or individuals invited to a property to do business are provided with great protection under the law, as property owners have an obligation to inspect the property regularly for hazards and to correct the hazards or warn visitors of any defects or dangers.
Invited guests to private homes are also owed a duty of care under the law. Property owners or occupiers who invite friends over are obligated to either correct any dangers they know about (or reasonably should know about) or to warn their guests about the dangers. They do not have to inspect the property regularly to identify dangers.
Even trespassers are owed some protection under the law. For example, property owners who know they have trespassers should provide warning of serious dangers on the property.
Because property owners have a legal duty to their guests, if they breach that duty, they can be considered negligent. Failing to properly light a stairwell, allowing railings or risers to be in disrepair, failing to pick up debris on the stairway or otherwise neglecting to maintain the stairs in a safe manner can all be considered types of negligence.
If the injured victim who was hurt on the stairs can prove that the property owner was negligent and that this negligence led to the stairwell injury and resulting harm, then the injured victim should be able to recover compensation for losses including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Your Massachusetts personal injury lawyer can help you to gather the proof you need and can provide you with more information on the types of compensation you may be entitled to after a stairway injury.
To learn more about how a Boston premises liability lawyer can help you after a stairwell injury, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form.
3 http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mor_fal_on_and_fro_sta_and_ste-mortality-fall-stairs-steps and http://web.dcp.ufl.edu/hinze/AAA-ppts-grads-2010/Y40-Stairs-1.ppt