Omaha Stairway Accident Injury Lawyers
Falls are always dangerous, but even more so when you fall down a stairway. As compared to landing on a level surface, falls down stairs involve tumbling down a bumpy series of steps with hard edges. Normal falling reflexes cannot minimize suffering an injury in a stairway fall. This type of accident can result in serious or even fatal injuries.
Premises Liability Services
Many factors can contribute to stairway accidents, including stairway defects and dangerous conditions. Common causes of stair fall incidents include:
- Building code violations: Builders and property owners in Nebraska must comply with the building code, which includes specific requirements for stairs. If you fell down a stairway with building code violations that caused your injuries, the property owner may be liable.
- Slippery surfaces: Carpet or wood in a stairway can become worn and slippery with wear. Stairs made of highly polished wood or tile may be inherently slippery. Rain, snow, or ice accumulated on outdoor stairs can make them slippery and dangerous.
- Faulty handrails: The building code requires handrails for certain types of stairs. They must be of a certain height and width and must be installed correctly. When handrails are the wrong height, when they are missing, or when they are loose and pulled away from the wall, it can lead to serious stairway accidents.
- Improper or uneven step height or depth: For safety, building codes specify minimum and maximum height and depth for stair steps, and a maximum variance from one step to another. Too much difference from one step to the next can cause a fall.
- Missing or damaged steps: Staircases can deteriorate with time and wear and tear. Wood can rot and metal can rust though. Stairways with steps that are missing or damaged create a serious risk of falls.
- Objects left in stairways: It is dangerous to store items or leave objects on stairs – it clutters up the stairway and creates a tripping hazard. Outdoor stairs should be routinely cleared of fallen leaves and other debris.
If property owner negligence caused your stairway accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses. Common types of compensation in premises liability claims include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages or earnings
- Reduced earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
If a defective stairway caused your fall, the property owner may be liable for your injuries. To prevail in a premises liability claim for stair fall injuries, you must show that either:
- The property owner caused the dangerous condition on the stairway;
- The owner (or an employee) knew of the dangerous condition and did nothing to correct it; or
- The property owner (or an employee) should have reasonably known about the dangerous condition and taken care of it.
The rules of modified comparative negligence are applied to injury claims in Nebraska. Compensation for the losses you have suffered can be reduced by a percentage of fault assigned to you for your accident and injuries. For example, if your damages totaled $100,000 and you were assigned 10% of the fault, your compensation would be reduced to $90,000.
Your best course of action after a serious stairway accident is to consult with an experienced Omaha personal injury attorney. Bottlinger Law L.L.C. was founded in 2013, and Jason Bottlinger has been practicing since 2006. Call us at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation. We can tell you if you have a case against the property owner and what damages you may be entitled to claim.
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