Stairway Fall Accidents
Many people trip or slip on the stairs and get hurt each year. Stairway falls can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, soft tissue injuries, disc damage, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, lacerations, and others. A property owner can be held responsible for a stairway fall under certain circumstances. However, as with other slip and fall cases, these lawsuits can be challenging to prove. It is important to retain a skillful litigator if you want to pursue damages. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, our New York City stairway accident attorneys may be able to help you recover damages to compensate for your injuries.Holding a Property Owner Accountable for a Stairway Fall
You can hold a property owner liable for a stairway fall if you can show that the property owner created a dangerous stairway condition that caused your accident, the property owner actually knew about a dangerous surface but did not provide warnings or fix it, or the property owner should have known about the dangerous condition because a reasonable property owner would have discovered it in the course of regular inspections and would have either fixed it or provided warnings to visitors.
Dangerous conditions that could result in a fall include broken handrails, changes in the step levels, broken steps, improperly constructed risers, construction debris, inadequate lighting, worn surfaces, or spilled substances in places like grocery stores or restaurants. When the steps are outdoors, snow or ice can accumulate on them, making them more dangerous. Additionally, it can be challenging to show the requisite amount of notice to a property owner when the dangerous condition is a temporary one involving snow or ice. Sometimes there is surveillance footage of the outside of a store that can be used to show how long the condition existed. However, in many cases, these temporary conditions only existed for a short time prior to an accident victim's slip and fall. A stairway accident attorney in New York City can determine how strong a claim you may have.
Even if you can prove a property owner's liability for your fall, a defendant may try to raise the defense that you were comparatively negligent. This means that you were partially or totally to blame for the fall. The court will look at whether your own carelessness contributed to your accident. You may be asked whether you watched where you were going, whether you were holding the rail as you descended or ascended, whether there were any distractions, or whether your vision was impaired. The jury will assign percentages of fault, and your damages will be reduced according to your percentage of fault, if any.
For example, if there was a parade outside as you visited a retail store, and you turned to look at the parade rather than watch the steps, which caused you to overlook a broken step and fall, the jury will likely assign you a percentage of fault. If, for example, the storeowner is assigned half of the fault, you would be able to recover half of your damages.
Premises liability cases have a number of pitfalls that an attorney can help you try to avoid. Some common obstacles include arguments that there was nothing wrong with the stairs, there was no actual or constructive notice, the plaintiff does not know what caused the fall, or the defect on the stairs was minimal or trivial.Consult a New York City Stairway Accident Attorney
A stairway fall can result in catastrophic injuries. If you want to hold a property owner in New York City liable for a stairway fall accident, it is crucial to retain a tough, experienced litigator. Newman, Anzalone & Newman has provided effective legal representation to victims seeking a stairway accident lawyer in New York City since 1978. We represent people in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-896-2700 or submit our online form. We also can assist people who need a sidewalk accident lawyer or advocacy in other premises liability claims.