Business owners and landlords have to worry about premises liability when people come onto their properties. Premises liability is the basic legal concept that makes a property owner or tenant responsible for its maintenance and the safety of any visitors.
When someone fails to maintain a property appropriately, other individuals on that property can wind up severely hurt. Those injuries might eventually lead to insurance claims or even premises liability lawsuits.
Stairways, in particular, are a frequent source of premises liability claims. While people can fall down a set of stairs through no fault of a property owner, negligent maintenance often contributes to a stairway injury.
Proper lighting and flooring are the keys to stairway safety
There are many risks involved with going up or down a set of stairs. Frequently changing your center of gravity as you step creates numerous opportunities to fall. When the stairway is poorly lit, poorly maintained or dirty, your chances of losing your footing and falling increase.
Landlords and property owners need to routinely inspect their properties, especially high-risk areas like stairways. Checking to ensure that flooring is intact and secure is critical, as peeling tile or curling carpet could make someone trip or slip.
Ensuring that light fixtures work and that bulbs have not burned out is also important. People can’t see the next step in front of them or avoid obstacles, like a child’s dropped toy if they can’t see the stairs around them. Landlords also need to ensure that there is a handrail, as having something to grab can be the final form of protection for someone who has started to fall.
If you fell down a set of stairs on a property without adequate lighting, with damaged flooring or without handrails, those issues could be a sign of negligence. If you can convince the courts that failing to maintain the property was the primary reason you fell, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and any property damage you suffered.