Falls can and do happen anywhere. Whether tripping in a parking lot, slipping on a wet floor, or tumbling down a flight of stairs at Walmart, these incidents can result in serious injury. Stairs in particular pose a serious hazard; a fall down a flight of stairs will almost certainly end with some sort of injury. If you experienced a stair-related injury due to unsafe conditions, and were on someone else’s property, you might be awarded compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.
According to the National Safety Council, more than one million American’s suffer stair accidents each year. Staircase and stairway accidents account for the second leading cause of accidental injury, second to motor vehicle accidents. Stairway accidents cause 12,000 deaths each year. These statistics don’t account for the unreported falls that result in minor injuries. Stair accidents happen all the time; think of how many times you’ve tripped up the stairs or missed one on the way down. We see these accidents in private homes, apartment complexes, public shopping centers, hotels, and at work. As with other falls, injuries range from mild to severe. These can include:
While some injuries lead to mild discomfort or a few days home from work, severe situations can lead to life-changing (even fatal) injuries. Unfortunately, the older you get, the more serious consequences from falling can be; falls are the most common cause of death for people over 85. In fact, out of all fall-related deaths in the United States, 60% happened to those 75 and older.
Stair accidents are dangerous regardless of age, and they have a number of causes. A broken step, missing handrails, or improper maintenance of a flight of stairs can contribute to falls.
There are several types of negligence that can lead to a serious injury from a staircase fall. These can include:
When stair accidents occur on someone else’s property, the property owner may have been negligent in his or her responsibility as an owner. In such a case, courts may hold the property owner responsible, and you can file a claim against that person.
In a personal injury case, you and your attorney will work to prove the property owner was negligent in some way that contributed to your accident and subsequent injuries. The property owner will likely say you are responsible in some way for the accident. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence clause, which means even if you are partly responsible, if negligence was involved, you may still get compensation. As long as the state finds you less than 51% at fault, you can still collect compensation.
Courts award compensation based on this percentage. For example, if you were texting while going down the stairs and tripped over a broken piece of concrete, you might be 20% at fault. You would then receive 80% of the remaining amount of compensation.
Common damages after a stair accident include medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For each of these, courts award a specific amount that, when combined, total the value of your case. Because slips and falls are common, the US estimates compensation amounts exceed $70 billion each year.
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert works with stair accident and slip and fall victims all over Texas, including Dallas/Fort Worth. We will fight to secure the compensation needed to pay medical bills and other expenses. We provide effective and skilled representation and have experience in more than 50 jury trials. Furthermore, Aaron A. Herbert is proud to be part of the 2% of Board Certified Personal Injury attorneys in Texas. We offer a free consultation and there is no fee or expense unless you recover. Contact us today to discuss your case. If you’re in the San Antonio area reach out to our San Antonio Slip and Fall lawyers.