Stairwells can be a safe alternative to elevators in case of a fire, and
they can help burn a few calories and promote a healthy lifestyle. However,
leading studies show that nearly half of all personal injuries occur on
stairwells, and that stairwell injuries cost over $6.6 billion per year
to treat. That’s a great argument for just taking the elevator.
Elderly people are more prone to stairwell injuries. With our strong retirement
community in West Palm Beach, we should all be aware of what a stairwell
fall is, how it can happen, and who is responsible.
Falls occur when a person is thrown off balance. There are two common categories
of falling injuries: slips and trips.
- A slip occurs when there is too little friction between a person’s
shoe and the surface beneath it, causing the person to fall backward.
- A trip occurs when a person is thrown off balance and falls forward, usually
because an object gets in his way, or because he unexpectedly drops to
a lower level.
The following are some common causes of a stairwell injury where the property
owner might be at fault:
- Unclean floors that are sticky or slippery
- Floors that have been cleaned with non-compliant cleaning products, making
them sticky or slippery
- Improper lighting, so that people cannot accurately assess what’s
in front of them
- Obstacles, such as boxes or garbage on the steps, that may cause tripping
- Carpet or mats that are not properly attached to the ground, which can
cause slipping or tripping
Even when a stairwell seems to be in proper working order, is well-lit,
free of obstacles, and has good traction, the property owner may still
be responsible for falls that occur.
The law surrounding slip and fall injuries in Florida is complicated. If
you or a loved one has fallen on a West Palm Beach stairwell and suspect
that the conditions may have been unsafe, you should seek legal assistance.
Call 1-800-GOLDLAW for a free consultation with Craig Goldenfarb and his
team of Florida premises liability lawyers.