Suffering an injury caused by a defective stairway accident in Rhode Island can leave permanent physical, emotional and mental scars. These RI accidents can occur from faulty stair treads, broken handrails or a stair collapse caused by a poor design or shoddy construction.
Stairway accidents in Rhode island are extremely common and are often the result of improper design or maintenance. Statistics maintained by the U.S. National Safety Council indicate that nearly nine million individuals in the nation visit emergency rooms every year suffering from an injury caused by slipping and falling, including from accidents occurring on stairways. The most common stairway hazards involve:
• A lack of structural stairway integrity
• Construction that violates local and national building codes
• Design flaw
• Uneven surfaces
• Overused or overcrowded stairs
• Stair step constructed outside the minimum or maximum height and depth as set by accepted variance standards
• Defective handrails
• Handrails installed at the wrong height or built with low-quality materials
• Stairs built with inferior building materials
• Defective or worn stair surfaces
• A lack of inspections
• A lack of quality physical attributes of the stairway and its surrounding environment
• Improper repairs
• Rusted metal or rotting wood
• Slippery stair step surfaces caused by spilt liquids, rain, ice and accumulated snow
• Maintenance issue
Common Stairway Accident Injuries in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
The injuries caused by a stairway defect or collapse vary by accident from mild harm to death. The most common stairway accident injuries involve:
• Broken arms or legs
• Skull fractures
• Facial lacerations or bruising
• Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
• Pelvic fractures
• Broken nose or teeth
• Spinal cord injury including quadriplegia or paraplegia
• Permanent disfigurement
• Soft tissue injury
• Serious eye wound causing blindness
• Wrongful death
A devastating fall down a defective stairway in Rhode Island can easily lead to a fatality, especially when stairwell debris and the impact of the accident crushes the body, causing brain damage or extensive internal bleeding. In these cases, surviving family members acting through the executor of the estate of the deceased will bring civil action often referred to as a wrongful death cause of action against all parties at fault including the property owner or those in charge of the property.
A Claim for Premises Liability in Providence Superior Court
Owners, site managers and others in charge of the premises in RI are legally responsible for ensuring the well-being and safety of all visitors and employees on the property. This duty of care extends to providing structurally sound stairways and steps. Any breach of this responsibility is considered negligence and can hold those at fault financially accountable for the injuries and deaths that occur as a direct result of an accident.
Victims and surviving family members can file premises liability lawsuits in Rhode Island Superior Courts and claims for compensation against all parties at fault, which could include:
• Property Owners – Owners of the property can be held legally liable if they knew, or should have reasonably expected, that the stairway, stair step or stairwell was unstable and took no action to repair the problem or warn others.
• Landlords – Property owners that rent or lease the premises might be legally liable if the tenant informs the landlord of a hazardous unsafe stairwell and no action is taken to remedy it.
• Business Owners – Companies that own or lease building structures with defective or broken stairways may be liable for any injury resulting from the problem on the business grounds.
• Tenants and Occupiers – Any individual or business renting or occupying a structure has a legal duty to report a defective staircase or hazardous condition on the property. Any failure to report the problem might hold the tenant partially responsible for any other individual’s injury.
Stair collapse and defective stairway accidents in Rhode Island often leave victims with immense financial issues including medical expenses, missed income from time away from work and the loss of the ability to work in the future.
Victim suffering serious injuries in a stair collapse or from a defective stairway usually have the right to seek financial recompense under the state’s tort liability laws. However, these cases are complex and often require the experience of a reputable Rhode Island personal injury attorney to litigate. Having a RI negligence lawyer can ensure that the victim receives adequate recompense for their injuries, disabilities and suffering caused by the negligent action of those in charge of the property.