How To Prove Fault After A Stair-related Incident

2 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog

If you were injured while walking up or down a flight of stairs at a business, you might be able to sue. This can be a complicated lawsuit since stairs already pose a danger, and if you were not careful, you might be the one liable for the accident. Here is more information on how to handle this type of case and prove fault.

Can you prove liability?

The first thing you need to know about proving liability is that in order to prove it was someone else's fault, the incident must fit within certain criteria. For example, if an employee or the business owner caused the conditions of the stairs that led to the accident, they could be held liable. You must be able to prove that it was an employee who spilled something or caused a worn spot on the stairs. Another way to hold them liable is if an employee or business owner was aware of the dangerous surface on the stairs and did not fix it, or if there was a dangerous surface that a reasonable person should have noticed and repaired.

Were you careless?

One thing that the defense will attempt to use against you is to prove that you were careless. Even if the surface was a little worn, such as carpeting with a fold in it, your carelessness can have an effect on the case's outcome. If you were running up the stairs or not using the handrail when you had the slip-and-fall accident, then you might have a problem winning your case. However, the level of carelessness is also considered. Just because you weren't using the handrail doesn't necessarily mean the incident was entirely your fault. Knowing the difference is where a lawyer will be helpful.

Was the floor slippery or wet?

A common reason that you might have fallen down the stairs is due to a slippery surface. This occurs when the stairs are made from concrete or other hard surfaces, particularly when they are outside and susceptible to rain and ice. It is your responsibility to use extra caution when walking up or down stairs that might be slippery. If it is raining out and you slip on stairs simply because they are wet, you might not have a case against the building owner. However, if the reason they were so slippery is because the owner failed to put up a sign that they recently washed them, it could be their fault. For more information, see