Faulty railings and stairs can cause an accident that leads to serious injuries and significant damages. Victims of these trip, slip and fall accidents can file a premises liability claim, which address injuries sustained while on someone else’s property in Colorado. Injury attorneys in Aurora will examine the conditions of the property for any evidence of negligence.
Accidents Stemming from Unsafe Stairs or Railings
Not all railings or stairs-related accidents will warrant filing a claim. But if it’s believed the property owner was negligent and the injuries sustained were serious, compensation may be available. Fall injuries are the most common when it comes to steps and rails. Often these are slip and fall accidents from the stairs.
There can be a variety of reasons that stairs aren’t safe, such as:
- inadequate lighting;
- worn or broken stairs; and
- wet, icy or snowy conditions.
Railings might be unsafe due to missing or loose bolts that keep them fixed in place. Other causes are missing spindles or a lack of installed handrails. Another example is when the openings between spindles or other types of railings are spaced too far apart.
Building code violations are another potential cause for stairs or railings to be unsafe. For instance, the height and depth of the steps might not be up to code. The International Residential Code’s Stair Building Code stipulates that the greatest riser height can’t be more than 7 ¾ inches. They also can be no less than 10 inches deep.
Handrails can’t project more than 4 ½ inches from either side. The minimum clear width of a single handrail is 31 ½ inches and is 27 inches when there are two handrails.
Guards are also a requirement on railings for ramps, porches, balconies or any other type of raised floor surface that is more than 30 inches from the ground. Guards must be at least 36 inches in height. The sides of open stairs are also required to have guards.
There may be other codes that could establish a violation. Colorado injury attorneys in Aurora handling the case may refer to an expert who can examine the stairway to determine if it meets code or if certain hazards are present.
Establishing Liability for Injuries Resulting from a Stairs Accident
In order to hold a property owner responsible for slip and fall accidents caused by stairs or railings, it must be established that the owner was negligent. If it is found that nothing was done to correct the hazardous condition to prevent an accident, then the owner may be found negligent.
Sometimes a property owner doesn’t know about a condition but still may be found liable if it was reasonable to expect the owner to know about it; for instance, if the owner had been negligent in regularly inspecting and maintaining the property.
Along with establishing negligence, it will be necessary to prove that because of the negligence and the conditions of the railings or stairs, an accident occurred that caused serious injuries.
Get Legal Help from Colorado Injury Attorneys for a Case in Aurora
Talking to D.J. Banovitz may help injured victims learn if they have the right to seek compensation through a trip or slip and fall accident claim. Call 303-300-5060 to set up a consultation with a Colorado injury attorney in Aurora about a stairs accident.