Have You Been Injured on Broken or Defective Stairs?
It is hard to avoid stairs during daily life, whether they are in a building where you live, one in which you work, where your children attend school, or leading to a building's front entrance.
Stairs are everywhere. They are often the only means to get from one area to another. There may be no other choice for those who wish to use a building or other establishment.
Most of the time, stairs are properly maintained and present minimal danger to those who use them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Some stairways are in disrepair or neglected by an owner. This can create a dangerous and unsafe condition unknown to those who wish to use the stairs. In other cases, stairs may be improperly designed or constructed. This can cause a person to trip and fall on the stairs, potentially leading to a serious injury.
What are Municipal Code Violations?
In Chicago and across Illinois, many stairways are governed by municipal codes. Local law may require strict compliance by those who own and maintain stairways to make them safe and accessible. When a building's owner fails to comply with this code and the failure causes injury to one using the steps, the victim may be able to bring a claim against the owner for the damages that occur as a result of the owner's negligence.
Most of the time, victims of stair injuries are unaware why they were hurt. They don't know whether it was due to any wrongdoing on the part of the building's owner. Most civilians are unaware of the intricacies that accompany municipal code regulations. This is one of the primary reasons that injury victims should choose to consult with lawyers. They need to learn whether their accident was due to negligent conduct by one or more individuals.
What are Common Hazards in Stairways?
While it may seem that most stairways are safe, in truth, many present obvious or hidden dangers. This can lead to slipping, falling, stumbling, or tripping on the stairs or stair coverings.
A common threat to safety is a broken stair. This occurs when the stair itself or a portion of the stair's support system is cracked, chipped, or broken. This limits the strength of the stair and can lead to a further stair collapse.
At times, a broken stair may be easy to identify if the break is obvious and the stairwell illuminated. In other cases, a broken stair might not be visible. For example, carpeting or a ruge may obscure the danger. Placing weight on a broken stair can cause the stair to give way. The patron using the stairs may fall into the stairwell or to fall up or down the flight of stairs. Any of these situations can lead to injuries, including fractures, back and neck injuries, or even death.
Another common issue with stairways presents itself when water or another slippery substance is present in the area. This is most common in stairs that are outdoors, like stairs to an outside deck or rooftop, or stairs under a leaky roof. Water that accumulates in an unnatural manner can pose a serious threat to safety and can lead to slip and falls on the stairs. This is true whether the water remains liquid or freezes into ice. This type of stair accident claim can be legally complicated and it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer experienced in these matters if you become a victim of a slippery stairway.
What Municipal Code Violations Can Cause Injuries?
The codes that govern public property in a city or in a state exist for a reason. They are there to increase safety while still making a building functional. The code lets the owner of the building continue to run his or her business but limits the risks of injury to patrons. In the case of stairs and stairways, municipal codes often govern many factors, including the:
- Height of individual steps
- Slope or incline of the flight of steps
- Presence or absence of handrails
- Degree to which the steps are able to curb or turn in a given area
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have experience representing accident victims who suffer injuries on stairways. The accident often occurs because an owner of a property was not in compliance with local stairway codes. We know that these injuries can be serious. When necessary, we enlist architects to examine, investigate, and measure the stairs at issue. This, so we can pursue all avenues available to help our clients obtain a proper and fair recovery.
Further, municipal codes may also govern the amount of light and location of light necessary in a stairwell. Especially one that is enclosed on either side by walls. Failing to provide adequate lighting unnecessarily creates a hazard to residents or visitors of a building. It increases the chances that a person using the stairs will sustain an injury.
Can Lawyers Help for Stairway Accidents and Injuries Chicago?
If you have injuries from a stairway incident in Chicago, you should seek legal guidance. You may have the right to a financial recovery for your damages against the individuals or companies responsible for the faulty stairway. This recovery can be sought through a civil claim brought by an injury lawyer. It may include a claim for any medical bills you incurred, lost wages you were unable to earn, and pain and suffering you incurred as a result of your accident.
The laws in Chicago and Illinois require accident victims to bring claims within a specified period of time. There is a statute of limitations. Failing to bring claims in this timely manner results in a victim's inability to make any recovery for their accident. This means anyone with injuries from a stairway incident should consider speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and find out if a recovery is possible.
Should You Call the Stairway Accident and Injury Lawyers at Abels & Annes?
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we provide free consultations to all injury victims. We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call at (312) 924-7575. Following an accident, do not let yourself continue to be a victim. Contact our legal team and let us help you get the maximum award possible for your injuries and damages.
If you suffer an injury in a stairway accident, call (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.