Injuries from Falling Down Stairs - Lawyer Help
Injuries from Falling Down Stairs - Lawyer Help
There's nothing funny about someone falling down a flight of stairs, especially when that someone happens to be you. The fact is that people falling down the stairs is one of the most common injuries to be found. A fall can happen in a private residence, at a place of business, or within a municipal building. Whatever the setting, it's important to take falling down stairs seriously.
If this hasn't happened to you in the past, what should you do after sustaining a fall?
Here's some basic information that will help you get an idea of how this sort of thing can happen, what you should do immediately afterward, and ultimately what sort of legal action you may want to take.
What Can Cause a Stairway Accident?
There are many situations that can lead to people falling down stairs. Many of them involve negligence on the part of someone, while others have to do with elements that may or may not be under someone's direct control. Here are a few examples of what can lead someone to slip on the stairs and possibly end up with a serious injury:
- Shoddy construction can lead to accidents. Simply put, a questionable design paired with poor construction can easily lead to a fall.
- Missing or damaged handrails. Many people hold onto handrails when using stairs. If those rails are loosened, broken, or otherwise not stable, falling is more likely.
- Weakened steps. If the stairs are not maintained properly, they can incapable of sustaining weight. One quick break is all it takes for someone to go tumbling down the remaining stairs.
- Loose carpeting. All it takes is bunching up in one place to catch a toe and lead to a faster descent.
- Slippery steps. Ice or water makes it harder to remain upright when using stairs.
- Obstructions. If any items are left cluttering the stairs, it's easier to lose footing while trying to move around them.
- Poor lighting. A stairwell without adequate lighting is a perfect setting to misjudge and miss a step. The result can be a tumble down the remaining stairs.
These are only some of the potential situations that could lead to serious stair fall injuries. The bottom line is that if the stairs are unsafe in any way, then there's potential to sustain a fall.
Common Injuries from Falling Down Flights of Stairs
What sort of injuries can result from falling down stairs? Consider the fact that falling down a standard flight of steps involves the entire body. That means there is no part of the body that is safe from injury. Here are some examples to consider:
- Broken bones are among the most common injuries from falling down stairs. Those bones may involve the legs, the arms, or the ankles.
- Back injuries are also common. In the worst-case scenario, there's spinal cord damage. While it's possible to fully recover from some back injuries, others will remain for the rest of the person's life.
- Contusions and lacerations. Deep cuts due to striking sharp edges on the way down can happen to any part of the body.
- Foot injuries. Along with ankle damage, it's possible to sustain foot injuries from falling down stairs. Broken toes, deep lacerations, and bruising can easily be part of the outcome.
Falling down stairs may lead to injuries that heal quickly, or the fall may mean living with a decrease in the quality of health for the rest of your life. A lot depends on the type of injuries you sustain and what can be done to help you recover from them.
What to Do After Falling Down the Stairs
Stair fall injuries are not the type of thing where people normally rise to their feet, dust themselves off, and declare they are fine. Even if there doesn't seem to be any immediate damage, it's not a good idea to assume all is well. The most practical thing to do is to seek medical attention at once.
While you may slip on the stairs and initially feel more embarrassed than hurt, now is not the time to shrug the incident off. As soon as possible, see a doctor. If you're still ambulatory, call and make your way there at once. In the event that you feel extreme pain upon trying to stand, don't hesitate to arrange for an ambulance to take you to a hospital emergency room.
Without a doubt, if there's blood involved or if a limb seems to be at an unusual angle, you need medical help at once. Quick action may prevent the injury from getting worse. At the least, seeing a medical professional will provide you with some idea of what sort of treatment you will need.
Someone falling down the stairs could mean taking it easy for a few days while the soreness fades. It might mean you need an operation to deal with internal injuries or to reset a bone that's at a precarious angle. The only way to know for sure is to seek out medical services as soon after slipping down stairs as you can.
Knowing what to do after falling down the stairs is primarily about protecting your health. It's also about determining if you need to take any other type of action after falling on stairs. In other words, what the doctor finds could be crucial to deciding what needs to be done as you recover.
Determining Who is Responsible
Someone or some chain of events set the stage for you to fall down the stairs. How do you figure out who is responsible? There's more than one possibility to consider.
Generally, property owners will be considered liable for injuries sustained when people fell down the steps inside their buildings or even down steps found on the grounds. If your fall took place in an office building, retail shop, or other settings, the owner is likely to be responsible.
If you were at work, slipping down stairs may indicate that your employer is responsible for what took place. This is especially true if a failure to keep the stairs clean and free of obstructions occurs. It may also apply if no action was taken to ensure the stairs were not slippery or icy.
The person who was walking ahead of you down a flight of steps and who happened to drop a banana peel may also be responsible for your tripping and falling. In that case, it won't be some entity that is responsible; the negligence is the fault of an individual.
When someone shows up and asks what happened, you will likely respond "I fell down the stairs." The next question is bound to be "why?" and it would be good if you had some sort of answer ready. Be aware of what may have caused the fall, and you will be in a better position to decide if anything other than medical care is appropriate.
Seeking a Settlement or Take It to Court?
You already know what to do after falling down the stairs: get examined by a medical professional. After knowing what sort of care is needed, consider who is responsible for you falling on stairs. If it was completely due to something that you did, such as failing to tie a shoelace, then there's not much left to do other than follow the doctor's orders.
If someone else was responsible for the common injuries from falling down stairs that you sustained, some sort of legal action is appropriate. You will need to see a lawyer and determine what sort of action to take. Most likely, the lawyer will gather information, contact the responsible party, and attempt to negotiate a settlement.
In the event that the party is not open to negotiation, the remaining course of action is to file a suit and take the matter to court. Be aware that a court case can continue for a long time. In the interim, you will still need to focus on recovering to whatever degree is possible. Your lawyer can focus on handling all the legal aspects.
Compensation in the USA
While falling down is an accident, there's a good chance someone is responsible. As long as the responsible party isn't you, seeking compensation makes sense. In the United States, a number of factors may influence the type of compensation that you can seek.
Reimbursing out-of-pocket medical costs after someone falls down the stairs is always factored into the request for compensation. If you have to miss work, lost wages and salaries may also be considered. Assuming that you will need ongoing medical treatment due to the fact you fell down the steps, that can be considered as well.
Essentially, any type of expense directly related to that fall down the stairs may be considered. After retaining legal services and describing to your lawyer that "I fell down the stairs because...", you can bet the legal counsel will already be thinking along the lines of how the event affects you now and will affect you in the future.
Contact a Falling Accident Injury Lawyer Now
Falling down stairs is nothing to take lightly. The potential for someone falling down a flight of stairs and sustaining a serious injury is significant. As soon as you receive medical care, start looking for legal representation.
At Linden Law we have lawyers who focus on helping people falling down the stairs get the compensation they deserve. Retain legal counsel as soon as you can. Follow the lawyer's instructions to the letter, and cooperate in every way possible. Doing so increases the odds of receiving the type of financial support that you deserve.