Most people don’t think twice when ascending or descending stairways. We all use stairs so often that it rarely occurs to us to look for possible hazards.
However, some stairs, steps and stairways provide the ideal environment for a slip and fall accident.
Stair accident statistics of note
According to one source, more than a million Americans suffer a stair-related injury annually. Most of these victims are very young or elderly. About every six minutes, a U.S. child under age 5 receives medical treatment for a staircase injury. Due to their muscle mass and bone structure, women are more likely than men to sustain injuries in a stair accident.
As you can see, steps and stairs are not as safe as most people believe. You can substantially reduce your risk of sustaining a trip, slip or fall injury by looking out for hazardous staircase elements. Examples of such hazards include:
- Poor or absent lighting
- Loose or broken handrails
- Warped, missing or damaged treads
- Water, snow or ice on steps or landings
- Frayed, torn or loose carpeting on treads and landings
While taking the stairs can contribute to good health and fitness, it isn’t worth the effort if an injury occurs. Take a good look at the condition of stairwells and consider using the elevator if they appear hazardous.
Property owners must ensure their premises are safe for customers and visitors. When owners fail to ensure safety and an injury occurs, you can seek compensation for your harm in a legal setting. A good starting point is to familiarize yourself with Illinois premises liability laws.