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Legal Blog

Broken Staircase Injuries: What Should You Do?

Like all accidents, your health and safety should be your top priority after you’ve fallen down a staircase. Next, act to preserve your legal rights. Premises liability cases depend on the facts of your case, especially what caused your accident, so do what you can to get as much of this evidence as you can.

Slip and fall cases, also known as premises liability cases, can be complex because you must prove a dangerous condition was hidden or that the owner knew about it, which is not always easy.

What Causes Falls Down Stairs?

You may have fallen for many reasons, including the fact the staircase is:

  • Uneven
  • Wet and slippery
  • Obstructed by an object you tripped on
  • Poorly lit, so you couldn’t see there was a problem
  • Covered in a torn carpet
  • So weakened it collapsed under your weight
  • Lacking a handrail
  • Not constructed up to the applicable building code

Common Injuries Caused by Falls Down Stairs?

Injuries can range from mild to fatal. They can depend on your age, overall health, what part of your body was injured, and how severely. They can range from sprains to spinal injuries, brain injuries, and broken hips.

Over 23 years, authors of an article in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine estimated an average of 1,076,558 patients were seen in U.S. hospital emergency departments annually due to staircase-fall-related injuries.

The most common were:

  • Sprains and strains – 32%
  • Soft tissue injuries – 23.8%
  • Bone fractures – 19.3%

The areas of the body most often injured were the lower extremities – 42.1% – and the head and neck – 21.6%. Those 10-years-old and younger had more head and neck injuries, while older adults had more fractures than younger patients.

What Should I Do After Falling?

You should protect yourself first by getting medical attention then protect your legal rights.

Get Medical Treatment

If you lost consciousness, ideally, another person called an ambulance for you. If you’re still awake and feel seriously injured, or came to after blacking out, call an ambulance or have someone call for you. Walking around after a severe injury can make it worse. You may also be too injured to drive safely.

If you feel you can get up without major problems, do so, but get medical attention as soon as you can. That can be at a hospital emergency department, urgent care center, or physician. They may diagnose you with injuries you don’t realize you have. They’ll also document your injuries and their severity, critical issues to your legal claim.

Document the Accident

You or someone with you should take videos or pictures of the stairs, what caused you to fall, and where you landed. If anyone else was around to see you fall, get their names and contact information to tell us what they witnessed.

Through a video or written statement, state what you were doing when going down the stairs. Your shoes and clothing may become an issue. If you can’t put them aside until your claim is over, at least make sure they’re in the photos and videos in case they become an issue in your claim.

Report the Accident

The stairs may be in an office, a ramp garage, a store, a sports facility, or a parking area. You could be a guest in someone’s home or a privately owned or government building. No matter the situation, report what happened to whoever is responsible for the stairs. Get their names, give them the necessary facts as best as you can recall, and get – or at least ask for.

The Less You Say, the Better

When you talk to the person in the building, stay calm, don’t get angry, and act professionally. Don’t blame anyone, and don’t accept any blame others may put on you. Limit what you say to immediate family members, and don’t post anything about the accident or your injuries on social media. Avoid talking to insurance adjusters.

What you say to others and what’s on social media may be used as evidence against you. What you report to an adjuster may result in the insurance carrier denying or reducing your claim.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Most of those responsible for staircase-related injuries deny they’re to blame. They’ll say you caused your injuries, so evidence supporting your claim is critical. Your best option is usually working with an experienced personal injury lawyer. This lets you focus on healing while your attorney fights for what you deserve.

The Krist Law Firm, P.C., knows the law, your rights, and how to present a claim to establish their liability. These cases can be complex, so trying to collect your claim by yourself can mean a settlement worth far less than what it’s worth.

Compensation for Injuries on Broken Steps

Generally, under Texas law, if a hidden and dangerous condition on a property presents an unreasonable risk to you, the owner or manager is responsible for fixing it or at least blocking it off until it’s repaired. If the property owner knew of this danger, it wasn’t open and obvious, and the owner failed to repair it on time, then they were negligent.

Because the owner didn’t live up to their legal obligation, caused the accident, and your injuries, the owner would be obligated to compensate you for the harm you suffered due to your fall.

Contact Our Houston Slip and Fall Lawyers for Help

Without help from a premise liability claim, you may not get the medical and rehabilitation you need and the compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering you’ve endured. By retaining a Houston slip and fall lawyer from The Krist Law Firm, P.C., you’ll have someone on your side, ready and able to fight for your legal rights to compensation.

Call us today at (281) 283-8500 to learn more.