A slip-and-fall accident can lead to serious injuries no matter where you are, but it is perhaps most dangerous when it happens on a stairway. A simple fall could lead to life-changing head, brain or spinal cord injuries. These types of falls happen in apartment buildings, stores, malls, hotels, amusement parks and many other locations where you do not have complete control over the safety of your surroundings.
The key, then, is to know what warning signs to look out for so that you can spot a hazardous staircase before an accident takes place. Some signs include:
- Staircases that have been carpeted
- Stair treads that are cracked or broken
- Staircases without proper handrails
- Handrails that have come loose from the wall
- Stairs that do not have adequate lighting
- Doors that are positioned to swing into the stairway, rather than away from it
- Steps that have collapsed or sunk in the middle
- Staircases that are too narrow to move comfortably
- Treads that are of an abnormal size, especially when they themselves are too narrow
- Stair treads that are not all exactly the same height
- Newell posts that are loose, missing or not installed properly
- Stairs that are exposed to the weather, such as outdoor staircases that get slick when it rains
- Stairways with snag hazards
These are not all of the dangers you may face, but they help you know what to look out for and how you can stay safe. Remember, if you do suffer injuries in a fall, you may have a right to seek out financial compensation for your costs.