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Types of falls on stairs and seeking damages

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2021 | Blog, Premises Liability |

A study from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine shows that approximately 1 million stair injuries occurred in the country between 1990 and 2012. Stairs are necessary in many buildings in Hayward, California, but they can present a fall hazard. Since stairs are an uneven surface, they can cause several serious injuries.

Types of injury caused by stairs

A report from 2012 reveals that sprains and strains make up about 32.3% of injuries on stairs. A strain is a minor injury that causes pulled muscles from ligaments stretching too far, and a sprain is the tearing of ligaments. Other minor injuries from stairs include bruises, especially on the buttocks, and minor cuts and scrapes.

Back pain is a more serious injury caused by a herniated disc, which occurs when the cushions of the vertebrae get damaged. A 2013 study found that the risk of foot and ankle fractures on stairs is double that of the same injury on even ground. Stairs also pose a risk of traumatic brain injury, which is brain damage from hitting a hard surface.

Compensation for injuries

If the fall happened outside the home, the injured party may be able to seek damages. Premises liability law requires property owners to keep their property safe and holds them liable for damages.

The plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care to make the stairs safe. The owner must have been negligent in correcting the problem, which they had time to know about and fix, and the negligence must be shown to have caused injury. Visitor status can impact whether a defendant can collect damages; a property owner owes no duty of care to a trespasser.

An injured party should immediately seek medical attention after a bad fall, even if they don’t feel any symptoms. Some injury symptoms don’t show immediately, and there could be internal injury. The person will also need proof of injuries to use in court, and waiting may make the injury seem less serious, so it’s worthwhile to see a doctor.

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