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Identifying potential liability concerns on staircases

Many Texas residents use stairs every day to navigate their way through buildings and homes. It's rare that a fall happens, but when someone takes a tumble on a staircase, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic. This is why property owners are legally required to maintain their staircases in a way that keeps them free of potential tripping hazards. Failing to maintain safe stairs can open up a property owner to serious liability concerns in the event of an accident.

Here is a list of potential problem that could lead to a property owner being liable in the case of a stair-related fall:

-- Steps that have worn down or become rounded.

-- Steps that are littered with trash, debris, pieces of paper, gum or dirt.

-- Steps that are polished or waxed with materials that don't offer a non-skid surface.

-- Steps that have a broken or missing handrail.

-- Steps that lack sufficient lighting to make them easy to navigate in the evening hours.

One of the most common kinds of premises liability claims relates to stair-related falls. When someone falls and seriously hurts him or herself on a staircase that has one of the above issues -- or another serious premises liability problem -- the injured person may have a viable claim to seek financial damages in court. Of course, if the plaintiff wishes to prevail in such a case, he or she will need to prove that the property owner knew -- or should have known -- that the danger was present and failed to correct it in a timely fashion.


Source: FindLaw, "Indoor Slip and Fall Accident Conditions," accessed June 09, 2017

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