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Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers > Blog > Slip Fall > Who is Liable for a Fall Down the Stairs?

Who is Liable for a Fall Down the Stairs?


Slip and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere and at any time. There are, however, certain areas where these kinds of accidents are more likely to occur. Staircases, for instance, whether at home, in a business, or in a public space, are common sites for both slip and fall and trip and fall accidents. Unfortunately, determining whether a property owner’s negligence was the cause of such an accident can be complicated, with insurers often arguing that it was merely a person’s carelessness that caused the fall.

How Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in Stairways 

Staircases always pose a risk to users, even those who use the greatest care when navigating them. That’s why inattention is often deemed the cause of many slip and fall accidents that occur in stairwells. This is not, however, the only cause of such accidents, many of which can be attributed to one of the following issues:

  • Inadequate lighting, which can make it difficult for visitors to see the steps, increasing the chance of a misstep and an eventual fall;
  • Slippery surfaces from leaks, spills, or even inclement weather;
  • Uneven or wobbly steps, which can happen over time as a building ages and settles, or as a result of excessive wear and tear;
  • Worn, damaged, or weak stair treads;
  • Uneven risers, which can create an unexpected step height;
  • Failing to install nosing with grip-enhancing materials for firmer foot placement; and
  • Broken or missing handrails, the absence of which can compromise a user’s balance.

If any of these problems contributed to a person’s slip and fall accident, the owner of the property where the fall occurred could end up being held liable for the victim’s medical bills and other losses.

Property Owner Liability 

In Florida, property owners who invite others on to their premises are required to take certain steps to keep visitors safe. This includes inspecting and maintaining their property, as well as conducting regular repairs when necessary. A property owner who failed to take these steps could be held responsible for a visitor’s slip and fall accident and subsequent injury. However, in order to obtain compensation, the claimant would likely need to provide strong evidence of the owner’s negligence. This can be achieved by taking photographs of the accident scene that highlight the stairway’s hazards, like a wet surface, a lack of handrails, or uneven steps. Other evidence could include witness statements from those who saw the accident happen, medical records demonstrating the type and severity of the claimant’s injuries, and inspection reports that could indicate a property owner’s awareness of (and failure to address) the hazard.

Contact an Experienced Tampa Slip and Fall Lawyer 

Dealing with the aftermath of a slip and fall accident can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this ordeal on your own. At Anderson & Anderson, our experienced Tampa slip and fall lawyers can guide you through every step of the claim filing process, giving you the best possible chance of recovery. Call us at 813-251-0072 or reach out to us via online message to get started today.




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