Faulty Handrails and Stairwells
A property owner has a duty to maintain safe premises for visitors. This includes main areas of occupancy as well as surrounding areas that are often used, such as stairwells and ramps. When a property contains faulty handrails and unsafe stairwell conditions, serious injuries can occur. The premises liability lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are experienced in helping Miami residents who have been harmed by defective property conditions. Our firm assists individuals in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward Counties, as well as throughout South Florida, in seeking proper compensation for their injuries.Dangers of Faulty Handrails and Stairwells
Unsafe or faulty handrails and stairwells are particularly dangerous because they are often undetectable until after an injury has occurred. Stairs are particularly dangerous not only to the elderly but also children, who can sustain catastrophic injuries from falling down a stairwell. These accidents can be caused by various conditions that lead to a fall, including:
- Spilled substances;
- Poorly made, cracked, or decaying handrails;
- Uneven or damaged steps; or
- Inadequate lighting.
When property owners, or even those who participated in construction, have failed to provide a safe environment, they can and should be held liable for the injuries that result. Consulting a skilled premises liability attorney who can help you determine who is at fault for poor maintenance or craftsmanship can be important in making sure your legal rights are preserved.Holding a Negligent Property Owner Accountable for Damages
Florida law imposes a duty of reasonable care that property owners must exercise in maintaining their premises in a safe manner. Thus, they can be held responsible for injuries that occur on their property under the legal theory of premises liability. Generally, to establish liability, an injured person must show that a defendant either knew or should have known about a hazardous condition, such as a faulty handrail or unsafe stairwell condition, and failed to take adequate action to either fix the hazard or warn visitors of its presence.
For instance, if a customer at a store trips and falls because a step has been worn down, creating an uneven surface, the owner of the store would be liable for damages that resulted from that customer’s injuries. The duty of a property owner is highest when applied to people who are on the property for a business purpose. Social guests and trespassers, who are people not lawfully on the premises, receive lesser degrees of protection.
Even if an individual contributes to his or her own injury by being careless, this does not mean that he or she is barred from recovering any damages. Florida follows a pure comparative negligence scheme, which allows for damages in proportion to each party’s degree of fault. Under this system, even if a person is found to be 60 percent liable for causing the accident, he or she may still recover 40 percent of the damages from other parties that are found to have contributed to it. There is a limited time window to take legal action after an accident, however, so you should not hesitate to contact a lawyer. Failing to file a claim within the appropriate statute of limitations generally results in losing the right to seek compensation.Legal Guidance after a Slip and Fall in Fort Lauderdale
If you have been injured in the Fort Lauderdale area due to a faulty handrail or an unsafe stairwell, the slip and fall attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you explore your legal options and assert your right to compensation. Depending on your situation, you may be able to receive reimbursement for your medical costs and lost wages, as well as the pain and suffering caused by the accident. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case.