When You Fall Down a Stairway Can You Pursue a Slip and Fall claim?

A fall due to a defective stairway or railing can result in serious personal injures including fractures, head injuries and dislocated shoulders, elbows, and ankles.

As in all slip and fall accidents, you must prove who owned or controlled the property, that they were negligent, that you suffered damages and that the negligence caused your damages.

Proving Negligence

Usually, the main issue is proving that the defendant was negligent. One of the ways of proving that the defendant was negligent is to show that the stairway or railing was defective. This can be accomplished by learning whether the stairway or railing violated any laws, rules, codes or industry standards. In addition you may have a claim against the contractor who built the stairs or person who designed the stairs or railings if any such defects can be attributed to them.


An investigation as to whether an owner, builder, or person who designed the stairway or railings was negligent should include finding out when the stairs and/or railings were constructed, the names of the contractor and person who designed the stairway, photos of the stairway and any railings, measurements of the stairway, steps, and any railings, research of any applicable laws, rules, codes, regulations or industry standards, and an analysis of whether the stairway or railing violated any such laws, rules, etc. This would usually be performed by an experienced slip and fall attorney.

An example of a law, rule, or regulation which applies to stairways and railings is the Building Code which contains requirements as to the existence, dimensions, and materials to be used when constructing stairways and railings.

The intent of the Building Code is to insure public safety, health and welfare and a violation of a safety regulation is evidence of negligence on the part of the violator as to all consequences that the regulation was intended to prevent.

You can get more information about personal injury claims including how claims are processed and evaluated, steps in a lawsuit, hiring an attorney and mistakes that can ruin your claim by ordering our free book or by contacting Attorney Bob Allison at 978-740-9433.