Falls on Uneven Stairs in Indiana: Injuries Stemming from Varying Heights & Broken Stairs
We have all done it. Walking down a stairway believing we have encountered the last step only to learn there is another step we missed - and then down we go. Why do step heights matter? It’s because the human brain has a “sixth sense” called “balance.” Did you know more people often fall down stairways where the steps are or different or varying heights? It doesn’t seem to make sense at first. Why would more people fall down stairs just because one step might be a different height than the one immediately preceding or before it? It’s because of the human brain.
For most people, “balance” can be an issue of routine or habit. When a person takes steps down a stairway, a message is being sent to the brain to expect the same step each time going down. The brain “sees” the steps, but the “balance” sense in the human brain has told the body to expect the same step each time. When a step is a few inches taller or shorter than the one before it, it is often not seen or recognized as being there when looked at by the human eye. We are expecting the same step – time after time. When the step is a different height, the chances of falling are increased as our foot must reach further or meet resistance before we can anticipate it. And down we go.
Seek compensation for your injuries with help from Shaw Law. Reach out to us today at (260) 777-7777 to schedule your free consultation.
Uneven Stairs and Indiana Building Codes
The law is starting to recognize the extreme danger involved in a stairways where the steps are of different heights. Indiana law, like most states, requires steps in a stairway to be the same or uniform heights are else it is called a “building code violation.” Indiana has administrative building codes that are codified into law you can cite in court when attempting to hold a business owner, landlord, or landowner liable for your fall.
Some buildings were constructed a long time ago and the current Indiana Building Codes do not apply or “go back” to the date of the construction. But just because a building code might not be in violation, this does not that a reasonable owner or landowner wouldn’t put stairs there. Remember – a building code violation is not “automatic” negligence on the part of the landowner in a court of law. It is evidence of negligence and probably entitles your case to not be dismissed prior to a jury trial, but fault must still be proven at that stage.
A violation of a building code helps you prove negligence in your case, but you must show more. Let us help you reach your goal. The safety concept is called making different or varying height steps “conspicuous” or observable with safety features such as yellow paint or other visual clues on the stairway. Handrails also help the human eye “recognize” that the levels of ground are not the same and provide an extra means of balancing oneself while walking down.
Risks Posed by Uneven Stair Heights & Depths
Uneven stair heights or broken stairs pose a risk to everyone who encounters it. Uneven stair depths or heights as well as broken risers, stairs, or handrails can pose a great risk for falls. Injuries due to uneven stairs or broken stairs can be serious or even deadly. Hazardous stair conditions can pose risks for people of all ages and abilities.
If you or your loved one suffered an injury due to falls on uneven stairs, it is important to contact a trip-and-fall lawyer in Indiana like ours at Shaw Law. This is because stairs are required to meet building codes to minimize the risk of falls. If it is determined that the stairs are not up to code, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Here at Shaw Law, we know how to apply the administrative Indiana building codes to your case in order to recover compensation for victims and their families. Our experienced team of lawyers can help victims and their families recover compensation for damages under Indiana law when falls on uneven or broken stairs result in catastrophic injury.
Common Causes of Stairwell Falls
Stairwell falls can be quite catastrophic and may result in serious harm. The most common causes of stairwell falls due to uneven stairs include uneven stair heights or depths of varying degrees. Another cause of stairwell falls is improper stair height or depth according to the building code. While the defect may not have necessarily caused the fall, it may have played a contributing factor. Speaking with a trip-and-fall lawyer in Indiana can help you to determine if uneven stair height or depth caused or contributed to your fall.
Other causes of stairwell falls include spills or debris on stairs or bunched up carpet on stairs. Any of these common issues with uneven stairs that cause you to fall could result in liability.
Personal Injuries from Falling on Uneven or Broken Stairs
Personal injuries from falling on uneven or broken stairs can be catastrophic. Some victims manage to suffer minor injuries, while others suffer serious or even fatal injuries.
Injuries commonly occurring from a fall on uneven stairs include the following:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Brain injuries (i.e. concussion, hemorrhage, hematoma, traumatic brain injuries [TBI])
- Paralysis due to a spinal cord injury (i.e. quadriplegia or paraplegia)
- Back injuries (i.e. disc herniation, sprains, strains, bulging disc, or fractured vertebra)
- Neck injuries (i.e. cervical dislocation, neck fracture, neck sprain, strain, whiplash, or other neck injury)
- Injuries to internal organs
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Wrongful death
- Other injuries occur from a fall on uneven stairs
Victims Hurt in Falls on Uneven Stairs Should Call Our Trip-and-Fall Lawyers in Indiana
Victims who are injured by falls on uneven stairs in Indiana should call our experienced trip-and-fall lawyers at Shaw Law for a FREE consultation to learn more about what your rights may be.
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