Thousands of people trip and fall or slip and fall on stairs every year. Some of these stumbles are unavoidable, but many are the fault of the person or company responsible for maintaining the property.
When a property owner or occupant negligently fails to maintain stairs and, as a result, someone else gets hurt, the owner or occupant could be held liable for the accident under our state’s premises liability laws.
Premises liability is the body of law which holds property owners, as well as those responsible for managing and maintaining their properties, legally liable for certain accidents that occur on their premises.
Here in Morristown, we have premises liability laws that can hold owners, as well as occupiers and lessees, financially responsible for injuries that are sustained on their property if the injured guest was harmed because of the owner, occupier, or lessee’s negligence.
This page covers the basics of defective stairs premises liability under Tennessee law. However, it is important to realize that what follows below is only a general overview. To find out if you might be able to secure compensation for injuries sustained in an accident on defective stairs, contact The Terry Law Firm now for a free consultation.
Defective and Broken Stairs Accidents in Morristown, TN
Injuries caused by defective or broken stairs occur under a wide variety of circumstances. For example, an old wooden staircase with rotted out boards can pose a serious danger to an unsuspecting visitor who tries to step on it. This is a fairly obvious type of structural defect, but staircase accidents can also be caused by a number of hidden defects that can catch even the most observant of guests by surprise.
What Are Common Stair Defects?
Some common stair defects that frequently cause accidents in Tennessee include:
- Loose boards
- Slick worn-down carpet
- Broken or rotted steps
- Sagging or missing handrails
- Uneven or oddly spaced steps
- Handrails placed at the wrong height
- Missing or unsecured handrails
- Icy steps
- Stairs made of slick tile or heavily polished wood
- Stairs that are wet from built up water or spills
- Poor lighting
- Overly steep staircases
Types of Stair Accident Injuries
People who get hurt on staircases can suffer virtually any type of injury that you can imagine. Some clients have relatively minor injuries that will heal in time while others are left with permanent disabilities.
Some common types of stair accident injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Dislocated elbows, shoulders, and hips
- Sprained ankles
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
Holding a Property Owner Accountable for a Stairway Accident in Morristown
Stairway fall victims in Tennessee can hold negligent property owners, occupiers, and lessees accountable for their losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Many of these personal injury cases will be settled without ever actually going to court.
If the injured person does end up needing to prove their case in front of a judge, then he or she will need to prove the following elements:
- Duty – A landowner (as well as an occupier or lessee, depending on the circumstances) has a legal duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition so that people who enter the land are not likely to get hurt. However, the level of care that the landowner legally owes varies depending on the type of guest who entered the property. A guest can be legally classified as an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a specific duty of care.
- Breach – The plaintiff must then show that the defendant breached this duty of care.
- Causation – It must be shown that this breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Damages – The plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered a compensatory loss.
Keep in mind that while the elements listed above may appear to be fairly straightforward, they are each in fact very complex and can be quite hard to prove. Furthermore, personal injury plaintiffs in Tennessee are also often required to prove that their injury was caused by a dangerous condition that the defendant had either actual or constructive knowledge of.
When to Consult a Morristown Defective Staircase Lawyer
If you have been injured in a Tennessee stairway accident and are wondering if you are entitled to collect compensation for your losses, then the time to consult a local premises liability lawyer is now.
Winning a personal injury case in Tennessee can be quite tricky. This area of the law is very complex and those who try to represent themselves in court without a thorough understanding of the law are often unsuccessful.
It is in your best interest to consult with a local premises liability attorney as soon as possible because in Tennessee most personal injury lawsuits are barred from being filed more than one year after the date when the injury occurred.
How The Terry Law Firm Can Help You After a Stairway Injury in Morristown
The experienced premises liability lawyers of the Terry Law Firm would be happy to help you if you’ve been injured in a stairway accident. We will review the facts of your case, analyze and discuss your legal options with you, gather evidence, build a case strategy, negotiate on your behalf, and argue aggressively for you in court, if your case ends up going to trial.
Additionally, we will thoroughly evaluate the extent of your injuries and related losses in order to passionately pursue every cent of compensation that you are legally entitled to.
Schedule a Free Consultation with The Terry Law Firm Today
Each personal injury case is unique. The only way to get an accurate picture of your legal rights and options following a stairway injury is to consult directly with a Morristown premises liability lawyer.