There are many stair and stairwell fall accidents in Rhode Island during the course of a calendar year. Stair accident Liability is regulated under the same laws and rules for other RI slip and fall mishaps. Common injuries from falling down stairs include fractures, concussions and other injuries.
RI stair accident lawyers
Nonetheless, stairway or stairwell accidents require special considerations which tend to make them more complicated than a slip and fall on ice or falls on slippery substances near a salad bar. A top RI slip and fall lawyer will battle the insurance company to get you the money you are entitled to. In order to get the settlement that you are entitled to, you must immediately retain one the best personal injury attorneys in RI.
Stair mishap or plummet down a staircase
Under Rhode Island law, it is necessary to prove that the landowner or landlord is negligent and at fault for a stair mishap or plummet down a staircase in order for a victim to be compensated for her injuries. In the event of a fall on an elevator, escalator, ramp or incline it is important to speak with a top Providence Slip and fall lawyer with lots of experience dealing with falls on stairs.
Property owners such as fast food restaurants, malls, stores, parks and museums are expected to provide proper warning of wet, damp or slippery floors or a flight of stairs on their premises if they knew or should have known of the hazard. In cases when the floor has been recently mopped, cleaned or waxed and is still wet or slippery then owners must put up adequate signage warning of the dangerous condition.
Unevenly applied wax
In some instances appropriate action may be blocking off the dangerous, icy, slimy or oily area or steps to prevent customers from taking a spill or face plant on the property. A recent waxing or application of wax on a floor could create problems if wax was applied unevenly or haphazardly. The most common areas for slip and fall resulting in serious injury or death is: arenas, stadiums, theaters, parks, playground, construction sites, shops and retail stores.
According to the National Safety council: Most common locations for falls:
• Doorways • Ramps • Cluttered hallways • Areas with heavy traffic• Uneven surfaces • Areas prone to wetness or spills Most common locations for falls to another level: • Unguarded heights • Unstable work surfaces• Ladders • Stairs” NSC
Tumble down stairs
In order for a landowner to be responsible to pay damages for an injury resulting from a tumble, fall, descend or topple down wet, defective or damaged stairs, the injured person must prove:
- The landowner, landlord, property manager or their agent / employees knew of the defective or unreasonably dangerous condition on the premises (supermarket, apartment complex or department store) but did not take appropriate steps to remedy or fix the defective condition.
- If the owner, agent or employees exercised reasonable diligence they should have known that the stairs in the parking lot area were dangerous and should have taken appropriate action to remedy the dangerous condition on the stairs.
- The property owner or employee caused the defective condition or dangerous condition. For example, a waiter at a restaurant spills water, soda or beer on the stairs and then does not towel dry the staircase or put up a warning sign. If a restaurant patron is injured as a result of sliding on such liquid then the restaurant is at fault for such accident. In this event, the restaurant is liable for the failure of its employee to warn of the water or liquid substance on the stairs and failure to put up a caution sign or otherwise attempting prevent such calamity.
common injuries from falling down stairs
In the event of an employee tripping, plunging down or slipping at their place of employment, while working, then the injured worker may have a Rhode Island workers compensation claim. Workers compensation in RI is a no fault system in which the injured employee is not required to prove negligence on behalf of his or her employer.
In the event that you are injured while in the scope of your employment then you should hire a top Providence workers compensation lawyer.
Fatal stair accident
The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated: “A preliminary total of 4,405 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2013, lower than the revised count of 4,628 fatal work injuries in 2012, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers
in 2013 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, compared to a final rate of 3.4 per 100,000 in 2012.” Source
Factures and stairwell accidents
The following types of injuries may result from a slip and fall: herniated disk, broken / fractured bone, back, neck, foot, spinal cord injury, leg injury or traumatic brain injury (tbi).
“A slip and fall or trip and fall cause of action usually involves the property owners or occupants failure to maintain the real estate in a safe manner. It can also involve failure to fix an unreasonably dangerous conditions on the property of which they either knew or should have known about. Premises liability in Rhode Island is not just limited to slip and fall but also includes: dog bites, tripping on uneven surfaces, asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, lead paint exposure, Inadequate security measures enabling assaults,falling merchandise, Sidewalk or roadway defects, Poorly lit stair cases, falling debris, hanging hazards, swimming pool liability, balcony or deck collapses, carbon monoxide leaks, iced entrance ways, slippery or obstructed floors, electric shock due to exposed electric wiring” http://www.slepkowlaw.com/slip-fall-articles.
The RI Supreme Court sitting in Providence adopted the “Connecticut rule” when the TOP Court ruled “…landlord or business invitor owes a duty to a tenant or business invitee to use reasonable care to see that the common areas are kept reasonably safe from the dangers created by an accumulation of snow and ice which is attributed to purely natural causes.” BERARDIS v. LOUANGXAY et al 969 A.2d 1288 (2009) https://www.ripersonalinjurylaw.com/ri-slip-fall-personal-injury-attorney-falls-ice-snow/
Mix of rain and snow- slippery conditions
“In her deposition testimony, plaintiff averred that the weather was a mix of rain and snow and that the roads were wet. Greenberg‟s office was accessible by a pair of ramps, as well as by a set of stairs. The plaintiff used the ramps because she was ambulating with the aid of crutches, and her left foot was in a soft cast. Sullo alleged that, after ascending the two ramps and walking across a wooden walkway towards the office door, her left crutch slipped on the wet wood, causing her to fall hard on her left leg and foot. In her complaint, plaintiff claimed that she had slipped on accumulated snow, but during her deposition she testified that the wood surface was wet from rain and snow but was not “slushy.” Quote from Patricia Sullo : v. : David Greenberg. CourtRI The plaintiff alleged permanent injury as a result of the RI Slip and fall on the ramp.
Comparative negligence in Rhode Island slip & fall
Rhode Island has adopted comparative negligence law. The insurance company regularly uses this defense to attempt to undermine the victim’s RI premises liability cause of action. The liability insurance company regularly asserts that the victim was not paying proper attention as a result of carelessness or distraction. If the person could clearly see the sheet of ice and collapses when they lose their footing, the indemnity company will assert that the pedestrian was negligent, comparatively negligent.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Providence , Pawtucket or East Providence then you should retain a Rhode Island Pedestrian accident attorney,
Warwick slip and fall lawyer
A good Warwick Rhode Island slip and Fall lawyer will minimize the injured victims culpability for the fall and establish crucial facts to establish the negligence of the tortfeasor. The following could constitute comparative negligence reducing a settlement or injury verdict
- texting while walking,
- web surfing and walking
- pedestrian distractions
- not properly paying attention
Pure Comparative fault
“1) Rhode Island is a pure comparative Fault state. This means that even if someone is more than 50 percent at fault for a RI Auto Accident or premises liability claim, they can still seek compensation for their injuries. In other words, if a motorist is 99 percent liable for an auto crash they can obtain 1 percent of their damages, pain and suffering, medical bills and disability.” Source
§ 9-20-4 Comparative negligence
Here is the law for comparative fault in RI: § 9-20-4 Comparative negligence. – In all actions hereafter brought for personal injuries, or where personal injuries have resulted in death, or for injury to property, the fact that the person injured, or the owner of the property or person having control over the property, may not have been in the exercise of due care shall not bar a recovery, but damages shall be diminished by the finder of fact in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person injured, or the owner of the property or the person having control over the property. Information
“The surface can be tested to identify if it is above or below accepted levels of slip resistance thresholds.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slip_and_fall
Sadly, some falls result in a fatality. This leaves the spouse, children or loved ones of the deceased mourning the death of their family member and considering wrongful death litigation in Providence Superior Court. In some instances as a result of malfeasance, reckless actions or a careless landlord, a person could tumble, nosedive or topple down a set of stairs.
RI law: Duty owed by business
“This rule, as we apply it, provides that a landlord or business invitor owes a duty to a tenant or business invitee 1292*1292 ”to use reasonable care to see that the common areas are kept reasonably safe from the dangers created by an accumulation of snow and ice which is attributed to purely natural causes.” Id. at 772, 279 A.2d at 440 (adopting the Connecticut Rule in the landlord-tenant context); see also Terry v. Central Auto Radiators, Inc., 732 A.2d 713, 716 (R.I.1999) (extending rule to business invitor-invitee relationship). The landlord or invitor, however, must be afforded “a reasonable time after the storm has ceased to remove the accumulation.” Benaski, 899 A.2d at 503 (quoting Fuller, 108 R.I. at 774, 279 A.2d at 441). Therefore, as a general rule, any duty to clear a natural accumulation of ice and snow is not triggered before a reasonable time after the storm ends. Id. Under unusual circumstances, however, the duty to remove the accumulation may arise before the end of the storm. Terry, 732 A.2d at 717.” Quote from : BERARDIS v. LOUANGXAY et al 969 A.2d 1288 (2009)
- Standard Test Method for Determining the Static Coefficient of Friction of Ceramic Tile and Other Like Surfaces by the Horizontal Dynamometer Pull-Meter Method (Withdrawn 2014) ASTM
- Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department annually (NSC Injury Facts 2011).
- The national Safety Council states : “Adults 55 and older are more prone to becoming victims of falls, and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. The number of fall deaths among those 65 and older is four times the number of fall deaths among all other age ” NSC
- “A Scott County jury awarded a woman who slipped and fell on ice at a Quad-City hotel $1.2 million on Friday. Brenda Alcala, 54, of Dallas stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Bettendorf when she fell on an icy private sidewalk Jan. 21, 2010, according to her attorney, Mike Bush.” Qc Times
- “$2.38 million SETTLEMENT, personal injury. A 72-year-old woman suffered a severe spinal injury occasioned by a trip-and-fall on an uneven public sidewalk. Liability was highly contested in that the injured party had walked on this sidewalk almost daily for more than 25 years and there were few prior injuries at the location” Source
- “Special types of stairs include escalators and ladders. Some alternatives to stairs are lifts (US:elevators), stair lifts and inclined moving walkways as well as stationary inclined pavements (US:sidewalks).” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stairs
The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any premises liability lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.