Statistics show that about one million people are injured on an annual basis from falling down stairs. There are several injuries a person may experience from falling downstairs.
Common injuries caused by falling down stairs
The force from the fall may damage the spine, causing a herniated disc, which is sometimes called a slipped disc. The cushions in between the spinal vertebrae often press on the spine, which commonly causes weakness, pain and numbness of the muscles. A disc injury can be a debilitating injury.
While whiplash is commonly associated with vehicle accidents, a fall on the stairs can also jerk the head back and forth. The rapid and forceful jerking forces the muscles out of alignment, commonly causing neck soreness, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and blurred vision. However, the injured party may think they are fine after the injury because adrenalin may delay symptoms for several days.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) damages the brain when a person’s head hits a hard object. The symptoms from a TBI are not always immediately noticed. Some TBIs, often referred to as concussions, are mild and can commonly heal with rest, but others often require extended care and may even cause permanent damage.
Premises liability damages for stairway falls
Premises liability laws require property owners to maintain their property reasonably to prevent injury, or they could be responsible for slip-and-fall accidents. Many stair accidents are caused by broken or no handrails, slippery surfaces, uneven steps, objects on the step and loose carpeting. Even minor stair injuries can take time to heal and reduce earning potential.
A victim of a slip-and-fall must prove the owner was responsible but failed to fix the issue in a reasonable timeframe. Some states have building codes that require handrails for a set number of steps and steps of a specific height. If the owner violated a building code, the plaintiff may have a strong negligence case, even for small differences in height requirements.