There are many different types of accidents that can occur on premises such as stairways. Falling on a stairwell can result in severe damage or even death to the individuals involved. The state of California has several regulations to ensure the safety of its citizens while using public stairs. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento has the knowledge to the legal requirements of stairways but the following is a partial list of the regulations stairs must meet in California:
1. Stairs serving an occupant load of more than 50 must have a width of at least 44 inches
2. Trim and handrails must not reduce the width more than 3 ½ inches less than the minimums listed above
3. Each step in a stairway must be between 4 and 7 ½ inches tall.
4. Each step must have a depth of at least 10 inches.
5. Private stairs serving less than 10 individuals and stairs leading to unoccupied rooftops may have stairs with a maximum height of 8 inches and a minimum depth of 9 inches.
6. All stairs must be slip resistant.
7. All stairs must be clear of all obstacles and be in good repair.
8. Circular stairways must have a minimum stair depth of 10 inches
10. Every building with 4 or more stories must have an exit to the roof from one set of stairs
11. Stairways must have at least 6 feet 6 inches of headroom from the step to the ceiling
12. Some exit stairways are meant for emergencies and must be protected from the rest of the structure
13. Stairways must have handrails on either side. Stairs with a width of more than 88 inches must have intermediate handrails for each 88 inches in width that are placed approximately midway.
There are many other regulations regarding the specific construction of stairs and handrails that may be viewed at state websites. It’s always best to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Sacramento if you or someone you know has been injured due to stairways.
Accidents occur on the stairs all the time – how do you know you have a case against the owner of the property? Property owners have a liability for staircase accidents that’s very similar to normal slip-and-fall cases. To prove fault, the following must be established:
1. The owner or an employee of the owner caused the dangerous stairway condition. Liquid on the stairs, worn tread causing a slippery surface, a tear in the stair covering that may cause someone to trip, etc.
2. The owner or employee of the owner was aware or should reasonably have been aware of the dangerous condition within responsible maintenance and observation of the stairs.
3. The owner neglected to remedy the dangerous condition of the stairs.
4. The injury incurred by the plaintiff was a direct result of the dangerous condition.
The court will take into consideration whether the plaintiff was acting recklessly or had a reasonable purpose for being on the stairs. It is important to take careful observation of the stairs when you experience an accident. Worn carpet or wood may not look especially dangerous, making it all the more so as individuals won’t think to take special care.
The injuries that can be sustained from these falls are limitless. It’s important to contact a legal representative who is knowledgeable and dedicated to your case so you get the compensation you need and deserve.
If owners are acting carelessly or negligently and results in your injury, you must speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Sacramento who can evaluate your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. Give us a call now for a free consultation at (916) 357-6789.