Faulty Handrails and Stairwells
Property owners are required to keep their premises free from hazards that may injure visitors. This requirement applies not only to main structures, such as shop interiors, but also the surrounding areas. Faulty handrails and stairwells can cause significant injuries to visitors who encounter them and trip and fall as a result. The Nashville premises liability lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC help victims injured due to a property owner’s negligence pursue the compensation that they are entitled to receive in order to aid in their recovery. If you or a loved one was harmed due to a faulty handrail or stairwell, or any other type of hazard, as a visitor on someone else’s property, contact our office today to find out more about how we can help.Faulty Handrails and Stairwells are Dangerous Conditions
Faulty or broken handrails and precarious stairwells can be especially unsafe to visitors unfamiliar with a space, since the dangers are often only noticed after it is too late and injuries have occurred. Stairs present additional dangers to the elderly as well as children, who are susceptible to more severe injuries like broken bones, hip injuries, spinal cord damage, and even traumatic brain injuries. Handrail and stairwell falls can result from a variety of dangers, including:
- Spills left unaddressed;
- Defective handrails, or handrails that have fallen into disrepair and are cracked or decaying;
- Uneven, cracked, or damaged steps; and
- Insufficient lighting.
Fall injuries can require long-term recovery, and the impact of these injuries may even be permanent, depending on the circumstances. If property owners or occupiers fail to provide a safe environment for their visitors, they should be held responsible for the harm that they cause.Liability for Injuries Due to Hazards
In Tennessee, property owners and occupiers have a duty to exercise reasonable care and maintain their premises in a safe way, free from hazards that can potentially harm visitors. Duties vary depending on the purpose of an individual’s visit. Business owners that open their property to patrons for a financial purpose, such as a retail store, have the highest duty of care. These owners are required to engage in regular inspections and provide warnings to customers regarding any known hazards. To show liability, an injured patron or plaintiff must prove that a business owner knew or should have known about the danger if proper protocol was followed, but the owner failed to take adequate measures to fix a hazard or warn of its existence. For instance, a business owner or occupier that fails to replace a light bulb in a dark stairwell, leading to a customer’s fall during nighttime hours, can be held liable for the injuries that result. Social guests are also owed a certain, lesser degree of care from their hosts.
Victims injured by a faulty handrail or stairwell can recover damages for their injuries, such as past and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Timing in filing premises liability claims is important in Tennessee because victims have only one year from the date of the injury to bring suit. These situations often require an investigation into the circumstances leading up to the accident, as well as business practices and other evidence gathering. Consulting an experienced injury attorney can be vital to ensuring that your legal rights are protected.Dedicated Trip and Fall Attorneys Serving the Nashville Area
Suffering a fall is a scary event that can lead to a lengthy and often costly recovery process. The Nashville lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC help victims injured in a fall pursue proper legal action against responsible parties so that they can rightfully share in those costs. Our injury lawyers also represent people in Franklin, Brentwood, East Nashville, and Sylvan Park, as well as elsewhere throughout Williamson and Davidson Counties. If you have been hurt in a stairwell or due to an unsafe handrail, contact us online or at 615-800-7096 to discuss your potential claims.