Whether at a friend’s home or a commercial or government building, you likely encounter exterior steps more often than you think. Most of the time, stairways are in good condition and built according to code, posing few injury risks to users.
Unfortunately, some steps and stairs contain safety hazards that may not be evident at first glance. Further, most outdoor stairways are made from concrete or stone. Falling onto these hard surfaces can increase your injury odds.
Lack of handrails
Aesthetically, exterior stairs may look better without handrails. Many commercial establishments and even government buildings lack safety rails. If you slip and have nothing to grab, you could suffer severe injuries like compound fractures or brain trauma.
Concrete and other outdoor surfaces are under constant exposure to the weather in all seasons. While these materials are sturdy and long-lasting, they eventually begin degrading and sustain structural damage. Loose chunks of stone or concrete could lead to tragic slip and fall injuries.
Some establishments like bars and restaurants prefer wooden stairs and steps rather than stone or concrete. Unfortunately, stairs made from wood are also exposed to the elements and can become rotted over time. Another wooden stairway hazard is that they are especially slippery when wet or icy.
What are your legal options?
Property owners and businesses must keep the entire premise safe for customers and authorized visitors. When they fail to do so, the injured party may have grounds for a premises liability claim under Connecticut law. You may also qualify for pain and suffering damages if your injuries are severe or catastrophic.