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Falls on stairs in the home can be dangerous. Approximately one-half of reports on stairway deaths come from those living in a private residence. So why do seniors often fall on the stairs? Well, the fact is that as people age, their muscles get weak and in addition, their medications make then dizzy.

Possible injuries suffered by someone that has fallen in a stairway:

• Dislocations
• Internal bleeding
• Broken bones
• Ruptured organ(s)
• Abrasions
Traumatic brain injuries
• Contusions
• Soft tissue injuries
• Lacerations

Ways to reduce chances for a fall in the stairwell at home:

• Limit the amount of clutter on the stairs.
• Make a habit of using the railings, when going up or down the stairs.
• Wear rubber-soled shoes.
• Install adequate lighting on the stairway.
• Install a stair lift.
• Put a ramp over a short flight of stairs.

How negligence can make a public stairway more dangerous?

• Failure to install the proper type of railings.
• Reliance on defective stair treads.
• Not maintaining the lighting equipment. Not introducing improvements in a poorly-lighted stairwell.
• No effort to warn visitors about a dangerous riser.
• No schedule for clearing clutter or debris from the public stairway.

How to show that a stairway lacked the necessary safety features?

Arrange for an engineer to analyze the unsafe stairwell. Have the engineer compile a report of what was found during the analysis.Find out if the building containing the unsafe stairs has arranged for an inspection of the various areas in the building. How often did each stair get inspected? What was the report from the most recent inspection?

Get pictures of the stairwell where someone fell and suffered a serious injury. Try to snap the picture at the spot where the fall occurred.Measure the width of each stair. Was there room for 2 people to cross paths, with one going upstairs and one downstairs?

Measure the depth of each stair. Did it offer room for decent footing?

Were the stairs carpeted? Was the carpet in good condition? Did it have any visible tears?

Other issues of concern in a public building, if people must go upstairs or downstairs

Did a public building have an alternative to the stairs, to be used by someone in a wheelchair? Was it an elevator, a ramp or a lift? If it was an elevator or a lift, was it functioning in the way that it should?

Did the building contain an escalator? If so, was that working properly?

Was the owner of a building with only stairs renting-out space on an upper floor? That practice would invite accidents, if someone in a wheelchair wanted to attend the event in that room on an upper floor. That is an example of the type of question that the Personal Injury Lawyer in Fredericton for a fall victim should be asking.