Steep stairs.

Staying Safe on NYC Stairs

Every day, we climb up and down more sets of stairs than we may realize. Hopefully, this routine task fades into the background of our daily consciousness because the stairs we traverse are safe, sturdy, well-lighted and well-maintained. However, a faulty staircase could lead to catastrophic personal injury.

New York City is the most populous city in the United States. It is also among the most densely populated. As populations rise, so too does the popularity of metropolises. Recognizing the value in occupying not just horizontal but vertical space, big cities like New York capitalize on the real estate available right above our heads. New York City is very much a vertical metropolis. With over 6,000 high-rises and 112 buildings that clock in at over 600 feet, NYC truly attempts to package as much habitable space as possible into such a small amount of raw geographic acreage.

Such heights require extensive accommodation. Elevators will transport you to the farthest vertical limits, but intermediate trips are often taken on stairs. When electricity goes down, stairs become a less susceptible-to-malfunction mechanical failsafe. These factors combined make keeping stairs well-maintained supremely important.

If you’re a New York City resident, it’s important you stay mindful and cautious on all staircases. Sometimes, the swift current of Manhattan’s pedestrian traffic forces you to walk more quickly than you might be accustomed to. Remember – your health and safety matter most of all. Always keep an eye on where you’re going, and a hand on any available bannisters.

If you’re a New York City landowner or building proprietor, it’s important to keep all staircases within your purview safe and up to code.

What follows is a quick refresher course on staircase safety and maintenance, for all New York City citizens.

I’m a New York City Property / Staircase Owner

At Kaplan Lawyers PC, the safety of our clients is our first and foremost concern. Always, we believe it better to avoid accidents in the first place, rather than adjudicate the court case and financial settlement that stems from an injury. If you are responsible for the upkeep of a staircase, here are some important things to remember:

  • Staircase Building Material: Certain building materials, just as stone, tile or metal, are more liable to precipitate a fall. Consider adding a texture to the surface or an aftermarket “grip” atop each step so as to add stability to staircases made from these materials.
  • Bad Weather: If you are responsible for an outdoor staircase, which is exposed to the elements, remember to be doubly cautious when it rains or snows. Obviously, rain and snow will slick down a staircase and make things decidedly more slippery.
  • Step Depth: Most people, when trotting down a flight of stairs, begin to internally judge the distance between steps. If your staircase features an asymmetrical gap in step depths, it may cause a user to mistime their cadence, lose their footing, and plummet down the staircase. Always try to maintain a uniform distance between steps when building stairs, and try to amend stairs if they feature this particular imbalance.
  • Helping Hand: Always install a banister or handrail for stair-travelers to use. Handrails help keep people stable and provide something to latch onto in case the worst happens and a fall has taken place.
  • Up to Code: This last piece of advice may seem self-evident, but it’s not any less important for it: always adhere to building code and city regulation. Vast systems of regulatory code have been put in place to keep New York City residents safe, and skipping steps or ignoring protocol is the quickest way to find yourself at fault.

I’m a New York City Resident

If a home or business owner knew of an unsafe area on their staircase, and yet did nothing, and you were subsequently injured on their staircase, you may be entitled to sue for compensation. There are various different manifestations and interpretations of this stipulation, of course. Furthermore, if the property owner counter-argues that personal carelessness, negligence or ill-intent on your part can be proven, victory in court will be exponentially harder for you to attain. No matter the case, it’s important that you retain experienced and knowledgeable counsel. Kaplan Lawyers PC is New York City’s premier personal injury law firm.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

If you or a loved one has slipped and fallen on a flight of stairs, and you’ve sustained a serious injury, it may be within your rights to sue. If negligence on the part of a staircase’s owner has caused an unduly hazardous scenario, and this scenario has led directly or indirectly to your injury, you may be entitled to compensation. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we will fight tirelessly to secure compensation for you. This compensation can help defray the high costs of medical bills and keep you financially secure as you recover from your injuries. For more information, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our consultations are a free and easy way to learn about your rights and begin forging the foundations of your case.