The legal theory of premises liability governs most Florida stairwell accident claims. A property owner or manager — including retail spaces, offices, and homes — has a duty to people who come into their premises to visit or do business. They must maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, taking steps to repair dangerous conditions, or to warn visitors of hazards. Property owners and managers who fail to remedy a dangerous condition, or to warn guests about such hazards present on the property, may be liable to visitors who suffer injuries.
A person making a claim for a stairwell accident injury must be prepared to show that they used the stairwell in a reasonable and safe manner. A defendant in a stairwell accident claim will often try to show that a plaintiff behaved negligently, which would offset or eliminate the defendant’s liability. A person caught on a security camera running down a narrow, dark stairwell clearly marked with “danger” signs, for example, might have a difficult time with an injury claim.
Stairwells are often subject to further regulatory requirements because the severe injury risks that they pose. Stairwells in commercial properties may also be subject to local building codes and laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act. Stairwells in industrial settings, particularly construction sites, may fall under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A failure to comply with regulations may help an injured person’s claim for damages.