Faulty Handrails and Stairwells
When you go to a store or a friend's house, you do not expect to get hurt. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a business or a private citizen to fail to repair a broken step or a faulty handrail. These dangerous conditions can go unnoticed by a visitor to the premises, and they may give rise to serious injuries. If you have been hurt due to a faulty handrail or stairwell in Dallas or the surrounding cities, the premises liability lawyers at Feizy Law Office may be able to help you pursue compensation.Holding a Property Owner Accountable for a Faulty Handrail or Stairwell
In Texas, landowners owe a duty to invitees to make their property safe or provide warnings about any concealed, unreasonably dangerous conditions that the landowner is aware of, but the invitee is not. An invitee is somebody invited onto the property by the landowner (or occupier) with express or implied knowledge and for a mutual benefit. As an invitee, you would need to prove:
- There was an unreasonably dangerous condition on the premises;
- The landowner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition;
- The condition was concealed; and
- You were not and should not have been aware of the danger.
Landowners or occupiers potentially can be held responsible if they fail to routinely inspect the property and discover any dangerous conditions that they should have known about.
If you are a social guest in Texas, you are a licensee, and the landowner or occupier owes you a slightly lesser duty. You would have to prove the landowner or occupier actually knew about the faulty handrail or stairwell, not just that he or she should have known.
In general, there is no duty to warn of known or obvious dangers. For example, if a piece of handrail is hanging off, this is an open and obvious danger. Similarly, if there are four steps missing in a stairwell and no distractions, this may be considered an open and obvious danger.
However, there are certain exceptions to the general rule about obvious dangers, such as an exception involving necessary use. This applies if you needed to expose yourself to a danger, even though it was open and obvious. For example, if you depended for paid work on exposing yourself to a faulty handrail or stairwell, necessary use would probably apply.
If you can successfully establish a landowner’s or occupier's liability, you likely can recover compensatory damages. These often include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering.Consult an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer in the Dallas Area
Premises liability cases can be challenging to prove, and evidence may vanish quickly. Some property owners do use surveillance tapes, which can provide some evidence of when the dangerous property condition was created, but in many cases, property owners reuse the same tape within a short period of time. Therefore, if you are hurt due to a faulty handrail or stairwell in the Dallas area, you should consult a knowledgeable slip and fall attorney about your case as soon as possible. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation. We also represent accident victims in Fort Worth, Irving, Garland, Arlington, and Plano, among other Texas cities.