as long as the area where you slipped or tripped and fell is part of the
property owner's property, and the property owner failed to fulfill a legal duty
to take precautions to protect you from injuring yourself, the property owner
will be legally responsible for your injuries.
Stairs are often made of materials that become worn with continued use. Stair
edges can become rounded and may cause people to slip when they step on them. A
property owner will be liable for a slip and fall accident occurring on stairs,
when the property owner knew of the dangerous condition, or the condition
existed for sufficient time that the owner should have known about it. If the
owner knew or should have known about a stairway condition, liability may arise
when: One or more steps are worn and rounded; Debris, such as trash,
pieces of paper, dirt, gum, etc., is present on the stairs; The stairs have been
waxed or polished, and the stair materials lack a non-skid surface; A handrail
is missing or broken.
Escalators and Elevators
Common mechanisms for getting from one floor to another in a building are
escalators and elevators. Because escalators and elevators are designed to carry
passengers, in some instances, property owners have a higher legal duty than in
other premises liability situations. When vehicles such as trains and buses are
used for public transit, the owners of those vehicles are often held to a high
standard of conduct. Some courts impose the same high standard of safety on
owners and operators of escalators and elevators.
Slip and fall accidents can occur on escalators and elevators when there are
unexpected, sudden movements or "jerks" in the machinery, or when articles of
clothing, footwear, fingers, hands, or feet are caught in various parts of an
escalator or elevator. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their
escalators and elevators so that they operate safely.