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The Single Most Common Cause of Falls

We've all been there. One second everything is fine and the next you're looking up at the ceiling or sky in pain wondering what happened. Did I make a mistake? Or was someone negligent and is this a premises liability case? While many of us are able to get up and dust it off, sadly there are people who are catastrophically injured due to a fall. This is where an examination of the site and the facts surrounding the fall become important to understanding if a party is negligent.

The most common negligence I see in cases is failure by an owner to maintain their property in a manner that adheres to the International Residence Code (IRC), the International Building Code (IBC), and other local ordinances. People are very accustomed to living every day within these standards. When a handrail is too high or a staircase is too steep, it is extremely easy for someone to fall. Our brain is preconditioned to to grab a rail within a set range of distance from our hip or to walk up a ramp within an accepted tolerance of steepness. When a property deviates from these commonly accepted standards, it is a serious injury waiting to happen.

Examining the requirements within your local jurisdiction and engaging a building professional to resolve any safety issues is the best course of action as a property owner to limit potential injuries. Catastrophically injured parties are recommended to document the conditions surrounding an injury as close to the time of incident as possible and to notify the property owner. An attorney should be engaged for legal advice surrounding potential claims.


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