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Research finds stairs present danger of slip-and-fall accidents

Researchers recently discovered that an estimated 3,000 people suffer injuries from falling down stairs every day. While many of these slip-and-fall accidents do not result in serious injuries, there are also many who suffer significant fractures or other serious injuries. When these accidents occur due to the apparent negligence of another party, then New York victims may have cause to pursue a civil claim.

Researchers from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine undertook a study that covered the years between 1991 and 2012. They used information that was compiled by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. They discovered that while anyone can experience a slip or fall on stairs, the majority of victims are frequently young children, older adults and women. In the years between 1991 to 1996 the numbers of falls decreased, but the rates of these accidents then increased in the years after.

It is estimated that the total costs of these injuries averages an estimated $92 billion annually. Purportedly, two slip injuries occur every minute in the country. While researchers found that more women tend to experience these falls, it is unknown why other than the assumption that women tend to spend more time in the home caring for children, which may entail climbing more stairs.

One safety consultant suggested that stair construction should be revised in order to eliminate uneven measurements or confusing tread design. Researchers also suggested that the width of the stair surface could be increased to provide more stable footing, especially in homes where the standards are not uniform. While the majority of these slip and fall accidents occur in the home and are not serious, accidents also occur in both public spaces and rental properties where the responsibility for ensuring the public's and tenants' safety falls on third parties. If anyone in New York is injured in a fall due to the apparent negligence of the property owner, grounds may exist to pursue a premises liability claim for monetary damages.

Source: Reuters, "Injuries on stairs occur in all age groups and abilities", Carolyn Crist, Accessed on Nov. 6, 2017

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