Elevator accidents in New York City generate a lot of news because they’re tragic and they tap into the innate fear that many of us have of being trapped and helpless in a little box. But that fear has actually magnified these types of accidents in our collective consciousness to unreasonable proportions. Indeed, when compared to the number of staircase accidents in New York City, the risk of being hurt or killed in an elevator is almost miniscule.
A study conducted in 2011 found that elevator accidents were only responsible for 27 deaths annually nationwide. It’s estimated there are nearly 7 billion people shuttled up and down in elevators every year. When you do the math, the risk of being killed in an elevator accident is roughly 0.00000015 percent per trip.
However, data collected by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that over 1,600 people are killed in staircase accidents every year and thousands more are seriously injured.
The most common contributing factors to staircase accidents in New York City are manmade. First is clutter or debris on the stairs. Next is ice, snow, or water on the stairs. This type of buildup is most often seen on outdoor entry staircases into an apartment building but can also be found in interior staircases when tracked into the apartment building.
Next are structural defects in the staircase which can result in a staircase collapse or a missing or loose railing which could have prevented a trip/slip and fall accident.
New York premises liability law makes property owners responsible for maintaining and repairing staircases on their property. That includes all interior and exterior staircases and even stairs in places that are considered “public” (subway stations, retail stores, etc.).
These owners have a duty to reasonably protect innocent people who use these stairs and if they ignore potential hazards, they can be held legally and financially responsible.
If you’ve been hurt in a fall, contact an experienced staircase accident lawyer in New York City to get the expert help you need. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 today.