Slipping and falling can be terrifying, especially if the slip and fall occurs when going up or down the stairs. One way that property owners reduce the risk of such accidents occurring is by installing handrails that meet OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards and other state and local requirements. However, if a handrail is faulty, this could increase the risk of an injury.
If you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident that you believe would not have occurred but for a faulty handrail, you may have a civil suit for damages. To learn more, reach out to Tetzel Law directly today. Our personal injury attorney will work hard to get you the settlement you deserve.
What Are the Requirements for Handrails in Massachusetts?
OSHA requires that handrails be installed in various commercial and office buildings, and many state and local building codes also require the installation of handrails. In fact, Massachusetts has many requirements for handrails, including that handrails:
- Meet certain height requirements
- Provide enough wall clearance to allow for grasping of handrails
- Meet certain length requirements (must be continuous for the full length of a staircase)
- Meet width requirements that are dependent on whether handrails are circular or non-circular
In addition to the above requirements, it’s important to understand that premises liability laws also require handrails to be properly maintained and reasonably safe. If a handrail isn’t reasonably safe and the property owner knows or should know of the defect and fails to correct it, they are breaching their duty of care to those who lawfully enter the property.
Liability for an Accident Caused Due to a Faulty Handrail
If you believe that your slip and fall would not have occurred but for a faulty handrail, you may have a claim for damages against the property owner. For example, if the handrail wasn’t properly secured or didn’t meet regulations, this may serve as proof of the property owner’s failure to uphold the standard of care owed to you. In order to bring forth a successful claim for damages against the property owner, you will need to prove that:
- The handrail was faulty;
- The faulty handrail was the proximate cause of your injuries;
- The property owner knew or should have known of the defect;
- The property owner failed to remedy the defect in a reasonable amount of time.
If you can hold the property owner liable by proving the above, you can recover damages for the full value of your economic and noneconomic harm.
How Our Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
When you call the office of Tetzel Law, our Massachusetts personal injury attorney will work hard for you. We’ll improve the odds of your case being successful by investigating your case, gathering evidence, proving the elements of a premises liability claim, working with experts to establish the existence of a hazard/code violation, and calculating your damages. Our attorney will also aggressively negotiate your settlement.
To learn more or to schedule your free consultation, send us a message online telling us more about your case or call our law office directly at (617) 742-1700. We are here to help you!