The Fort Lauderdale slip, trip and fall accident lawyers at MADALON LAW want you to know that the next time you fall and injure yourself, you might want to take a closer look at what caused the fall before assuming it was your own carelessness.
There are building codes in place to provide a safe walking area for anyone on a property. Even though all property owners are required to meet these safety requirements, it is surprising how many don’t. This is negligence on their part that can put you or a loved one in a situation that could cause an injury by tripping or falling.
The American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) has a standard that has been carefully developed for your safety. It covers design and construction guidelines for buildings and their walking areas. Besides walkways and floorings, the ASTM standards also address carpeting, changes in level, headroom, lighting, mats, runners, hardware, exterior walkways, stairs, single steps, speed bumps, wheel stops, warnings and gratings.
Here are some of the most common building violations and/or walking hazards most people see on a daily basis:
Handrails: At home a staircase only needs one handrail, but commercial buildings actually require their full height staircases to have 2 handrails. Commercial building codes also make it a requirement that handrails must be continuous and uninterrupted.
Stairways with dimensional inconsistency: Have you ever seen stairs where one step is shorter or higher than the others? Have you ever climbed to the top of a staircase (also called the “rise”) and before you enter the doorway there is still a separate step because the stairs ended before the doorway? These are all considered dimensional inconsistency. This interruption in the flow of design can be the cause of someone tripping down the stairs.
Interior and exterior surfaces are not leveled: Have you ever walked into a business and you had to step up to go into the doorway because the entrance was not leveled with the exterior of the business? This is a common building code violation and tripping hazard that many see.
Obstruction within the entranceway: The entranceway must be clear for people who enter. If there is an obstruction in the entrance of a business, then that is a code violation and hazard.
Uneven base of ramp: the base (or bottom) of a ramp is supposed to smoothly meet the ground level. If it doesn’t, then it creates a “trip step” which someone can easily trip over.
Stairways with no landing: When you get to the top of the stairs, there needs to be a landing (the flat area you can stand on). If the stairs meet exactly at the door so that you are still standing on a step until you walk in the door, then that is a violation.
Building code violations are enforced because it has been proven time and again that a violation can cause an accident. The Fort Lauderdale slip, trip and fall attorneys at MADALON LAW know what to look for in these types of cases to establish the other party’s negligence and seek the financial compensation you deserve. Contact our office so you can tell us what happened and we can answer your questions with a free consultation.