Many apartment buildings are multilevel complexes with numerous units. People often want units on higher floors, as residents of ground floor units may have to deal with higher levels of traffic noise and increased risk for crime. However, climbing all those stairs to your apartment every day can also be dangerous.

In certain circumstances, if you slip and then fall down the stairs in your apartment building or in another building, you can potentially bring a premises liability claim against the landlord for any injuries and property damage you suffer because of that slip-and-fall incident. A fall down the stairs can cause severe and even potentially fatal injuries.

Stairs are dangerous even in the best of circumstances, as it only takes one misplaced step to leave someone precariously perched or tumbling downward. Given the risk associated with stairwells, landlords should take extra care to ensure that stairs receive proper maintenance and are as safe as possible to mitigate their potential premises liability.

Loose flooring, carpet that is pulling up and tiles that are peeling away due to weak adhesive could all increase someone’s risk of falling. The same is true for both accumulated dirt that could impact someone’s traction or water, whether it results from a spill made by a resident or a drip from a leaky ceiling.

In addition to having clean surfaces with well-maintained flooring, stairwells also need handrails to allow people to maintain their balance while they go up or down the stairs. A weak or missing handrail could increase someone’s risk of falling if they start to lose their balance. Finally, inadequate lighting, including burned-out bulbs, will make it harder for someone to safely navigate stairs.

If you fall down the stairs and notice any of these issues after your fall, document them with your phone if you’re able to. This will help ensure that you can prove there were unsafe conditions at the time of your fall, especially because the landlord might try to address the issue after you report your injury. It’s also wise to seek legal guidance to help protect your rights and get the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses and damages.