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Unsafe Staircase Premises Liability

It is not uncommon for fall injuries to involve a set of stairs. While some falls can only be blamed on the carelessness of the person injured, other accidents may be the responsibility of the staircase owner. Whether you are a homeowner, landlord or business owner, you have a legal duty to ensure your stairs are a reasonably safe place for occupants to travel up and down. Too often, staircases are neglected, and their longevity is taken for granted. This can lead to loose boards, snagged carpets, and other stair defects that can cause someone to fall, be seriously harmed, or even die.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a staircase accident in Athens, it is important that you consider your eligibility for a premises liability claim. By seeking the experience and skill set of our personal injury lawyer, we can help you determine if you have a claim against the property owner. While some compensation may be obtained from insurance, it may not be enough to cover your losses, or the insurance policy in place may not be applicable. These are situations in which a knowledgeable attorney can be critical to the success of your outcome.

Common Staircase Defects

Stair accidents can be complex. Stairs must be built under strict regulations to deem them safe and usable. Like other building structures, stairs can become damaged or deteriorate over time. Depending on the number of stairs and the severity of the stair defect, a fall can lead to both minor and major injuries. At Burnside Law Firm, we accept premises liability cases involving the following types of stair defects:

  • Uneven Stair Heights and Widths: Stairs that vary in height or width can cause individuals to trip or lose their balance, especially if they are not expecting the irregularities.
  • Failure to Meet Building Codes: Non-compliance with building codes and safety regulations regarding stair design, construction materials, handrails and lighting can lead to unsafe staircases.
  • Tilted Steps: Steps that are not level or are tilted can create instability and increase the risk of falls.
  • Loose Boards: Loose or damaged boards on stairs can shift underfoot, causing individuals to stumble or fall.
  • Loose or Ripped Carpet: Carpeting on stairs that is loose, torn or frayed can create tripping hazards and reduce traction, especially on slippery surfaces.
  • Overly Steep Stairs: Stairs with steep inclines can be challenging to navigate, especially for individuals with mobility issues or limited visibility.
  • Poor Lighting: Inadequate lighting on staircases can obscure steps, making it difficult for individuals to see where they are stepping and increasing the risk of trips and falls, especially in dimly lit or poorly maintained areas.
  • Lack of or Loose Handrails: The absence of handrails or handrails that are loose, wobbly or improperly installed can deprive individuals of essential support and stability while using stairs.
  • Slippery (Wet or Icy) Treads: Stairs that become wet due to spills or rain, or icy during winter conditions can significantly increase the risk of slipping and falling.
  • Unmarked Steps: Steps that are not clearly marked or differentiated, such as those with inconsistent heights or hidden edges, can catch individuals off guard and lead to falls.

Is the Property Owner Responsible for Your Broken Stairs Accident?

Premises liability law requires property owners to ensure the safety of staircases for their guests and occupants. This duty extends beyond the initial construction phase and requires ongoing vigilance in maintaining stairs to a reasonable safety standard. Compliance with building codes is just the first step; property owners must also conduct regular inspections to identify any defects, damage or potential dangers that could compromise the safety of the stairs.

In premises liability, promptly addressing any identified issues is crucial. Property owners are expected to immediately act upon discovering a hazard on their stairs. This may involve warning signs to alert individuals of the danger, closing off access to the stairs until repairs can be made, or scheduling repairs as soon as possible. Ignoring or delaying necessary repairs after becoming aware of a stair defect can expose the property owner to liability in the event of an accident.

Property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable foresight and diligence in preventing foreseeable accidents related to stair safety. This includes proactively addressing known hazards or risks before they lead to injuries. Simply having knowledge of unsafe conditions on the stairs and neglecting to take corrective measures can be construed as negligence under premises liability law.

Contact Burnside Law Firm in Athens, Georgia

As an experienced personal injury lawyer in Athens, Georgia, we will help you prove premises liability for your specific case. We will also work tirelessly and strategically to recover maximum compensation for your losses. Depending on your case, this may include compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, emotional distress, disability and more. If you believe your injury is from defective, broken or unmarked stairs that the property owner neglected to address, please contact our skilled legal team in Athens today.

Contact Us


2919 Professional Pkwy

Augusta, GA, 30907

Phone: (706) 432-8320


325 North Milledge Avenue

Athens, GA, 30601

Phone: (706) 227-4264

We have recovered tens of millions in settlements and verdicts

The attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP have over 30 years of collective experience handling personal injury claims. Over that time, we have helped hundreds of injured people recover the compensation they deserve and need in order to begin putting their lives back together. This list is just a sample of the recoveries we have obtained for some of our clients here and during our time at our former firm, Burnside Wall LLP. Obviously, success in obtaining significant judgments and settlements for other clients is no guarantee of success in your case. Each case must be evaluated and handled based on the individual merits of that particular case. To discuss the facts of your case and learn more about your legal rights, contact one of the personal injury attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP for a free initial consultation.

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Meet The Team

Thomas R. Burnside III Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas R Burnside III

Thomas R. Burnside III is a personal injury lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have suffered injury as a result of automobile collisions, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, work related accidents or other causes. With over 20 years of experience in personal injury law at both the trial and appellate court levels, Attorney Burnside has represented people with brain and head trauma...

Meet Thomas Burnside
Garon Muller Personal Injury Attorney

Garon Muller

Garon Muller is a trial lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have been seriously injured or damaged through the negligence or recklessness of others, including automobile collisions, workplace injuries, premises injuries, or defective products. Before beginning his practice in the representation of injured individuals, Mr. Muller served the community as an Assistant District Attorney...

Meet Garon Muller
Robert MacGregor

Robert MacGregor

Robert MacGregor is an experienced trial attorney licensed to practice law in Georgia and South Carolina. At the Burnside Law Firm, Robert devotes his practice to protecting the rights of individuals who have been injured because of someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness and represents those who have been injured in automobile collisions or tractor-trailer accidents; because of a slip and fall; and in other general negligence actions.

Meet Robert MacGregor

Ashton Revollo

Ashton is a trial lawyer in Augusta, GA who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have suffered serious injuries or damages due to the negligent or reckless conduct of others, including automobile wrecks, job-related accidents, unsafe premises, or defective
products. Before beginning his practice, Ashton obtained his J.D., at Emory University School of Law, where he gained valuable courtroom experience as an intern assisting the District Attorney for DeKalb
County. After his time at Emory, Ashton received experience as a trial attorney at a respected personal injury firm in Atlanta before moving to Augusta. Over the course of his career, Ashton has assisted deserving clients in recovering millions of dollars in injury cases throughout Georgia.

Meet Ashton Revollo

Our Client Testimonials

Our Client Reviews

Burnside Law Firm

5.0 / 5.0

Based on 38 reviews

Erin Wren

After my car accident they helped me every step of the way! They were up front and answered any questions I had! They negotiated the insurance and got a higher settlement than was offered! I would definitely use them again!

Debbie Walker

In November 2017, I was in a car accident and I decided to seek out legal assistance. I chose to go with Burnside Law Firm, LLP because of their five star rating. My inital consultation was with attorney, Mr. Garon Muller. I knew immediately that I wanted Mr. Muller to take my case. His professionalism and expertise in personal injury made my decision easy. Mr. Muller maintained his professionalism throughout my case. He kept me updated on a regular basis via telephone or email. He was always available to me when I call. I did not have to wait 24 hours to get a call back from him. I would greatly recommend Mr. Muller and the Burnside Law Firm, LLP.

Rick Estep

Burnside Law Firm is who you want to represent you. Mr. Muller came to our house for a free consultation without hesitation. He guided us and overcame every obstacle we encountered. He secured the maximum insurance limits for us and we couldn't be more happy. If you are injured, DO NOT attempt to recoup compensation without the expertise of a trusted, skilled and able law firm to be your voice. THANK YOU MR. MULLER!!!

Alexander Hughes

Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm makes client satisfaction his priority. Mr. Muller made sure that I had a lucid understanding during every discussion. He never made a decision without my input and made me feel like we were partners. Garon Muller was very professional and push for the maximum dollar amount from the insurance company. Me and my family considered ourselves blessed to have been represented by Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm. We highly recommend Garon Muller and Burnside Law Firm! Burnside Law Firm staff are exceptional and exceeded our expectations.

Lynn Eldridge

I have known the Burnside family for many years. Recently Thomas was most helpful in getting my check following an auto collision. I highly recommend their firm.

Damien Williams

I definitely felt comfortable in there hands really good people.

Jacob Clements

Very very good law firm. Went above and beyond to make things right. Highly reccomend.

Barbara Huskinson

Burnside Law did what they said they would do. Garon Muller was great in communicating and looked out for my best interest in getting what was fair in my settlement. I would recommend Burnside to anyone.

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    2919 Professional Pkwy

    Augusta, GA, 30907

    Phone: (706) 432-8320


    325 North Milledge Avenue

    Athens, GA, 30601

    Phone: (706) 227-4264