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A checklist for stairway safety

Property owners in Illinois have an obligation to keep people safe on the property, doing what they can to prevent accidents. Since many slip and fall accidents happen on stairways, the following checklist can be very helpful, and owners should go over it frequently to make sure there are no clear hazards. Things to look for include:

-- Stairways where lights have burned out or where proper lighting was never installed.-- Stairs where the tread has worn off and the surfaces are very slick.-- Stairs that are uneven, which can be a tripping hazard.-- Banisters or handrails that are missing, broken or that have come loose from the wall.-- Stairs that have not been well marked; some people suggest painting the front edges of the stairs a bright color, especially at the top of a stairway.-- Handrails that are simply the wrong size for the space.-- Handrails that have been installed at the improper height, even though they may be in good condition otherwise.-- Exterior stairs that are dangerous due to water, ice or snow.-- Stairs or structures that are breaking down because of mold, rot or corrosion.

It is wise for property owners to check everything over when they first buy the buildings, but they need to then do the safety checks on a periodic basis, as many of these things-- such as a handrail working itself loose -- are going to get worse over time.

If you slipped and fell on a stairway that was not maintained property, you may be able to seek compensation.

Source: SlipNot, "Safety on Stairs," accessed June 18, 2015

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  • "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....-Jeff D.

  • "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....- Dave

  • "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.-Jennifer

  • "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day...-Larry

  • "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.- Tyler D.

  • "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.- Karen K.

  • "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends.-Dan H.

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