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A simple stairway carries more danger than many people realize

You probably use the stairs every day, but do you ever think about the serious risks you face? It's worth considering, especially if you're often on property that you do not own: In stores, in public buildings, in an apartment or in a neighbor's house. You want to know what hazards could cause a serious accident.

Some of the most obvious issues are things like worn or loose stair treads, missing handrails or broken supports. You may be able to look at the staircase and see instantly that it's not safe.

Some things are less obvious, though. Inadequate lighting is a big one. Say your apartment has an outdoor staircase that you have to use at night. If it is unlit, does that increase your odds of a trip-and-fall accident? If you have to use that staircase every single day when you get home from work, what do the odds of an accident really look like? They're probably uncomfortably high.

Another issue is a stairway that is too narrow, that has treads without enough depth, or that rises and falls at too steep of an angle. It may be built solidly, but does it still put you at risk because it's hard to use? Does it break the building codes in the state that specify how a stairway is supposed to be designed?

These are all important questions to ask. Slip-and-fall accidents on the stairs can be serious and can lead to life-changing injuries. Make sure that you know exactly what legal steps you can take to seek compensation if this happens to you.

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