Single Step Falls

A marked single step in a parking garage.


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Please contact the single step fall injury lawyer, George Patterson to schedule a free consultation to discuss a potential claim as a result of your fall.

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Bowie, single step fall lawyer, George Patterson has litigated injury cases caused by a fall off of a single unmarked step.  A single step is dangerous because most pedestrians have difficulty seeing a single step, particularly from a higher elevation.   When designing buildings, homes and walkways engineers and architects try to avoid single steps where possible.  Where single steps exist or cannot be avoided these hazards need to be marked.  An unmarked single step is a hazard that many property owners fail to recognize.  The dangers of a single step are often not fully appreciated by their victims.  Most victims of a single step fall are confused as to why they fell or failed to notice the single step.

Single steps are often required in parking garages on platforms that lead to stairwells.  The raised platform is designed to prevent gas fumes from fuel spills that sit lower than air from settling in stairwells.  Lawyer, George Patterson, successfully obtained an award of $200,000 for a New Carrollton client that fell as she stepped off an unmarked parking garage platform that she did not see.  Lawyer, George Patterson also successfully resolved an injury case for a client that tripped on a small unmarked single step on a concrete walkway and patio.  The single step fall lawyers at RGPH are familiar with the applicable codes governing singles steps and the reasons why pedestrians may not see a single step or may misjudge the height of the step.

Most local codes do not have provisions that ban single steps but they often adopt national model building codes.  These codes regulate the permissible height, minimum and maximum, for single steps.  Single step drop offs that are less than four inches are very difficult for pedestrians to detect.  The model building codes also require that single steps be marked with either paint, lighting, hand rails or contrasting materials.  A single step fall lawyer will often need the assistance of an engineer to explain to the jury why single steps are hazardous.

Lawyer George Patterson has retained and cross examined experts in such cases because most people do not appreciate the dangers of single steps.  Experts are useful in detailing the history of building codes and industry standards that have long recognized the dangers of single steps.  Such experts also distinguish the single steps that pedestrians encounter safely on a daily basis from those unmarked single steps that are likely to cause injuries.  For example, pedestrians are used to and expect single steps when leaving the curb to cross a roadway.  There are numerous visual cues for these single steps that pedestrians can readily observe.

Some single steps are easily detected but are still dangerous.  Most building codes limit the maximum height of a commercial step to 7 inches and a residential step to 8 inches.  Steps that exceed that height are dangerous because pedestrians are accustomed to steps of a certain height.  Pedestrians when confronted with steps that are too tall may catch their foot on the step and fall forward.  This danger is often found on platforms in parking garages that surround stair cases. These platforms are required to prevent heavier gases from fuel spills from entering stairwells.  The single step prevents a serious fire hazard.   Designers have installed level platforms in parking garages with inclines leading to higher floors.  Such platforms confront pedestrians with a single step of varying heights depending on where the pedestrian approaches the platform.  This danger may be avoided by locating the stairwells at the edge of the parking garages where the locations are level.  If the level platform is located in a sloping garage the builder may place guard rails on the platform where the step height exceeds 7 inches.  

If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall caused by an unmarked single step or a step that fails to meet code requirements, please contact single step fall lawyer, George Patterson for a free consultation at the Bowie office of Reinstein, Glackin, Patterson and Herriott at 301-383-1525.

Each case is different.  Past records are no assurance that our lawyers will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case.

The single step fall lawyers at Reinstein, Glackin, Patterson & Herriott serve clients in Prince George's, Montgomery, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Howard, Anne Arundel, Queen Anne's and Baltimore Counties. Our clients are from Silver Spring, Upper Marlboro, Bowie, Forestville, Prince Frederick, Leonardtown, Annapolis, Edgewater, Rockville, Bethesda, Germantown, Oxon Hill, College Park, Takoma Park, Beltsville, Deale, Severna Park, Largo, Crofton, Columbia and Landover.
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