Tall Step Injury Lawyers

A marked single step in a parking garage.


Contact Information

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.

First Name
Last Name
Address Street 1
Address Street 2
Zip Code
Daytime Phone
Evening Phone
Email Address
People that trip or fall on a single step have a difficult time obtaining help from personal injury lawyers.  The fall victim often struggles to explain why they fell.  This is particularly true when they fall as a result of a step that is too tall.  The people that fell struggle to explain why they fell on a step that was there to be seen.  

Engineers, code officials and architects know the reasons why people fall on single steps.  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. 
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.    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.
 Most building codes limit the maximum height of a commercial step to 7 inches and a residential step to 8 inches.    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.  

There are three reasons why pedestrians will fall on a single step that is too high.

The first reason is that pedestrians have been trained by building codes that have been in existence for decades to expect steps that are about 7 inches tall.  If a pedestrian sees a step ahead that is 9 inches tall they may only lift their foot 8 inches high out of habit, hitting the top of the step.  Once the lead foot hits the top of the step and is stopped the person will 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.  

The second reason is a person that is approaching a single step from the higher elevation.  A single step that is too tall is likely to be seen from the higher elevation but the depth of the drop is unlikely to be appreciated.  If a pedestrian expects their foot to hit ground sooner than it does the pedestrian is likely to stumble and fall.

The third reason is that the top edge of the step is rounded over more than a half an inch.  A concrete platform that has a step that is 8 inches tall with a rounded edge of an inch can create a visual deception.  Imagine that the concrete platform is light grey on the top and is in a parking garage with grey concrete parking and driving surfaces.  If the raised platform abuts a parking space the flat sides of the platform are likely to be darkened by tires brushing against the sides of the platform.  The rounded beveled area will remain a light grey like the top of the platform.  Thus a pedestrian will see a step that appears to be seven inches tall and their lead foot will hit the 1 inch rounded top of the step causing them to fall forward. 

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.

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. 

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.
Website Builder