Premises Liability

Single Step Fall


Injured by a Single Step?

Single steps violate building codes because they are dangerous and often unnecessary.

Single steps are dangerous

Safe and Unsafe Single Steps

When a potential client comes to my office as a result of a fall, I believe it is my job to determine why the person fell. Most of us have walked thousands of miles without sustaining a serious injury from a fall or a stumble. Each and every one of us is highly evolved to safely walk. Most of us have also been spoiled by modern buildings and codes. These codes have eliminated so many dangerous conditions to the point that only trained experts understand why a single step is dangerous. 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. Engineers and architects try to avoid single steps where possible. Where single steps exist or cannot be avoided clear markings are required. 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 that are obvious and visible are safe. The most common single step is the curb in parking lots and along roads. These single steps are easily seen because they are marked by roadways and parking spaces. People expect curbs. A single step in the middle of a hallway or room will lead to repeated falls, stumbles and strips. Most such incidents fortunately will not lead to significant injuries.  Others will suffer distal radius fractures (broken wrist), hip fractures, dental injuries and shattered knees.

Building Codes are about Safety

Single Steps often violate building codes

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 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. 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 Patterson law 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.

Some building codes prohibited stairs to address changes in elevation of less than 21 inches because single steps, short steps and small flights of stairs often went unnoticed and were conducive to missteps.

Violating a Building Code is just as Irresponsible as violating a driving safety rule

Single Step Lawyer with Proven Results

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. Single step lawyer, George Patterson has recovered over a million dollars on behalf of people injured as a result of single steps.

Totally confident with his advice and actions. Highly knowledgable and intuitive. I have never had to use legal services before, and throughout the entire process Mr. Patterson kept me up to date on a regular basis, and helped me come to a generous outcome. His combination of philosophy, knowledge of economics, and years of experience make him the supreme advisor and champion when deciding to go in a legal direction. I couldn't be more happy with the outcome of my case.

Sandy C.

Client injured by a Single Step Fall

Building owners always want to blame the person that was victim of their building code violations for not seeing the violation.I am here to prove that the code provision was created because engineers knew people would not see the danger before encountering it.

Maria Patterson, Single Step Fall Lawyer

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Our Successes

Patterson Law takes pride with every client that recovers. Recovery is more than the settlements and verdicts obtained for our clients. Each and every one of these clients had been shepherded through a process where powerful insurance companies fought to defeat or minimize their claims. Each result represents a client’s dignity being affirmed.

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The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys is an organization devoted to recognizing the top Personal Injury attorneys in the nation. With over a million attorneys in the United States, choosing the best lawyer is difficult. However, through a stringent selection process, the NAOPIA awards the best Persona Injury attorneys in each state with our most prestigious honor of being named “TOP 10”. The very few attorneys (less than 1%) that are good enough to make our list have demonstrated an extraordinary amount of knowledge, skill, experience, expertise and success in their practice of Personal Injury.

The single step fall lawyers at Patterson Law 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.

Get Started Today

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 Patterson Law at 301-383-1522. Each case is different. Past records are no assurance that our lawyers will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case.

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