How to Prevent Falls Accidents At Home

By: Manuel Salvacion

Accidents occur even in the safety of our own homes. The National Safety Council reported last year that “falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in most homes, followed by poisoning, fire, choking, suffocation, and drowning."

You can help prevent falls injury by identifying accident prone areas at home such as:
• Stairs
• Ramps
• Landings
• Porches
• Balconies
• Terraces

However, more often, fall accidents are caused by negligence or the improper construction of stairs, ramps, landings, porches etc. When this happens, building contractors and builders are liable for negligent injuries under the torts laws.

To ensure safety at home, the Standard Building Code requires building contractors and builders to adhere to certain dimensional requirements in home construction:

• Stairs - "Treads (depth) and risers (height) should be proportioned so that the sum of two risers and a tread, exclusive of projection of nosing, is not less than 24 inches or more than 25 inches. The height of the riser shall not exceed 7 3/4 inches and treads, exclusive of nosing, shall be no less than 9 inches wide."
• Ramps – Ramps must be built with the maximum slope of 1 in 8, and a 3 foot by 3 foot landings is required at the top and bottom. Handrails are also required.
• Handrails – For one and two family homes, handrails are required where there are stairways with three or more steps. The handrails should be built not less than 30 inches or more than 38 inches above the leading edge of the tread.
• Guardrails – Guardrails must be built for balconies, porches, ramp, landings, and in open side of the stairs and must measure 30 inches above ground level but not more than 42 inches.

If you become a victim of a falls injury due to negligence caused by an improperly constructed part of the house, it is best to call a personal injury lawyer to help you file your claims.

However, there are cases when a fall accident is caused by one’s carelessness. If you are planning to pursue a claim, your careless behavior may affect the outcome of your claim. Ask yourself questions whether your carelessness contributed in any way to the accident. When negotiating for a claim, the insurance adjuster will likely ask the same questions.

Therefore, if you happen to sustain injuries from accidents involving vehicles, brain injury, animal attack, premise liability, product liability, slip and fall injury, general negligence, medical malpractice, construction liability, and spinal cord injury, a personal injury attorney is the right man for the job.


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