Can I sue my landlord for not having a railing on the staircase?

by Cherissa
(Las Vegas, NV)

When I was about 5 - 6 months pregnant I had fallen down the stairs twice because there is no railing. I went to the hospital both times just to make sure everything was okay with the baby. Everything checked out but I had to me monitored and was in pain. I didn't think much of it at the time.

Then I had my son and he is almost 6 months old. I was walking with him down the stairs again in our home and fell with him in my arms - we almost fell over the edge. I managed to save him and I had the paramedics check him out because I was holding him in my arms laying down, so his arm was behind the top of my back. I thought he was injured because he cried a lot. They said he was fine, just probably scared, but I could not move.

When paramedics got to my home I was stuck on my side and I could not put ant pressure on my back. I couldn't turn to get up, roll over, stand up, sit up or anything. I was admitted to the hospital for 4 days, away from my son and work. I also had to have X-rays and a MRI. I have no insurance and nothing is broken but I still cannot move or care for my son.

I now want to move out of my home. I would like my deposit and to be out of my lease because my son is beginning to crawl and there is no way to stop him from going up or down the dangerous stairs. I don't know what else to do.

Am I able to sue my landlord for all my medical expenses, including the ambulance ride and the money for medications, pain and suffering, missing work, not being able to care for my son, etc? Nothing is broken, but I have a bruised bone and torn muscles and ligaments. What do I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I sue my landlord for not having a railing on the staircase?":

Cherissa (Las Vegas, NV):

The State of Nevada, like all other states, has state and local building codes. The City Las Vegas Building Code, Section 18-4 (i) requires commercial buildings built after 1996 to have installed stairwell railings in floors above the first level.

Depending on what year the building was erected will determine whether a stair rail should have been installed. Even if your building predates 1996, that still doesn’t totally relieve the owner and landlord of liability.

If people like yourself who had fallen previously reported the danger to the owner or landlord and they failed to install some sort of stair rail or other design to assist tenants when they are climbing and walking down the stair case, and the landlord or owner ignored the warnings, they may be liable to some extent.

It is apparent from the duration of your stay in the hospital you must have been quite seriously injured.

There are occasions when people can represent themselves in personal injury cases. Then there are those which require the intervention of a seasoned personal injury attorney. This is one of those occasions.

The attorney will be able to investigate the facts, and prior history of the owner and landlord. Most personal injury attorneys do not charge any legal fee for an initial office consultation. Seeing one will help you to understand the facts and the law as they apply to your case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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