Outside steps with no railing...

by Lisa
(Phoenix, Arizona)

I fell and was injured outside a friend's apartment. There were two concrete steps without a railing, and then a sidewalk like a path, and then stairs to her apartment. I hurt my knee and back but didn't go to the doctor for weeks. I now regret this. I'm just trying to see if I can prove the steps are to blame. Then maybe they will get fixed before someone else is hurt.

Where or how do I find out if the steps were improperly made or not installed to code in my state? To see if I even have claim against them? Since I didn't get treated for several weeks, I don't have a claim, right? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Outside steps with no railing...":

Lisa (Phoenix, Arizona):

To know whether the property owner was in violation of the City of Phoenix's Building Code will require information, including the date the property was built, whether any exceptions were requested by the property owner, whether requests for modifications or "variances" from the building code were granted, and more.

You can begin by accessing the City of Phoenix's Building Code and related information.

In the Building Code, Page 24, Section A, 107.2.3 "Means of Egress" requires that...

"the construction documents shall show in sufficient detail the location, construction, size and character of all portions of the means of egress including the path of the exit discharge to the public way in compliance with the provisions of this code."

You can also contact the City of Phoenix Clerk for more information and immediate access to the City of Phoenix Building Codes at:

Phoenix City Clerk
200 West Washington St., 15th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Telephone: 602.262.6811

Inasmuch as you didn't report the injury to the property owner or manager at the time of the injury, it will be difficult to prove your injuries occurred as a direct and proximate result of your fall.

The property owner and his or her insurance company will contend your injuries occurred prior to, or subsequent to the fall on the property, and from an entirely separate and unrelated event.

Without evidence in the form of an incident report, ambulance record, doctor's narrative, or medical clinic admission form made close to the time of your fall, you will have a very of difficult time proving a personal injury claim.

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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