Visitor Question

Client Fell on Stairs of Office Building…

Submitted By: Vince (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

I have a client who uses a motorized wheel chair. They’ve been coming to see me at my office for 5 months and have to be helped up the 3 stairs to my door. They were being helped by their attendant and fell on the the three stairs leading up to the entrance to my building.

I rent the space there, and I’m wondering if I am liable for this client’s injuries?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Vince,

You may be liable. It depends on your relationship to the landlord and owner of the building.

If the stairs upon which your client fell were in a “shared” area, then you, all the tenants, the landlord, and owner may be liable individually and collectively for your client’s injuries. Your client is an “invitee” or “guest”. As a result the landlord and owner owe him a “duty of care” to make the premises safe. This is often referred to as “Premises Liability”.

It would be a good idea to review your lease agreement.

In it will be a description of the area you have rented.

The lease agreement should mention something about “shared” or “collective” space.

If the lease is silent regarding shared or collective space and only describes the office(s) you specifically rent, you may be able to escape liability for your client’s injuries.

The next question will be the extent of your client’s injuries.

If they are minor you will have little to worry about. If you have renters’ insurance your client’s injuries should be covered. If you don’t carry renters’ insurance now would be a good time to think about getting it.

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

Best of luck,

Published: December 20, 2011

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