We recently represented a man who was injured when he fell down a set of stairs at the house where he rented a room. There was no slip resistant surface or handrail installed on the stairs.  Our client slipped, fell and broke his ankle.

We opened a claim with the property owner’s insurance company.
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The insurance company was quick to point out:
  • Our client fell down the stairs while he was trying to leave the house to go to the casino in the middle of the night.
  • Our client knew the stairs were slippery (he’d previously notified the landlord about the condition of the stairs) and should have either avoided them or been more careful negotiating them.

We didn’t let the insurance company shift blame to our client. And ultimately none of this mattered:

There wasn’t a handrail on the stairs.  And if there isn’t a handrail, it doesn’t matter whether the client tripped, mis-stepped or slipped.  And it didn’t matter whether the client knew that the stairs could be slippery.

The lack of a handrail meant the insurance company was on the hook.
We settled the case for the property owner’s policy limits of $300,000 in less than three months.