You probably do not think twice before approaching a stairway and climbing either up or down it. Still, stair-related injuries are alarmingly common in the U.S. In fact, according to the results of a study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, nearly 25 million Americans suffered injuries on stairs during a recent 23-year period.
Even though humans have used stairs for millennia, stairs have not changed much. Indeed, they continue to have three basic parts: stringers, risers and runners. Regrettably, each of these three parts can be hazardous to your health.
Stringers are two, three or more pieces of material that run diagonally beneath the part of the stairs you see. Their primary purpose is twofold, supporting the stairs and anchoring them to the top and bottom foundations. As you may suspect, though, stringers can deteriorate over time. If they do, you might suffer a catastrophic injury during a stairway collapse.
Risers are the components of stairs that go upward, covering the gaps that naturally come between runners. While risers are typically the least dangerous parts of stars, they have their own set of risks. For example, your foot may push through an old, damaged or defective riser, potentially causing you serious bodily harm.
When you climb a staircase, the runners are where you place your feet. Obviously, because dirt, moisture and other slip hazards can accumulate on runners, it is possible to lose your footing on a runner and fall to the bottom of the staircase. Furthermore, damaged runners always have a chance of breaking under the weight of their bodies.
Ultimately, if you suffer a tragic injury due to any part of a staircase, you may need to pursue financial compensation from the property owner to enable you to seek the medical care and rehabilitation you deserve.