Many people in the Atlanta area rely on wheelchair ramps to access businesses, places of worship, government buildings, grocery stores, etc. These ramps allow the elderly, those with strollers, those who use walkers, those who need more stability, and those with wheelchairs easier access to these buildings. Most of the time a person doesn’t think twice about wheelchair ramps, but many people have been unexpectedly injured using them.
There are several ways in which a wheelchair ramp can become dangerous and cause unexpected injuries.
The ramp is too steep
In most building codes, ramps need to have a minimum slope of 1:12. This means that if the ramp is designed to rise 1 foot in height, it must be 12 feet long. If a ramp is too steep there are risks of users tipping backwards and they also require greater energy to climb.
Most of the time, any ramp that is over 6 feet long is required to have handrails. Without handrails a person will not have anywhere to catch themselves if they begin to fall. When a ramp is wet, it can become slick and dangerous, so handrails are very important.
Ramps that are made out of wood are often dangerous. They can easily rot and are slippery when they are wet. If they are not coated in a slip-resistant paint or not well-maintained they can be dangerous.
If a person has been injured because of a faulty wheelchair ramp they may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in premises liability. An attorney can review the circumstances surrounding the accident and help determine who should be held responsible. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.