Is Poor Lighting a Premises Liability?

Jan 20, 2015 @ 06:52 AM — by Edward Deason

Scales of justiceWhen you own, maintain, or manage property that others use, you have a legal responsibility to provide a reasonably safe environment for those people. This is true of both public and private property, as even a privately owned business should meet given standards for the physical welfare of its workers. Maintaining safe premises, however, is not always a simple matter of eliminating obvious and egregious hazards. In many cases, overlooking a small or subtle problem can have dire consequences.

One commonly overlooked problem in premises liability is poor lighting, which may result in a number of accidents to workers, customers, or passersby. If you have suffered an accident in a poorly lit area outside your home, someone may be held responsible for negligence. Take a moment to learn more about this liability from our Torrance law firm.

Results of Poor Lighting

We often take well-lit areas for granted. Even when it’s gloomy and overcast outside, there is usually more light than the average indoor room. When a room is poorly lit by comparison, it’s surprisingly easy to miss an object on the floor or a room’s layout, resulting in personal injury. Depending on where you are, poor lighting may result in a number of accidents, including:

  • A slip or fall from uneven carpet or flooring
  • Tripping over objects
  • Hitting a wall, door, or other obstruction
  • Falling down a stairwell
  • Collision with another person
  • Auto accidents in parking lots

Additionally, poor lighting may allow potential criminals to commit crimes such as robbery without raising alarm or notice from others. In a store, such lighting may also encourage shoplifters, as they believe they are better hidden from view. Overall, poor lighting increases the risk of accidents and does not discourage would-be criminals in the way that properly lit areas do.

What Constitutes Poor Lighting?

There are multiple reasons why premises may suffer from poor lighting. In some cases, the light fixture may simply not be strong or far-reaching enough to cover the required area. This is especially true when building owners or managers do not install overhead lights or attempt to cover multiple rooms with too few fixtures. Hallways also tend to suffer from poor lighting, making stairwells and steps particularly dangerous.

In other cases, a light may be dull or broken, thus requiring replacement. If the light is not replaced in a timely manner, it presents a clear danger to anyone on the premises. Even if the light is malfunctioning due to more complicated reasons, such as faulty wiring, it is still the owner’s responsibility to ensure the area is well lit.

Worse yet, some areas may be unlit altogether. If a parking lot does not have any lighting, and there is a chance that cars may be parking or driving there for any purpose in the evening, the owner may be held responsible for any accidents that occur.

Seeking Compensation for Injury

If you have been injured due to a poorly lit room or area, you may deserve compensation for your damages. By working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can learn who was truly at fault for your accident and to what extent you may be compensated. For example, an injury in the workplace brought about by poor lighting warrants careful scrutiny. What exactly was the lighting setup, and for how long had these conditions persisted? What actions had the property owner taken to remedy the lighting situation or prevent injury in general? Depending on these answers and the nature of your injuries, you may be entitled to full compensation, including medical bills, ongoing care, and missed wages. For more severe injuries, pain and suffering damages may be awarded. Speak with one of our knowledge attorneys to learn more about your specific case.   

Contact Us for More Information

If your injuries could have been prevented by the reasonable upkeep of someone’s premises, there’s a good chance that they may be held liable. Contact us today for a risk-free consultation on your case.

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