Problem Areas For Poor Lighting
Poor lighting creates a wide range of hazards which can affect all aspects of a property. These dangers may surface in a number of ways.
Staircases and Stairwells
Walking into a dimly lit or unlit stairwell is a terrifying experience. Trying to walk up an improperly lit staircase is extremely dangerous. You may be unaware of any possible obstructions or tripping hazards.
It’s also difficult to see landing areas, which could lead to a misjudgment of steps. Tumbles down stairs often lead to some of the most serious injuries. In order to keep their guests safe, property owners must provide bright lighting in these areas.
When a failure to provide proper lighting results in an injury, the property owner may be held liable for the victim's injury-related expenses.
Indoor Walking Paths
Proper lighting is also important in hallways, lobbies, and foyers. Inadequate lighting in these areas may conceal serious tripping and slipping hazards. For example, an obstruction or wet floor which could have easily been avoided with proper lighting may cause a serious injury if the victim can’t see it.
Property exteriors should also be properly lit. Poorly lit ones increase the likelihood of falls which result from poor sidewalk conditions or obstructions. The risk of becoming a crime victim may also be heightened in dimly lit areas. Sidewalks, parking lots, and entrances should all be well-lit to ensure the safety of all guests.
Improperly lit exits present an extreme danger to the customers of any business. In the event of a fire or other emergency, patrons need to be able to quickly identify exits in order to escape to safety.
Swimming pools are present an obvious risk for slips and falls, because of the slippery surface areas which surround them. An improperly lit pool area poses a hazard to all guests since it is difficult to see any puddles which could cause a fall.
Common Injuries From Poor Lighting
Poor lighting is more likely to cause some of the most damaging slip and fall injuries. Many of these accidents involve falls down staircases or onto hard surfaces like the outer areas of swimming pools or concrete parking garages. Examples include:
- Fractures and sprains - Falling and making an impact with a hard surface like asphalt or concrete can easily lead to sprains and broken bones.
- Lacerations and scarring - Falls can easily break the skin. In extreme cases, permanent scarring may result from lacerations incurred in a slip and fall accident.
- Spinal cord injuries - Severe spinal cord injuries are common, especially if the victim lands on his or her back.
- Traumatic brain injuries - According to the CDC, falls were the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries from 2006-2010 - accounting for 40% of all TBIs. Examples include concussions and both temporary and permanent brain damage.
- Chronic back pain - Many victims may suffer from a lifetime of chronic back problems which never fully heal.
- Neck and shoulder injuries - Some victims may experience symptoms of whiplash following a fall. Other neck and shoulder injuries include fractures, sprains, herniated discs, and muscle strains.
If you’ve recently been in a slip and fall accident and are suffering from any of these injuries, get to a doctor as soon as possible. Your health should be the top priority. Next, consider your legal options.
How Can I Hold A Property Owner Responsible?
If you’ve suffered serious injuries as a result of a slip and fall in a poorly lit area, know that the law is on your side. It is easier to prove negligence in these situations than similar accidents caused by factors such as ice and snow. There are a few questions to consider when determining the negligence of a property owner.
- How long has the problem existed? - Time is one of the biggest factors in determining fault for these cases. If dim lighting has been a longtime standard for this property owner, it is very likely that he or she will be found negligent. Conversely, if the poor lighting conditions which contributed to your accident were caused by a recently blown out bulb outside of business hours, negligence may be more difficult to prove
- What is the maintenance routine? - Property owners who rarely inspect their lighting systems are more likely to be found liable. Those who claim to do so may have a tough time proving it unless they have some sort of documentation.
- Did the owner know about the problem? - If an employee or concerned residents have notified the property owner about lighting problems, it is highly likely that they will be found liable for damages in the event of an accident.
If you can prove that one or more of these conditions apply, there is a good chance you will receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. If there are security cameras outside of the properly, it will be easy to verify how long the problem has existed.
Relevant Slip & Fall Pages