Poor lighting can be as dangerous as a banana peel on a grocery store floor. When we can’t see, we can’t protect ourselves. Places open to the public have a duty to make sure their premises is reasonable safe.
If the lighting is poor, this could be a hazard and could lead to liability for the owner if someone was to get hurt because they couldn’t see.
So, who pays for the damages when someone is injured because of poor light conditions? In some cases, the owner of the establishment might be on the hook, and in other cases the injured person will have to bear the costs of their injuries.
The reason is because to prove a personal injury case because of poor lighting, the victim must prove that the owner negligently did something or failed to do something. In other words, the owner put in lights that were inadequate or failed to fix the inadequate lighting that was there or simple didn’t replace burned out bulbs in a timely manner.
Proof in Poor Lighting Slip and Fall Accidents
Anytime someone is on property that is open to the public, or a private property where they have been invited, the walkways, stairways and paths need to be well lit so a person can see where they are going. If the area is not lit or not lit well, then it may be considered hazardous and the owner could be liable if the condition caused an injury.
However, proving poor lighting or no lighting isn’t enough for Pennsylvania law. To make a claim that lighting was insufficient, victim needs proof that the owner either knew or should have known about the condition and didn’t fix it in a timely manner. The owner has an ongoing duty to make sure lights are working properly and that there is enough light for the area.
Finally, if the owner created the poor light conditions by putting in insufficient lighting or none at all where it was required, then the owner might be held liable should someone get injured.
Common Places where Poor Lighting Causes a Hazard
Sighted people need light to see so they can navigate their surroundings. When the lighting isn’t sufficient, then a person might step wrong or trip over something that they would have seen had the lighting been adequate. Pennsylvania building code outlines the areas that should have lighting and how much light there should be. Some of common circumstances where poor lighting hazards are:
- Stairwells: Many older stores and apartment building use stairs as a means of getting onto upper and lower floors. Sometimes these stairwells are poorly lit making navigation difficult.
- Parking Decks/Lots: Parking decks sometimes have poor lighting and a driver might not see another car or even a pedestrian. At night, a poorly lit parking lot can be an invitation for criminals to prey on people as the go to their cars.
- Office/Workplace: Sometimes offices and other workplaces have improper lighting that can lead to injuries. These can be because the lighting is low or it is the wrong kind of lighting for the needs of the workers.
Just about any place can have poor lighting, and if someone is injured because of the owner’s actions (or inaction) then a claim might be made by anyone injured as a result.
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, you need to talk to someone who has experience in making successful claims. You need a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorney. Someone who is going to be on your side and can make the system work for you. The insurance companies and store owners go through these claims all the time, and they are experienced at finding ways to pay you little or nothing.
At The Pearce Law Firm, P.C., we’ve handled many slip and fall cases. Insurance companies routinely deal with these cases, but it’s possible that this is your first—and hopefully only—one. They know how to pay you as little as possible or none at all and will often try to blame you for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation after any type of accident which resulted in a serious injury.