Poor lighting may result in accidents and serious injuries at businesses and on residential property. If you have fallen and injured yourself on someone else's property due to poor lighting, you may be able to recover compensation by bringing a premises liability claim against the property or business owner. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles premises liability attorneys have experience handling these claims on behalf of people who have been hurt while visiting other parties’ property.Injuries Caused by Poor Lighting
If an area of someone else's house or business is poorly lit, it may feel like you are navigating blind. In the dark, you might miss a step, a hole, an object, or a wire and suffer serious injuries. Property owners are supposed to provide sufficient lighting and keep their lights in good repair so that lawful visitors do not face an unreasonable risk. It may be appropriate to place a lamp, an overhead light, a floor light, a night light, or another form of light so that dangers may be appropriately avoided or handled.
In some cases, there is enough lighting, but a bulb has burned out or a wire has come loose. The property owner is supposed to fix a bulb or loose wire, or provide warnings about the unlit area until the problem is addressed. Sometimes the solution is to place emergency or temporary lighting in an area until a more permanent solution can be found.
A failure to have appropriate lighting may be negligence in California. All property owners are considered to have the duty to use reasonable care to keep their stairwells, halls, and passages free of obstructions and well lit. Liability may be based on poor lighting or insufficient lighting under the circumstances. For example, when a plaintiff fell and was hurt because there was no illumination in the stairway of a guesthouse, and the steps of the staircase were the same color as the floor beneath, the judge found for the plaintiff in a bench verdict, even though she had been a guest for 18 days and had gone up and down the stairs many times.
Typically, you will need to show that the defendant knew or should have known about the poor lighting in order to recover damages. Sometimes it is possible to show constructive notice by showing that a condition existed for a long period of time before the accident, thus giving the property owner sufficient time to repair the condition or provide warnings about it. Sometimes there is surveillance footage to show when a bulb blew out. However, surveillance tapes may not be kept for very long; often, they are reused, particularly in a commercial setting.
Sometimes poor lighting at a business, such as a bar, or in a mall stairwell may result in a third-party attack. You may be able to make a negligent security claim against a business if you are attacked by a third party as a result of poor lighting or another security issue, and the property has a history of criminal activity similar to what you suffered, such that the property owner knew or should have known about it. For example, if there are several violent muggings in the parking lot of a mall, of which the mall's owner knows, the mall may have a duty to take increased security precautions like improving the lighting.
When you can establish liability for poor lighting, you may recover compensatory damages, such as past and future lost income, past and future medical expenses, household services, lost earning capacity, vocational rehabilitation, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and mental anguish.Discuss Your Case with a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Los Angeles
Poor lighting may not seem like a big deal, but it may result in serious injuries. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced Los Angeles attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation from a negligent property owner. Contact us online or call us at (866) 422-7222 for a free appointment with a negligent security lawyer or to seek assistance with another type of premises liability case. We also represent victims in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, San Bernardino, and Riverside, among other Southern California cities.