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2 ways that bad lighting can lead to premises liability claims

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2023 | Premises Liability

Premises liability is the technical term for the legal and financial responsibility that a property owner or business incurs when someone gets hurt as a result of a hazardous property-related condition. Homeowners and landlords typically have insurance that provides them with premises liability coverage. Many businesses that are open to the public also carry some kind of premises liability insurance.

Such coverage can help pay medical expenses and property damage costs if people get hurt while they are visiting someone else’s property. Inadequate lighting is a common contributing factor to many premises liability claims.

1. Bad lighting can lead to injuries

If there isn’t sufficient illumination in a stairway, someone could fail to notice an obstacle on the floor that will cause them to trip and fall. Hallways and entryways typically also require sufficient lighting for people to see clearly, as the risk of someone slipping, tripping and falling is noteworthy.

If someone tumbles down the stairs or falls and breaks an arm in a dark hallway, they could potentially claim that the lack of lighting was negligent on the part of the business or property owner.

2. Bad lighting can contribute to crime risk

Those knowingly breaking the law don’t want to get caught in the act. They often choose dark areas without any noticeable security if they intend to mug someone or otherwise commit an interpersonal crime.

Research has shown that proper lighting in parking lots and other exterior areas around businesses and residential properties can decrease the likelihood of criminal activity. However, some businesses fail to install the lighting necessary for the safety of the fair employees, patrons and visitors. Such scenarios involve claims of negligent security, as the business left visitors at unnecessary risk of crime.

Given that the risks of this hazard are so well known, inadequate lighting is arguably a form of negligence that might lead to grounds upon which an injury victim can file a legitimate premises liability claim. Those who have been hurt by criminal activity or a preventable fall related to inadequate lighting may be able to hold a property owner accountable for their financial losses. Pursuing a premises liability claim may involve negotiating with an insurance company or possibly even filing a lawsuit in civil court. As a result, working with an experienced legal professional proactively is generally a good idea in the wake of sustaining a preventable injury.


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