Is Poor Lighting an Adequate Cause for Liability in a Slip-and-Fall Case?
Slip-and-fall accidents are unfortunately very common. While many accidents leave victims with nothing more than a bruised ego and a little soreness, some have far more serious consequences. Some slip-and-fall victims suffer traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord damage, and other serious injuries.
When this happens, it is important to seek fair and full compensation from the liable party. Medical bills add up quickly, and a serious injury could keep you out of work for weeks, months, or even years. Learn more about slip-and-fall accidents caused by poor lighting, and when you’re ready to discuss your claim, call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883.
Poor Lighting Can Be Dangerous
Inadequate lighting can be incredibly dangerous—there’s a reason that thriller, action, and horror movies use patchy and unreliable lighting to put characters in further danger. Inadequate lighting makes it harder for people to see obstacles, know the layout of the area they are in, and safely navigate to an exit. This is the case whether it’s a familiar or unfamiliar area, but the risk is heightened in an unfamiliar area.
Not only can poor lighting cause an accident, but it can also make an accident worse. When people slip and fall, they often try to catch themselves and limit the damage. Inadequate lighting makes this nearly impossible, as the victim can’t see nearby guardrails or other sturdy items that they can use to catch themselves.
Was the Property Owner Negligent?
For a slip-and-fall victim to seek compensation after a fall, they must be able to show that the property owner was negligent. This deals largely with the property owner’s duty to the victim.
In Connecticut, a property owner’s duty depends on whether the victim was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. They have the greatest duty of care to invitees, those who are invited onto the property to do business or use it in an appropriate manner as determined by the owner. This category includes shoppers and diners. Property owners must keep their property free of hidden dangers, carry out repairs, and warn invitees of potential dangers.
The duty of care owed to licensees is lower. This category includes those who enter the property by invitation or with permission. Visitors at one’s home are considered licensees. In this case, owners do not have to inspect the property for dangerous conditions. The rules are slightly different regarding rental residential properties.
Trespassers are owed no duty of care under Connecticut law. However, if property owners could reasonably expect children to trespass—for example, because of a pool or trampoline—they must take reasonable steps to secure dangerous areas.
For a property owner to be considered negligent, they must have failed to meet the duty of care owed to the victim. Consider a shopper who slips and falls in a store.
Because of a burnt-out lightbulb, they were unable to see a small step up in the floor level. They tripped and fell on their face, causing lacerations and broken facial bones. In this case, the store owner would likely have had a duty of care to replace the light bulb right away or prevent guests from entering that area of the store until the bulb had been replaced.
How Inadequate Lighting Can Occur
Burnt-out lightbulbs are one of the most common forms of inadequate lighting, but this certainly isn’t the only way inadequate lighting can cause injuries. Entire electrical circuits can malfunction, causing lighting to flicker, go out intermittently, or fail completely. When this occurs, property owners must get the issue repaired promptly and keep visitors from accessing the affected area until it is fixed.
Lighting can also be inadequate by design. Consider areas that are dimly lit to create the appropriate atmosphere or environment. While this can be appealing to customers, if taken too far it can also increase the likelihood of an accident.
Reach Out to The Dodd Law Firm Today
If a poorly lit area has left you injured, don’t wait any longer to talk to an attorney. Call The Dodd Law Firm at 203-272-1883 or send us a message online to schedule a consultation with our experienced slip-and-fall attorneys.