Poor Lighting Can End Up In Court

Lighting is one of those things that most people in 21st century America take for granted. In our own homes, we can bring lights up with the flip of a switch. In public spaces, it’s always on, especially in the evenings, allowing us to carry on with our shopping, dining or even work if we’re still at the office.

Because lighting is so widespread and so prevalent, it’s easy to take it for granted. And that’s one of the reasons why, when we fail to get it, there may be grounds for going to court with a case of premises liability.

A Legal Obligation

Whether it is a public space, or a private one, the safety of visitors is the legal responsibility of the owner. The ability to clearly see and navigate an environment is part of that responsibility. A stairwell in a larger building is one of the areas where it is essential that good lighting is available, especially if there are no windows to provide light during the daytime.

Without clear lighting, attempting to walk down a dark flight of stairs can be a treacherous activity, and may even result in falling and injury. If this is further compounded by the stairs themselves being kept in poor condition, or, worse yet, the stairs not being clear of obstructions, such as wires, trash, or even spilled, slippery liquids, this increases the likelihood of an accident. And if that accident occurs because the owner of the property chose not to deal with this potential hazard, then financial compensation for the accident falls squarely on the shoulders of the owner.

The Importance Of Diligence

This legal responsibility is true whether you are running a business in a publicly accessible building, or just living your life in your own home. If for example, the light bulb illuminating your basement’s stairway has burned out, it’s inconvenient, and potentially dangerous for you as a homeowner. However, if you let weeks or even months go by, without replacing this light, and then have visitors with children over, if a child should decide to explore the basement, and then take a fall and sustain an injury, you may be at fault. Should that child’s parents decide to explore their legal options, and it comes out that the light bulb has been ignored for months, it’s possible that they could sue you for premises liability.

This is why it’s so important, whether at work or at home, to be responsible for maintaining your environment in safe, functioning condition. Ignoring a mess or a faulty fixture in your environment may seem like it’s saving you a bit of extra work, but the reality is that the negligence you exhibit and let other people see can work directly against you in a court of law should an injury result. “I didn’t feel like it at the time” is not going to be considered an acceptable defense against allowing someone to come to injury through an easily implemented piece of maintenance.

Talk To Us First

If you should get injured because you fell down a flight of poorly lit stairs or any other poor lighting situation, we can help. Explain your situation and an experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you through the rest.