Determining Liability for Slip and Fall Due to Poor Lighting

dim light in a roomBad lighting can lead to many accidents, including a slip and fall or a trip and fall. Injuries sustained in these incidents can seriously affect a person’s wellbeing. Not only in the moment but also in the future, as the pain and suffering associated with the injury may be felt for the rest of the person’s life.

If you were injured in a Sacramento slip and fall accident, our attorneys are prepared to help you file a claim to pursue the compensation you need.

Below, we discuss some factors involved in building a slip and fall case concerning poor lighting.

Where Did the Slip and Fall Occur?

The location of the accident is important because it may help establish whether a private or public party is financially liable for your damages. The legal processes and deadlines for claims against public and private entities are different.

There are different rules for how property must be lit and who is responsible for the maintenance of adequate lighting. While residential and commercial property both may be privately-owned, the duty of care for owners of these different types of properties is different.

If the accident happened on commercial property, such as a grocery store, the property owner and those managing the day-to-day operation of the business have an obligation to inspect the property for hazards and quickly deal with them.

What Are the Minimum Lighting Requirements for the Property?

California’s Title 24 emphasizes the importance of building design and construction flexibility by requiring the Energy Commission to establish an “energy budget” in terms of the energy consumption per square foot of floor space.

According to the Title 24 guidelines, lighting design must take human needs like safety and visibility into account when allotting the energy budget to a non-residential property.

For example, a grocery store is required to have lighting in each aisle to prevent shoppers from tripping on items or slippery floors. Buildings are also required to have lighting in stairwells. If the owner of the property failed to follow these basic lighting requirements, he or she may be liable for your damages.

The extent of these requirements may vary from one property to the next, so it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who is prepared to review the lighting requirements to determine whether the property owner acted negligently.

Who Is Responsible for the Maintenance of the Property?

Maintenance usually falls to the owner of the property. That does not mean the owner of a business is the person changing lightbulbs, though. While liability for an accident that occurs in a poorly-lit area of a property may fall to the owner, it is also important to determine whether the maintenance workers charged with doing the work of changing lightbulbs or fixing faulty wiring did so properly.

If the proper steps were taken by the property owner to ensure adequate lighting in low-light areas, but the maintenance company did a bad job or acted negligently, liability may fall to the maintenance company or worker.

It is important to note that liability for a poor lighting slip and fall accident may only fall to the owner if there is reason to believe he or she knew about inadequate lighting, or should have known about it, yet did nothing to correct the issue.

How Does Impairment Factor into Liability?

Some slip and fall accidents that occur due to poor lighting may be at a bar, restaurant or night club where it is common for a person to have one or several drinks. In these types of establishments, lighting is usually dimmed, so it is more likely that a slip and fall could occur. If you were impaired at the time of the accident, you may be wondering whether you can file a claim.

In California, even someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol who was injured on a property due to the owner’s negligence may be eligible to recover compensation.

The insurance company may try to argue that your impairment was the reason for the slip and fall, but our attorneys are prepared to help you prove that the accident could have happened to anyone because the poor lighting was a preventable hazard.

Need Help Filing a Claim? Call Us Today

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident caused by poor lighting, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your damages. Let our experienced attorneys help you file a claim to pursue maximum compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim with no obligation to take legal action. There are also no fees while we work on your case, and we do not get paid unless you do.

Call 916-777-7777 to schedule a free consultation.