When we visit a place of business, whether it is one of the big box chains, a restaurant, or the corner gas station we expect that the inside of the business will be well-lighted and, if we visit at night, we expect the parking area to be well-lighted as well. The vast majority of the time this is just what we find. But ask a personal injury lawyer what she sees and you might get a different picture.
But what about when the lighting is there but there are shadows covering some parts of a walkway, or perhaps the parking lot has a few lights that are out making it hard to see things like speed bumps or potholes in the pavement? And what happens if you should trip over something that you didn’t see, or what happens if someone hits you with their car because they couldn’t see you walking to your car in the parking lot because the lights in the parking lot were not working?
A Little Light on the Subject
As a customer at a store, visitor at a hospital, or user of public sidewalks, you have the right to expect that any area that you could visit, walk on, or drive upon should be properly maintained to ensure your safety. If you should fail to see something and trip over it because of bad lighting, the person or persons that failed to make sure that there was adequate light provided may be liable for any injuries that you sustain.
The owner, operator, or custodian of a business or a piece of property that is open to the public has the responsibility to make sure that access to any portion that a visitor might be expected to enter is maintained in a way that ensures a visitor’s safety. Just as placing a “Slippery When Wet” sign on a floor that is being cleaned is necessary to warn that a safety hazard is present, if an area is too dark to be safely entered there is a duty to restrict entry into that area by placing some barrier to entry or by placing a warning sign in an area where it could be clearly seen.
The same right to safe usage or safe passage exists even if the responsibility for that safety lies with a city or county streets and roads department. The responsibility for maintaining well-lit and safe streets is made more important because traffic may be moving much faster than expected. If a driver cannot see danger ahead because of poor lighting from street lights that are not working and an accident occurs, the party responsible for maintaining streetlights may be held legally liable for any damages that might occur.
The duty to provide adequate lighting extends to private homes as well. If a visitor, even if that visitor is a best friend, trips or falls because poor lighting made it difficult to see an object, then the homeowner may be held responsible for any injuries that occurred.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer In Accidents Due To Poor Visibility
If you have been injured in an accident where poor lighting may have been involved, you should talk with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. As an experienced personal injury lawyer, The Tate Law Group will be glad to review the facts of your case and advise you about the possibility that you might have a claim against the party whose responsibility it was to provide a safe environment.
The States of Georgia and South Carolina place limits on the period of time available to you to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been injured in an accident, contact The Tate Law Group today to discuss your case.