Inadequate Lighting Injuries
Inadequate lighting can present serious safety and health hazards to someone visiting a private residence, business, or other public place. Massachusetts law requires property owners and business owners to provide an environment that as reasonably safe for people who are lawfully on their premises. This includes conducting regular inspections, make necessary repairs, and provide warnings about any unsafe conditions like inadequate lighting.
Types of Inadequate Lighting
Inadequate lighting can occur in a wide variety of situations. A power outage in a business like a store or other facility can result in an injury from inadequate lighting because there are no emergency lights, or a back-up generator is not available or used. Other examples of inadequate lighting include:
- Light bulbs that are not properly maintained or are burned out
- Turning off or lowering the lights in a store or other facility before all of the customers or people inside have had a chance to exit the building
- Failure to install proper or adequate lighting where needed
- Failure to replace lights that have been damaged
- Failure to turn on house lights in a movie theater when patrons are entering or leaving
When the lighting is not adequate in an area, a person who is walking or trying to navigate the area may be unable to see certain hazards like potholes, broken stairs, a buckle in the sidewalk, or other obstacles. Furthermore, they often cannot see where they are landing and cannot see to grab anything to break their fall so they tend to fall very hard.
Injuries Caused by Inadequate Lighting
Injuries that are caused by inadequate lighting are typically injuries from a “slip and fall.” They can be serious, resulting in time lost from work, impact family life, and even impact a person’s quality of life. The CDC reports that one out of five falls results in broken bones, a head injury, or other type of serious injury. More than 700,000 patients are hospitalized each year because of injury due to a fall and 2.5 million older people are seen in the emergency department because of fall injuries.
Types of injuries resulting from inadequate lighting can include:
- Neck, spine, and back injuries – includes broken back or neck, slipped disk, pinched nerve, injury that causes chronic pain, requires surgery, or causes disability.
- Torn ligaments and tendons – includes torn ligaments or tendons in the wrists, knees, ankles, and feet that may require physical therapy, surgery, permanent disability, and extended time off from work.
- Head injuries – includes traumatic brain injuries or brain damage which may cause behavioral problems, cognition problems, memory problems, and ongoing mobility issues and require extensive rehabilitation or even surgery.
- Broken pelvis or broken hip – includes a fracture or break to the hip or pelvis resulting in hip replacement surgery or prolonged stay in a rehabilitative facility or nursing home.
Many victims of slip and fall accidents are senior citizens. The elderly are more likely to fall and have an increased chance of sustaining injury when they fall. When an older person is injured, especially when a bone is broken, such as a hip or pelvis, it can be devastating.
Legal Rights for Victims of Inadequate Lighting Injuries
If you have had an accident on someone else’s property due to inadequate lighting, you may be eligible for compensation. In a liability claim for inadequate lighting, you are required to show that:
- You were not trespassing; that you were on the property legally or the owner knew you were on the property and you had their permission
- There was inadequate lighting and the owner should have known or did have knowledge of it and either failed to provide satisfactory warning or fix it.
- The injuries you sustained were the direct result of negligence on the part of the owner or other party in control.
If you have been the victim of a slip and fall that occurred due to inadequate lighting, you need to speak to an attorney to find out what rights you have under the law. At Peter Ventura Attorney at Law, we care about you. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you get the help that you deserve. Call today for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 and we are here to help.