A number of factors can contribute to a slip and fall accident, but inadequate lighting is often overlooked as a cause of injuries. If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident and believe that poor lighting may have been a factor, an experienced personal injury attorney can help protect your right to compensation.
How Poor Lighting Can Cause Slip and Fall Injuries
Senior citizens and people with visual impairments are more likely to fall as the result of inadequate lighting, but poor lighting can be a factor in nearly any type of slip and fall accident.
Inadequate lighting can contribute to slip and fall accidents in two ways: by making an otherwise safe area hard to navigate or by preventing you from seeing dangerous obstacles in time to avoid injury.
In an otherwise safe area, poor lighting can make it difficult to travel from Point A to Point B without injuring yourself. For example, you may misjudge the height of a step or fail to notice a curb in a parking lot due to your inability to clearly see the area.
Lighting can also affect how you navigate around potentially dangerous conditions. For example, if there is a pothole in a parking lot or ripped carpeting in an office hallway, poor lighting can prevent you from identifying the obstacle in time to prevent yourself from falling.
Proving Your Case
A slip and fall accident doesn't automatically entitle you to compensation for your injuries. To win your personal injury claim, you must prove:
- The property owner had a duty to provide reasonably safe conditions.
- The property owner failed to fulfill this duty.
- The property owner's actions or lack of action caused your slip and fall accident.
- You suffered injuries resulting in a financial loss.
Slip and fall cases can use a variety of evidence, including:
- Photographs of the accident scene and your injuries
- Medical records to prove your injuries are consistent with a fall
- Witness testimony from people who saw your fall
- Video footage from surveillance cameras in the area
- Building code violations to establish a pattern of negligent maintenance
How Comparative Negligence Affects Your Claim
Comparative negligence refers to the idea that an injured person may be partially responsible for his injuries due to failure to take reasonable safety precautions. For example, consider a scenario where you've rented a room on the third floor of a hotel, and there are two stairwells allowing you to access that floor. If one stairwell has a broken light fixture and a sign is posted stating this fact, the safest course of action would be to use the other set of stairs.
When you know of a hazard and fail to take the alternative safer course of action, you can be found partially at fault. However, if you know that the stairwell has a broken light and there is no alternative path for you to take, you would not be found at fault if you were injured because you did not voluntarily assume the risk of injury.
Note that you might also be found partially at fault for your injuries if you were running, jumping, or engaging in horseplay at that time of the accident. These actions are considered dangerous even if the lighting in the area is adequate.
If you're found partially at fault, your settlement will be proportionally reduced to reflect your own financial responsibility for the damages you've suffered.
How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help
Slip and fall accident claims can include compensation for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you've been left with a permanent disability such as a brain injury, anticipated future medical expenses and loss of future earning potential can also be included in your settlement.
An experienced personal injury attorney can locate evidence to establish liability for your injuries, document the extent of your damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Having someone to advocate for your interests ensures that you receive a fair and prompt settlement while allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team.