When Inadequate Lighting Causes Slip and Fall AccidentsOctober 24, 2018 | Category: Slip and Fall Accidents | Share
Many Floridians frequent stores and restaurants at night; when doing so, they expect to be safe. However, inadequate lighting in parking lots and around establishments represents a potential hazard.
Inadequate lighting can cause unsafe conditions to be concealed. Uneven or cracked pavement, concrete bumpers, steps, foreign substances which have been spilled, and many other conditions are now unapparent to the casual walker.
Stairways and stairwells with bad lighting increase the potential for people to misstep when ascending or descending the stairs. Should walkers lose their balance in a dark stairway, they could fall, fracture or break bones, or suffer more serious injuries.
Poor lighting can conceal potential slipping hazards on carpeted floors and/or linoleum and hardwood floors. Liquid spills can lead to slippery conditions. Business areas which are not maintained and have debris, loose paper, or gravel all present potential risks for walkers, even more so in dimly or unlit areas.
Good lighting is expected, and required, of all businesses. A failure to design a business or building with adequate lighting may be a sign of negligence. Good business maintenance plans are essential for the public’s safety.
If a property owner knows of a potential problem with inadequate lighting, and he or she fails to fix the problem or alert the public to the potential problem, the property owner can be held liable for pedestrian injuries.
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, an injured person (plaintiff) may seek compensation for such things as past and future medical bills, lost wages, and punitive damages.
There are a number of laws in Florida which affect personal injury lawsuits. The two most important ones are the statute of limitations deadline and shared fault rules.
Statute of Limitations
The Florida Statute of Limitations Section 95.11(3)(a) requires anyone who is injured to file a lawsuit against the property owner within four years of the incident. There may be exceptions, and it is important to consult our law firm to discuss your case. Evidence, memories, and witnesses can easily be lost. Contacting an attorney immediately after seeking medical attention is paramount to the potential of any personal injury case.
Shared Fault – Comparative Negligence Rule
It is very important to remember that plaintiffs are still entitled to damages even if they are partly at fault for the accident. Florida law takes into consideration shared fault (comparative negligence rule) to determine what share of the legal blame the plaintiff may have in contributing to the accident. Under pure comparative negligence, any damage award will be reduced according to the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault for the underlying accident. Such things as the following may be considered:
- Was the plaintiff on a part of the property where he or she is not usually allowed or expected to be?
- Was the plaintiff distracted, such as by using a phone?
- Was the plaintiff’s footwear inappropriate or unsafe?
- Were reasonable steps taken to protect visitors, such as the area was cordoned off by cones and signs were in place?
- Should the dangerous condition have been obvious?
Any damages awarded to the plaintiff will be reduced by the percentage of his or her fault in contributing to the accident. For example, if the jury finds the plaintiff is 20 percent to blame for a slip and fall accident, then the damages awarded will be reduced by 20 percent.
“Should you or a loved one be injured as the result of the negligence of any business to provide a safe environment, please contact us. We are available 24/7 and have the expertise to assist you,” said Fort Myers Slip and Fall Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Fort Myers Slip and Fall Attorney, Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.