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Poor Lighting in Public and Work Areas and Personal Injuries

December 10, 2015

In South Carolina, owners of property have a legal duty to visitors, guests, and even the public to maintain, keep, and otherwise insure that their property is kept in a safe manner.  More specifically, the concept of premises liability involves the responsibility of property owners to maintain safe conditions for people coming on or about the property where property owners are legally bound to provide a reasonably safe condition of property. In circumstances where owners believe the condition of the premises may be unsafe, then owners must provide explicit and accessible warnings providing reasonable notice to others that the conditions of premises may be unsafe.  

To the extent that property owners fail to meet such duty to others, property owners can be found negligent  and be required and otherwise liable to victim damages that may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of current and potential wages, and other damages.

A Duty of Property Owners in South Carolina

One of the duties that property owners have in particular stores is to maintain proper, safe, and effective lighting in parking lots, walkways, and common areas that expected visitors and others are expected to travel. Without proper lighting, individuals, especially those with poor eyesight may struggle and have difficulty seeing the sidewalk, and possibly other obstructions. Visitors that are traveling down a dark stairwell may not be able to properly navigate the steps or in a worst case scenario completely miss a step causing them to call and become seriously injured.  

When Poor Lighting Causes an Accident

Poor lighting can also contribute to accidents in the workplace, where “badly specified, sited or maintained workplace lighting can lead to accidents as well as to stressed or fatigued workers [and] poor workplace illumination often gets overlooked by health and safety managers with more pressing concerns and relegated to a simple facilities issue.”  Many jobs require the ability to fully view, observe, and make split second decisions; these abilities can be adversely affected without proper lighting the workplace and can lend itself to serious risk of injury and harms.  

Additionally, bad lighting is associated with ill-health effects ranging from “eye strain, headaches and fatigue to postural problems and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) [and] in higher-risk environments, such as transport yards, warehouses and factories, the consequences of a dark or dimly lit workplace can be even more serious, leading to injuries and even fatalities. Put simply: the easier it is to see a hazard, the easier it is to avoid it.”

Contact an Attorney Now

An individual that has been injured either in a public area or at work as a result of the property owner or employer’s failure to provide adequate lighting is entitled to certain legal claims and compensation. An injured individual often needs assistance navigating the various complexities of such legal issues.  The Connell Law Firm, LLC can assist you with your claim, by leading you throughout each step of the way. Call as soon as you can.