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The dangers of a parking lot without sufficient light

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Posted on February 17, 2022

A person who owns a property has a responsibility to keep it safe for people who visit the premises, and the owner of a parking lot is no exception. Evening hours can be particularly dangerous since the sun has set, giving pedestrians and drivers less light to help them navigate the lot.

To address the lack of daylight, a lot owner needs to maintain lights across the lot to provide visitors with enough illumination to use the lot safely. Insufficient lighting in a parking lot during the night may cause someone to suffer a serious injury.

Slips or trips and falls

A major problem with dark parking lots is that it is hard for pedestrians to see where they are going. This increases the risk of tripping over an uneven section of the lot. Given how hard and rough concrete can be, a person can suffer a life-altering or even fatal injury from a fall.

The risk of falling increases further with older adults. Since eyesight can worsen with age, older people need strong light to avoid trip hazards. Given other infirmities that may come with age, older individuals might suffer disabling or deadly injuries from a fall.

Crimes committed on the lot

As FindLaw explains, a property owner may become liable if someone on the property injures another person in the course of committing a crime. This generally happens in instances where the property owner had reasonable knowledge that a crime could happen unless the owner took steps to prevent it, like establishing a fence around a property or putting up security cameras.

A parking lot with strong illumination might discourage criminals from acting. If the lot is too dark, it may provide cover for malicious individuals to rob or otherwise assault a pedestrian. As a result, a lot owner may incur some legal responsibility for neglecting to keep the lot safer.

Proving negligence

It is not always a given that a parking lot owner is responsible for injury on the lot. A person might have a weak case if he or she acted in an unsafe manner. Whether the property involved is a parking lot or elsewhere, premises liability often depends on what the property owner should have known about unsafe conditions on a property and whether the owner took reasonable steps to correct it.