Can You File a Lawsuit for Injuries Caused by Poor Lighting?
Business owners and governmental entities must provide a safe, hazard-free environment for third-party visitors, which includes adequate lighting for visitors. Poor lighting can make it exceedingly difficult to see and navigate our way around unfamiliar areas, like a store or movie theater.
If poor lighting on another’s property contributed to your accident or loved one’s death, you can pursue the owner through an insurance claim or civil court lawsuit. However, there are time limits on your ability to file a claim, which means that you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
In this post, I help you understand where poor lighting accidents commonly happen, the types of injuries they cause, and the types of compensation available. If you need legal advice regarding your or your loved one’s accident, discuss your options with a premises liability lawyer in New Mexico.
Where Do Poor Lighting Accidents Happen?
You have a right to a safe environment when you are a guest or visitor entering a public establishment. Even if dim lighting is part of a location’s ambiance, the manager or owner must make reasonable accommodation so that everyone can share in equal enjoyment.
Common areas where poor lighting accidents occur include:
- Grocery stores
- Poorly lit bars
- Cruise ship accidents
- Restaurant trips and falls
- Public restroom injuries
- Movie theater accidents
- Retail store falls
- Public transportation matters
- Inadequately lit government buildings
- Other poor lighting cases
These cases fall under the premises liability laws of New Mexico. As such, there are numerous criteria that it must meet for you to comprehensively pursue compensation for the financial and emotional harm someone else caused you. Make sure you take proper precaution after a slip and fall accident.
What Types of Injuries Can Poor Lighting Accidents Cause?
Without proper lighting, seeing where you are going is a challenge. It is easy to miss changes in the pavement, obstacles in your way, and even stairways.
Injuries that these situations can cause may include:
- Head or brain injuries
- Back, neck or spinal cord injury
- Facial injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Wrongful death
As you can see, a slip and fall accident is serious, especially when it comes to our physically vulnerable populations. If you or a loved suffered from a severe injury, make sure you seek immediate medical help and follow through on your doctor’s orders to prevent further damage from occurring.
Do I Have an Actionable Premises Liability Lawsuit?
If negligence on another’s property contributed to your accident, the owner or manager is responsible for compensating you for your losses. In some matters, it is not only the property owner who is accountable, but managers, companies, and contractors may be responsible as well.
Holding negligent parties accountable for their actions requires you to prove the following elements:
- The property owner owed you a general duty of care when you were on the premises
- The property owner breached his or her general duty of care by not remediating a known hazard on the property
- This breach was the catalyst for your accident
- The accident caused your injuries
- Your injuries resulted in financial and emotional losses
Commercial owners, in addition to government entities, have a solemn responsibility to maintain safe conditions reasonably. If a property owner caused your injuries by poor lighting, you could hire a premises liability attorney in New Mexico to investigate and negotiate your case.
What Compensation Is Available for Premises Liability Accident Injuries?
You can recuperate a monetary award for your losses in a few ways. First, you can work with a lawyer to file a claim or evaluate an existing offer. If he or she believes that you can get more by working with him or her, then you can move forward with a dispute or a civil suit. The amount of compensation you can expect to receive ultimately depends upon the extent of your losses.
Common types of monetary awards from a premises liability case may include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death benefits
- Lost future earning
- Mental anguish
Under NMSA 41-3A-1 (1978), New Mexico applies comparative fault rules to personal injury claims, including slip and fall and poor lighting accident injuries or wrongful death claims. Comparative fault can reduce your overall award by the amount of negligence you contributed to your accident.
Effectively, the person who caused your accident can shift some or all of the blame to you as long as they can prove it, even if you know they were at fault. Make sure you hire legal counsel for yourself when faced with an insurance claim or lawsuit where this scenario is playing out. We can defend your right to compensation and investigate counter arguments.
Are There Any Deadlines that Apply to New Mexico Premises Liability Claims?
In New Mexico, for most claims, you have up to three years from the date of your injury to file, dispute, or litigate a claim. This time period is known as the statute of limitations per NMSA 37-1-8 (1978). A claim against a governmental entity has a ninety (90) day notice requirement. The notice must be completed in order to preserve your right to sue a governmental entity within the shorter two-year statute of limitations.
If you miss this legal deadline, you forfeit your right altogether to compensation. Our state is fairly strict when it comes to the statute of limitations, so be sure to act quickly to avoid missing your chance based on a technicality.
Call Grano Law Offices, PLLC for a FREE Case Evaluation
Get in touch with a New Mexico premises liability attorney to protect your legal rights. Grano Law Offices, PC offers prospective clients a FREE CASE REVIEW to determine your options after a poor lighting accident injury.