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Can I Claim Compensation For Poor or Inadequate Lighting After an Accident?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 28th April 2023. Whether you are at work, walking down the street or in a public space, inadequate, nonexistent, or poor lighting can sometimes seem like more of an annoyance than a danger. However, a lack of lighting can be a common cause of accidents such as slips, trips, and falls. These accidents can even result in serious injuries.

It could be that your workplace has inadequate lighting for you to carry out your job, or that you had a fall in a public place like a shopping centre, library or leisure centre or on public transport. Wherever you were injured you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation if you can show that poor or inadequate lighting was to blame for your accident.

Selection A Section

  1. What Are Lighting Accidents?
  2. Accident Claims And Poor Lighting
  3. Injuries Caused By Bad Lighting
  4. Inadequate Lighting Or Poor Lighting In The Workplace
  5. Poor Lighting In Communal Areas
  6. Accidents In Public Spaces
  7. How Much Could My Poor Lighting Claim Be Worth?
  8. How Do I Make A Claim For Inadequate Lighting?

What Are Lighting Accidents?

Poor lighting in the workplace.

Poor lighting in the workplace.

Accidents and injuries which can come from you not being able to adequately see where you are going can include things like tripping on trailing wires, objects which are badly placed or even on poorly marked stairs. Claims for slips, trips, and falls will often have a greater chance of winning a compensation payout if it can be shown that your accident occurred as a result of bad, poor or even non-existent lighting.

We have helped clients whose accident happened in a place such as stairwells, storerooms, and warehouses or out on the street and which was caused by damaged, poor or faulty lighting.

Accident Claims And Poor Lighting

When areas are badly lit it becomes much harder to avoid everyday hazards. You might have been injured in a badly lit area for a number of reasons. Sometimes a light bulb could have blown and not have been replaced, there could be poor light fittings or simply badly designed lighting layouts.

Whatever the cause, inadequate lighting in public spaces, workplaces or just about anywhere can make it easier to show that someone else was liable for your injury. We just need to be able to show that your injuries were caused by negligence on the part of the party who should be installing and maintaining proper lighting for the space.

Failing to install the right kind of lighting as well as failure to maintain it can amount to what is called a ‘breach of duty of care’. To establish this, we need to show who is responsible for lighting in the area and find out whether they owe you a duty of care. We also need to establish whether they can be held liable for your accident.

Injuries Caused by Bad Lighting

Slips, trips, and falls are the most common types of accidents we see as a result of poor lighting. For example; you could be injured when walking down a flight of stairs at work or in a public space. You could miss a step and fall down the stairs. Common injuries from this are bruises and cuts. More serious injuries can include broken bones or even a serious head injury.

Even in environments such as the office, poor lighting can mean you don’t see some computer cabling on the floor or a carelessly placed file which means you trip and fall. Such accidents can commonly lead to a broken or sprained wrist or ankle. You may even have a back injury from such an accident.

Poor lighting in the workplace or public spaces can lead to life-changing injuries. Factory injuries can be caused by poor lighting on the production floor. Tripping or falling into machinery can result in injuries such as cuts, lacerations, crush injuries or worse.

Depending on the severity of the injury, some people find they do not fully recover from these injuries. Life-changing effects can be both physical and psychological, leaving the person having to deal with the results for the rest of their life.

Making a personal injury claim for poor lighting can help you to get the compensation that you deserve. This can help you to cope in the future with the pain, suffering or injury you have sustained. Compensation can also help alleviate the financial stress of losing earnings and having to pay medical expenses.

Injury Caused By Bad Lighting – How Long Do I Have To Claim?

The standard time limit for claiming for injuries caused by poor lighting is three years. This is applied by law under the Limitation Act 1980 and the time limit usually starts from the date of the incident that caused your injuries.

If a child is injured in an incident involving bad lighting, then the three-year time limit for starting a claim does not start immediately for them. It instead won’t begin until the day the victim turns 18. From this point, the victim will be old enough to start a claim on their own behalf. Alternatively, someone close to the child, such as a parent or guardian, could potentially claim on the victim’s behalf before they turn 18. To do so, they will need to apply to serve as a litigation friend for the child.

Another circumstance where the three-year time limit does not apply is when the victim of a personal injury lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. In these circumstances, a litigation friend may potentially be able to claim on the victim’s behalf instead.

Inadequate lighting Or Poor Lighting In The Workplace

If your accident and injury happened in the workplace, your employer had a duty of care to ensure you had adequate lighting. In this case, they can be found responsible.

If your workplace is rented from a landlord, they may be responsible for providing and maintaining adequate lighting. In many office buildings, the landlord or management company will be responsible for lighting in communal areas such as entrances, hallways, and stairwells.

Poor Lighting In Communal Areas

If your accident happened as a result of poor lighting in a communal area, such as the entrance to a block of flats or on the stairs, the building owner may be liable. However, often owners can outsource maintenance to property management companies or agencies.

Whoever the responsible party is, their failure to monitor the communal lighting and carry out maintenance/ repairs could amount to negligence. In this case, they are liable for your compensation claim.

Accidents in Public Spaces

Lighting in public spaces, such as streets, underpasses, and parks is generally the responsibility of the Local Authority or Council. If you have had a slip, trip or fall due to poor or inadequate lighting, you may be able to bring a claim against them.

Your solicitor will be able to assess the situation, find out who is responsible, and talk you through how to start and proceed with your injury claim.

How Much Could My Poor Lighting Claim Be Worth?

Injuries caused by poor lighting can vary in their potential monetary worth. The compensation you receive can be made up of more than one figure.

This section focuses on the amount known as general damages. This is what’s awarded to you to compensate you for your injuries. The injuries can be physical, psychological, or even both.

There is a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals use this (along with medical evidence) to help value your claim. We have included some example figures from the JCG in the table below.

The range of figures you’ll see is based on similar cases that have been handled in the past. However, your injury may differ and therefore the value stated may not reflect the amount you receive. Every claim is different.

Brain damage(b) Moderately severe - serious disability £219,070 to £282,010
Brain damage(d) Less severe - a good recovery will have been made, but not necessarily a complete one£15,320 to £43,060
Post-traumatic stress disorder(d) Less severe - virtually full recovery made with 1-2 years£3,950 to £8,180
Chest(c) Chest and lung(s) damaged, causing a degree of lasting disability£31,310 to £54,830
Chest(g) Soft tissue injuries, pain, fractured ribs that heal within weeksUp to £3,950
Neck(b) Moderate - (i) Severe, immediate symptoms brought about by fractures/dislocations£24,990 to £38,490
Back(c) Minor - (iii) Fully recovered within 3 months£2,450 to £4,350
Shoulder(e) Clavicle fracture£5,150 to £12,240
Finger(k) Ring or middle fingers are seriously injured£10,320 to £16,340
Teeth(i) Several front teeth lost or seriously damaged£8,730 to £11,410

It’s also possible you could be owed special damages. These are costs and losses that are directly caused by your injuries. For example:

  • Loss of earnings – if you are left unable to work for a period of time.
  • Medical expenses – things such as prescription costs
  • Damage to property – the cost of your personal items being repaired or replaced if they were damaged in the accident

Get in touch if you need more information on special damages.

How To Make An Accident Claim For Inadequate Lighting?

If you have been injured due to negligence, then you could have a claim. Speaking with a legal professional can be very helpful in understanding your next steps. All of our lawyers work on a No Win No Fee basis.

This means that should your claim fail, you won’t have to pay them the percentage of your settlement that was agreed upon in advance. You only have to do so if your claim is successful.

Get in touch with our advisors today. We are ready to give you advice on your specific circumstances.  We may also be able to connect you with one of our lawyers if you think you have a legitimate claim.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.