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Lack of lighting can impact premise liability suits

Lighting is seldom at the top of anyone's mind when New Yorkers drive into a parking lot. Often their focus is on looking for an available parking spot. But how well lit the parking lot is can be important.

Consider a few benefits of proper lighting. Lighting makes it easier to walk safely from one spot to another. For example, light reveals what the darkness obscures. In the darkness, a person may walk through a patch of ice without realizing it, leading to a slip and fall. But with enough light, they would have discovered the ice and walked accordingly.

Lighting also discourages crime. When people commit crimes, they do not want anyone to see the crime. And, barring that, they do not want people to know their identity. But a well-lit parking lot can prevent both by making it difficult for criminals to do their business in anonymity.

Because of the many benefits of lighting, the federal government has created rules for properly illuminating their parking lots. For one, the U.S. General Services Administration requires that federal parking lots must have lighting sufficient to cast 50 lumens per meter.

New York business owners may want to do the same thing because they may be liable for harm that takes place in their parking lots. Taking reasonable steps to reduce the risk of harm before it starts is a good way to avoid premises liability litigation before it takes place.

But when that does not happen and a person suffers injuries as a result, they may have a legal claim. To learn more about how to pursue that claim, New Yorkers injured on a business' premises may benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced premises liability attorney.

Source: U.S. General Services Administration, "6.15 Lighting," Accessed June 30, 2015

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