An Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Explains
When it comes to lighting, quantity and quality count.
Poor lighting conditions are a component of inadequate security. Lack of adequate lighting on a property increases opportunities for good people to become the victims of violent assaults and other crimes.
Sometimes it gets overlooked, but making sure there is proper lighting is almost always part of the "duty of care" a Georgia landowner or operator legally owes to guests, residents, customers, employees, and others.
What is Inadequate Security?
Businesses, property owners, and landlords are legally required to keep their tenants and customers reasonably safe from hazards. That means they should take appropriate measures to identify unsafe conditions on their property and make a reasonable effort to address or correct those dangers.
Inadequate security claims can involve incidents that happen at:
- Shopping centers
- College and university campuses
- Parking lots and garages
- Apartment complexes
- Hotels, motels, inns
- Bars, restaurants, nightclubs
- Event and concert venues
- Office buildings
While insufficient lighting on a property can create a dangerous environment because it's attractive to criminals, poor lighting can also lead to slip and fall accidents (e.g., falling down a stairway) and motor vehicle crashes in parking lots and parking garages. Without sufficient lighting, someone walking on foot is also at risk of getting hit by a car.
That's why when businesses, property owners, and landlords fail to take appropriate action and someone is seriously injured or killed on the property as a result, there may be grounds for an inadequate security claim.
Crime and Light
More and more research is coming out to support what many people have long suspected: criminals like to work in the dark where they can't be seen.
A recent survey of lighting's impact on New York City crime found that well-lit apartment complexes had nearly 40% less crime than poorly lit ones.
Robbery is the crime most affected by lighting conditions, according to a different study out of the UK. Where there is less light, the security is inadequate, and there are more robberies.
Property owners and managers should ensure that their premises have sufficient lighting. That means it shouldn't be dark or dim anywhere a customer or tenant reasonably might venture. While lighting needs will vary depending on the nature of the property and its location, the premises should be well-lit to help avoid accidents and violent attacks.
Some of the most common crimes that lead to inadequate security claims include:
- Rape, sexual assault
A violent attack can cause severe, life-altering injuries. Among the injuries you could suffer in a violent attack are a gunshot wound, puncture wounds from being stabbed, gashes, a fractured or broken bone, facial trauma, a head injury, or a traumatic brain injury.
Legal Help is Available
Light helps us perceive the world around us in terms of depth, closeness, shape, speed, proximity, hazards, and nonverbal cues (body language). When visibility is limited on a property, the odds of a violent crime occurring on that property increase.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a violent attack on someone else's property, you should talk to an attorney to get a clear understanding of your legal rights and options.
Attorney Gary Martin Hays is the author of a best-selling book called The Authority on Inadequate/Negligent Security Claims in Georgia. The book provides easy-to-understand explanations of how negligent security law works, and new clients receive a free copy after hiring our firm.
Find out how we can help with your potential legal case. Contact us today for a free case consultation.