Inadequate Lighting Accidents in Long Island

In May 2016, inadequate lighting played a role in a tragic accident on the Long Island Expressway that took the lives of two people and injured three others. According to reports by News 12, a motorist did not see two people who exited a disabled vehicle in the HOV lane and hit them, killing them both. This accident is an extreme example of what can happen when inadequate lighting creates a dangerous situation; however, these inadequate lighting accidents are more common than you might realize and should be addressed with the help of a Long Island premises liability attorney.

Determining Liability

There is no doubt that proper roadway lighting is beneficial, especially to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on or near the roadway. In fact, adequate lighting could play a part in decreasing the prevalence of motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities, according to a study conducted by the Cochrane Review.

Research funded in part by the Federal Highway Administration recently investigated the crash risk associated with various light levels and found that there is an increased accident risk in areas with no lights.

In New York State, the law tasks the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) with managing all state roads, including proper maintenance and lighting. While it is possible to file a claim against NYSDOT for inadequate lighting accident injuries, winning a lawsuit against the government is often difficult unless you can prove there was an unsafe road condition and that the entity knew about the danger and did not repair it.

If you believe you suffered injuries due to inadequate roadway lighting, it is critical to discuss the merits of your case with a Long Island car accident attorney as soon as possible. These cases have strict statutes of limitations.

Filing a Premises Liability Claim

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, yes. Property owners have an obligation to inspect, maintain, and repair their property to prevent injuries to others. When a light is out or missing, serious injuries may occur, which could result in a lawsuit against the owner.

Common inadequate outdoor lighting injuries include:

  • Car versus pedestrian accidents in parking lots or private drives
  • Trips over curbs or steps
  • Falls on stairs
  • Trips caused by holes, cracks, or broken sidewalk
  • Falls due to slopes or uneven surfaces
  • Criminal assaults (a property owner can be liable if it is unlikely that the accident would have occurred in a well-lit area)

Accidents caused by poor lighting can occur inside as well. If a property owner does not keep stairwells or hallways well lit and a visitor slips or trips and falls, he may be liable for any injuries. For example, if you are walking down the stairs and you tripped because you could not see, you may be able to hold the property owner liable.

How An Attorney Can Help

If you suffered injuries due to inadequate lighting in New York State, Goldstein & Bashner can help. We help our clients recover physically, financially and emotionally after an accident.

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