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Can I Sue a Bar or Restaurant for a Fall Caused by Dim Lighting?

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, one million guests in the food service industry get injured in slip-and-fall accidents each year. This costs the industry an estimated $2 billion annually, and the number keeps increasing by 10% each year.

These numbers show the need for safety measures and proper floor maintenance. But do safety measures include adequate lighting?

Say you try to navigate a dimly lit space, miss a step, stumble, and have a terrible fall. The result could be a severe injury such as a broken bone or concussion.

In this case, you may be able to sue the bar or restaurant for your damages. If you are in this unfortunate situation, consulting an experienced Oklahoma City slip and fall injury attorney should be your first step in evaluating your potential premises liability claim.

Premises Liability and Duty of Care in Oklahoma

According to Oklahoma premises liability law, premises owners must keep their premises reasonably safe to protect their visitors (76 OK Stat § 76-80, 2021). The premises owner should provide sufficient lighting to prevent slips and falls.

Premises liability and duty of care laws require bar and restaurant owners to uphold these standards. When owners fail to do so and patrons get injured, they may be liable in personal injury claims.

Victims in premises liability claims must establish these elements to hold negligent owners responsible:

  • The premises owner had a duty to ensure their safety.
  • The duty was breached through negligence.
  • This negligence directly caused their injury.
  • The injury resulted in compensable damages.

Consider this real-world example: a patron of a trendy Los Angeles restaurant fell down a flight of stairs due to poor lighting. The dim, ambient lighting designed to create a cozy atmosphere caused the patron to miss a step on the stairs.

The fall resulted in the patron suffering a broken ankle, leading to a lawsuit against the restaurant. The court found the restaurant liable for using inadequate lighting in a high-risk area.

Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Claim

If it caused your fall, dim lighting is grounds for negligence in a premises liability claim against a bar or restaurant.

To get compensation, you must prove that the lighting was dim enough to unreasonably create dangerous conditions and that the owner of the premises knew about or ought to have known about the hazard created by the dim lighting.

To support your claim, you may present:

  • Pictures of the place where there was darkness before you fell
  • Statements from those who saw how the light was at that time
  • Testimonies by experts on lighting standards in public places
  • Complaints concerning lack of lights around and previous accidents in that same spot
  • Violation of building codes or industry norms on lighting

An experienced Oklahoma City slip and fall injury attorney can help gather and present this evidence persuasively.

Procedure for Filing a Premises Liability Claim

Inadequate lighting might cause you to trip and get injured. Take note of everything, especially by reporting such falls to an administrator at your premises. Get medical care immediately and ask for copies of your medical records and all treatments.

If possible, take pictures of any dangerous part of the floor. Also, try to get contact information from eyewitnesses while you still accurately recall what transpired when you fell. Finally, consult your legal rights with competent Oklahoma City slip and fall injury attorneys to discuss your options.

Potential Defenses Against a Premises Liability Claim

Be aware that the bar or restaurant may argue defenses such as:

  • The lighting was adequate and safe. 
  • Your carelessness caused the fall.
  • You were in an off-limits area not open to patrons.
  • Intoxication contributed to your fall.

Your attorney can strategize ways to counter these defenses. For example, suppose the bar argues you were drunk. Your lawyer may be able to show inadequate lighting would be even more dangerous for an intoxicated person the bar continued serving.

Steps to Take After a Fall

If you fell and were injured due to unsafe lighting conditions in a bar, restaurant, or other business property, following these key steps can help you get compensation:

  1. Report your fall to the manager.
  2. Document the scene by taking photos.
  3. Get witness contact information.
  4. Seek prompt medical attention.
  5. Save copies of accident reports and medical records.
  6. Contact an experienced Oklahoma premises liability lawyer.

Our Oklahoma Injury Lawyers Can Handle Your Slip and Fall Claim

If a fall in a bar or restaurant has left you injured, you’re facing expensive medical bills, weeks or months of lost paychecks, and a long road to recovery. Let the dedicated attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers evaluate your potential claim in a free consultation.

We have years of experience representing slip and fall accident victims and holding negligent property owners accountable. You may be entitled to significant compensation, but evidence must be preserved, and legal deadlines must be met. Contact our skilled Oklahoma City slip and fall injury attorneys today to protect your rights.