Slip-and-fall accidents happen every day in the U.S. In most cases, the individual who fell will be able to get back up and ‘walk it off’ without major injuries. However, many others will suffer serious injuries depending on the fate of their fall. No one looks where they’re going one hundred percent of the time, but we can all do our part to prevent these kinds of accidents by staying alert when moving about. Failing to do so may negate a potential personal injury case before it even begins.
Property owners have a special role to play in preventing such accidents. If the fall is determined to have been preventable, the property owner may be liable for the damages caused. ‘Wet Floor’ signs play an important role in mitigating responsibility for the accident, but posted signs alone won’t make up a legal defense.
The Responsibility of Property Owners
An unattended to spill or slippery surface is an accident waiting to happen. It’s the property owner’s responsibility to ensure proper steps are taken to prevent anyone from being hurt. Often, the best first move is to put up one or more signs that can warn passersby of the hazard. ‘Wet floor’ signs (and similar) are not legally required to be posted, but they can provide some protection for the property owner if an accident occurs.
When a ‘Wet Floor’ Sign is Insufficient
Despite a sign being posted, the person who fell may still be entitled to damages at the property owner’s expense. A sign is not enough to negate an excessively slippery or damaged floor. If there is no other way through the area due to obstructions, any signs posted may not make much of a difference in court. Additionally, signs warning of a hazard are not meant to be left up for extended periods of time; they should be used as a temporary warning while arrangements can be made to clean up the spill or a more firm barrier can be created (in the case of damage).
When a ‘Wet Floor Sign’ isn’t Posted
If you are the injured party in a slip-and-fall scenario without a posted sign, it’s very possible the case will be ruled in your favor. However, it’s not a guarantee. The property owner may argue that you were distracted, running, or that they were (or an employee was) on their way to retrieve a sign or mop. A trained personal injury lawyer in Halifax, VA will ask the hard questions: why was an associate not left in place to warn people of the hazard? How long was the hazard left unattended? If there are no satisfying answers, the injured party may win the case.
Our Personal Injury Lawyer in Halifax, VA
The Cunningham Law Group has represented many individuals in personal injury cases. We know the ins and outs of slip-and-fall lawsuits and can help you determine if you have the basis for a lawsuit. Contact us today to request a free case consultation.