When my husband I decided to start a business, we didn't think about the legal aspects of doing so. We didn't realize that purchasing business insurance, getting building permits and making investments all required some type of legal advice. But after speaking to a close friend, who also happens to own a small business, we contacted a business attorney. Now, we have the legal smarts to make the best decisions for our business, as well as the legal representation in case something happens to our company. I hope that you find my blog helpful and informative for your own business. It's a great resource for finding the legal advice, resources and guidance you need to get your company up and running.
if you have suffered a slip and fall due to a wet floor, you know that you may have a case for a slip and fall attorney. But what happens if wet floor signage was posted? Are you fully at fault even if you did not see the signs before you fell? What happens then, and does premises liability laws still apply? The answer can be slightly complicated and there are numerous other factors in your case that will need to be examined prior to you being able to collect compensation for your injury.
What Is Premises Liability?
Under premises liability, the owner of a property, whether an individual or a corporation, who opens their property up and invites others to enter for personal or business reasons, has a certain level of legal responsibility for their guests. This legal responsibility, or duty of care, requires that the property owner regularly inspects the property and look for any type of conditions that may pose a hazard to any of their guests.
If dangerous situations or conditions are discovered, they must take prompt and reasonable steps to not only remedy the situation, but to also notify the guest of the danger. Even if the owner of the property has no knowledge of the condition prior to an accident taking place, they may still be liable if they should have known about it and did not take proper steps to remedy it.
What Are Reasonable Steps?
You may assume that if the property owner has posted wet floor signs, that they have taken reasonable steps to alert you and other guests of the danger that the wet floor presented. But this may not necessarily be the case. What is reasonable in one situation, or under one set of circumstances, may not be reasonable in another.
For example: If a spill had just occurred and the owner of the property immediately cleaned up the spill and posted a wet floor sign on both sides of the spill indicating that the floor was wet, would be really different than allowing an employee to remain at the site in addition to the signs to alert you that the floor was wet. What if the wet floor is being caused by a leak that has been in place for over a week, and the owner has placed a container below the leak, and posted wet floor signs, but has failed to correct the situation?
All three of these scenarios could have very different outcomes in a court of law.
What, When and Where?
When determining whether or not the owner of the property has met criteria of correcting and notifying guest of a problem with signage, there are several things that the court will need to consider.
What was the nature of the hazard? Was it something that was within the owner's ability to respond to quickly or did it require additional time and resources to repair? When did the hazard occur or appear? All of these responses will be critical in determining if the property owner has met the criteria under premises liability laws.
How were the signs designed and constructed? Did the business owner simply write wet floor on a piece of paper with a marker and tape it to the nearest surface, or did they have professional wet floor signage in place that was visible and designed to attract attention?
Where exactly were the signs posted? If the signs were posted directly at the hazard is very different than if the signs were posted several feet away from the hazard. If they were posted on either side of the hazard would be different if they were posted in front of the hazard.
Each of these questions will require a thorough investigation by a slip and fall attorney. Even if there was signage posted, you need to contact one to discuss your injuries. They will have the knowledge and expertise to determine whether or not you will be able to be compensated for your injuries.