Do “Wet Floor” Signs Remove Liability?
M. Scott Bucci—October 9, 2018
Wet Floor Signs Protect Consumers, but They Also Protect Property Owners
You’ve probably seen bright yellow “wet floor” signs in restaurants, grocery stores, office buildings, and other places where slippery floors may pose a risk to those in the vicinity. Property owners and managers put these out to warn people that the floor is wet as a way of preventing injuries and keeping people safe while on the premises—but they aren’t just for your benefit.
Having a “wet floor” sign out is also a way for the property owner or manager to avoid liability in the event someone does take a hard fall. They provide a potential defense for the person tasked with keeping the property safe because, at first glance, a visibly-positioned “wet floor” sign is thought to provide sufficient warning to consumers, guests, and passersby, such that if they sustain injuries, the responsibility falls squarely on their own shoulders.
However, this is not necessarily true. Putting out a “wet floor” sign does not automatically absolve a property owner or manage of responsibility in the event someone slips, falls, and gets seriously hurt.
When Are Property Owners or Managers Liable for Slip-and-Fall Injuries?
Despite putting out a “wet floor” sign, the property owner or manager may still be responsible for your injuries if any of the following are true:
- The “wet floor” sign was not visible or legible by the average person.
- Your fall was caused in part by other environmental hazards for which there were no signs or warnings.
- You were not trespassing, behaving irresponsibly, or otherwise acting in a manner that may have caused your fall.
- The “wet floor” sign was relatively far away from the area where you slipped and fell.
- The business owner or manager put out a “wet floor” sign but did not do anything else within a reasonable amount of time that would remedy the danger caused by a slippery floor.
- A vague or insufficient warning was used, such as colored tape in lieu of a sign explaining the nature of the danger.
Slipping on a Wet Floor Could Cause Serious Injuries
Slipping on a wet floor or other slick surface is distinct among fall-related accidents because it involves a backward fall and presents the potential for a unique set of injuries, including:
- Spinal injuries, such as herniated discs, chipped vertebrae, and nerve damage
- Brain injuries, such as concussions, whiplash, and even permanent brain damage
- Broken hands, wrists, feet, knees, and ankles
- Musculoskeletal injuries in the back
- Bruising and fractures in the tailbone and hips
If you have suffered these or any other serious injuries after a slip and fall incident, don’t be quick to dismiss the accident as a result of your own klutziness. Determining whether or not someone else is liable for your injuries is critical, as it could be the difference between recovering in peace and having to spend thousands of dollars out of your own pocket to afford injury-related costs.
Such damages may include:
- Visits with specialists
- Short- or long-term disability
- Medication and other treatments
- Long-term treatment and care arrangements
- Inability to work or perform job-related duties
Such injuries could reduce your quality of life and jeopardize your health, happiness, and financial future, along with the well-being of your family. The best thing you can do after a slip-and-fall incident is to seek medical attention right away and receive an official injury assessment.
Then, connect with an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer as soon as possible in order to receive a thorough case evaluation.
Connect with a Slip-and-Fall Attorney in Richmond as Soon as Possible
At Breit Cantor Grana Buckner, we provide representation for people who have been hurt because of another person’s negligence. If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall incident and sustained serious injuries or expenses as a result, we can help you determine your best course of action.