If you've suffered ankle, head trauma or back and neck injuries in a slip and fall accident, you might think that you're not entitled to compensation if the area was marked with a wet floor sign. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Wet Floor Signs Don't Automatically Protect Property Owners From Liability
Plastic wet floor signs are intended to warn people of the safety hazard caused by a slippery wet floor. They are often used after mopping or in an entrance where rain or snow is likely to be tracked in.
Wet floor signs are considered evidence that a property owner was trying to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury, but they do not provide 100% protection from liability. A wet floor would not prevent you from seeking compensation if your fall was also caused by another safety hazard. For example:
- If the facility was poorly lit, you might not have been able to see the sign or the wet or slippery area.
- Cracked tiles near a slippery spot on the floor could compound the danger caused by a wet surface.
- Overly waxed or polished flooring could make the floor excessively slippery.
- Obstructions in your path may have left you no choice but to travel through the slippery area.
A wet floor sign would also be insufficient if it was used as an attempt to avoid cleaning up or fixing a hazard in a prompt manner. For example, if an employee spills oily salad dressing in high traffic area of a restaurant, a wet floor sign would be an acceptable temporary fix. However, it would be unreasonable for the restaurant to leave the oily and clearly hazardous spill in place all day when hundreds of customers were traveling through the area.
How Comparative Negligence Affects Your Slip and Fall Claim
Slip and fall cases where a wet floor sign was used to warn of potential danger involve considering many factors to determine who is at fault. In some cases, you might be considered partially at fault for your injuries. Examples of behavior that would be viewed as comparative negligence include:
- You were talking or texting and didn't see the sign.
- You were running or engaged in horseplay.
- The area was designated as off limits and, you ignored the warning.
- You failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury to yourself.
If you're determined to be partially responsible for your injuries, you can still file a slip and fall claim for compensation. However, your settlement will be proportionally reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 30% liable for your injuries, you would receive only 70% of the compensation you would be entitled to if the defendant was 100% at fault.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation in a Slip and Fall Case
Your slip and fall claim can include compensation for:
- Prior medical care received as the result of the accident and any anticipated future medical expenses due to permanently disabling injuries
- Prior lost wages due to the accident and anticipated loss of future earning potential due to permanently disabling injuries
- Pain and suffering, including the physical pain from your injuries as well as the emotional trauma you suffered from the incident
After suffering injuries in a slip and fall accident, it's vital that you seek immediate medical attention. A prompt medical evaluation helps establish a clear link between your injuries and the accident.
Once your immediate medical needs have been dealt with, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Since personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis, there is no upfront cost for representation. You will simply need to pay a percentage of your final settlement as the fee for legal services.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?
If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.