How Warning Signs Affect Premises Liability Cases

How Warning Signs Affect Premises Liability Cases

Prominent warning signage can help property owners and renters avoid liability for injuries to visitors. Signs don’t completely shield property owners from legal responsibility, especially in cases involving children, seniors, vulnerable groups, or hazardous circumstances. Here’s a look at how warning signs affect premises liability cases and how a slip and fall lawyer can help:

Premises Liability Cases Overview

Property owners and renters may be held liable for injuries to patrons, visitors, and even trespassers. For this to happen, the injured party must prove that their injury was caused by the owner’s actions or inactions. Property owners have a duty of care to protect visitors to their premises. One way to exercise this duty is by putting up prominent signs to warn visitors of dangers. Warning signs for slippery floors allow visitors to take extra caution when walking on the floor to avoid accidents.

If a patron slips and falls in a business because of an unattended spill or unsafe flooring without signage, they can sue the owner. A slip and fall lawyer will examine the circumstances of the accident to determine if the property owner breached their duty of care. If the property owner fails to adequately warn visitors of potential danger, they may be found liable for the victim’s injuries. Injured victims can claim compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Warning Signs in Liability Cases

Posting warning signs allows property owners to minimize or avoid liability in injury cases. Property owners owe a duty of care to invitees, licensees, and trespassing children, according to the attractive nuisance condition. Invitees are patrons who come to do business on the premises, such as customers shopping for groceries. Licensees are people invited to the property by the owner, such as maintenance teams or other associates. Trespassers are individuals who enter the premises illegally and are generally owed no duty of care. Children trespassers may be attracted to pools, trampolines, basketball courts and other attractive nuisances. Premise owners can be held liable for injuries to such children if the property has items or conditions deemed attractive nuisances. 

Warning signs help property owners meet the standards of care only if the signs are prominent and clearly visible from all entry points. If an invitee or licensee is injured during their visit and there is a prominent warning sign, the owner cannot be sued for negligence. Adult trespassers injured during their illegal visit to the property can’t sue the owner if there were warning signs posted.

Sign Effectiveness and Reasonable Care

Having a warning sign isn’t enough for premise owners to forgo their legal responsibilities. Courts often evaluate whether the property owner or occupier exercised reasonable care in maintaining the property and warning visitors. They will gauge what a prudent property owner would do under the circumstances that led to the injury. If there’s a long-standing puddle of water, a damaged sidewalk, or a faulty elevator, the property owner should have it fixed. Property owners must repair known and ascertainable dangers and warn visitors of non-obvious safety issues. Non-obvious issues cover all latent dangers that visitors may not reasonably discover on their own.

Slip and fall injury attorneys also assess the effectiveness of warning signs when determining negligence and reasonable care. Signs must not be small, located in non-prominent locations, or difficult to read or understand. A single sign is insufficient if the property spans multiple acres or the area with the issue can be accessed from multiple directions. Property owners will be liable for injuries suffered if their warning signs don’t meet the required standards. 

Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer Today

Working with an experienced attorney can help you claim the compensation you deserve following an injury caused by another person’s negligence. The property owner and insurance company covering the damages will likely hire a defense team to fight against your claim. A slip and fall attorney will negotiate with these parties and protect your rights in and out of court. If you have been injured on commercial or residential property, contact a slip and fall lawyer today for legal advice. 

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