Warning or hazard signage does not absolve a business of its full duty to care for its customers. Find out more about how you’re protected.
If a Business Places Hazard Signs, Is There a Case?
For your safety, many businesses will post warning signs to indicate a potentially hazardous situation. For example, a wet floor sign in a supermarket will alert you to a possible slipping hazard. If an accident happens despite the sign’s presence, it doesn’t always negate the possible negligence of the business.
A Warning Sign Does Not Absolve a Business of Negligence
It’s the duty of a business to do more than just post a sign. For example, wet or slippery floor signs help. However, if the sign is located in an area people need to access, people will likely attempt to walk into that particular area. In addition to the sign, the business should also have attempted to mitigate the cause of the hazard. If it’s not actively handling the hazard within a reasonable amount of time, then the business is still showing a certain amount of negligence.
The Placement of the Sign Matters
Just having a sign can help, but if people cannot see the sign or it’s not prominently displayed, it’s not really helping anyone. In some cases, the sign may not even sit by the location of the actual hazard. Some hazard signs aren’t big enough to draw the eye or aren’t in your line of sight. People can walk right by it without noticing it. All of these things can factor into proving the negligence of the business.
Your Role in a Potential Accident
A personal injury case will take your own actions into account. There’s a general expectation that you’ll pay attention and watch what you’re doing when out and about. Obvious hazards can weaken a personal injury case. For example, if you go to the store on a day of heavy rain, you know there’s a good chance the floor at the entrance of the store will be slippery from all the wet or muddy feet entering it. Even if there’s no sign at all, a reasonable person would show care. If you go running into the store heedless of the conditions and you injure yourself, this can possibly weaken your case.
Discuss Your Possible Case With an Attorney
Whether a sign is present or not, a business may own some or most of the liability if you injure yourself on its property. Don’t assume you don’t have a case because the business placed a sign warning of the hazard. Speak to a personal injury attorney to figure out what you can or should do about pursuing compensation for your injuries.