A good number of defendants in a slip and fall case will argue that they posted a warning about the hazard. This raises the question, can you sue if you slip and fall in a store when they had caution signs up? If so or if not, how can an Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident Attorney ensure your rights are protected.
According to the CDC, slip, and fall accidents are the leading cause of workplace injuries. 20 percent of adults who fall victim to these accidents sustain a serious injury such as a head injury or broken bones. To address this situation, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) sets forth requirements that employers should meet for their work environment to be considered safe.
Some OSHA requirements for business include:
- Floors should be kept clean and dry to prevent slip and falls.
- Hallways, walkways, and stairs should be well-lit
- Passageways, exits, aisles, and walkways should be free from obstruction.
If a business owner fails to meet these stipulations, and in doing so, causes an accident in their premises, they could be held liable for the ensuing damages.
Do Warning Signs Prevent Accidents?
Some business owners post up warning signs of a dangerous condition on the premises, such as a slippery floor. When an accident happens, it raises the question of liability. Does the accident victim have the right to pursue damages if a warning sign was posted? Answering this question requires that you consider the following factors:
- The kind of sign that was posted
- The proximity of the sign to the hazard
- The language used on the warning sign
- The quality of lighting around the sign
- How the warning sign was posted
Essentially, warning signs do not effectively prevent accidents. One study showed that of 264 people who passed through a hallway with a floor sign, only two percent noticed the sign. This does not mean, however, that a property owner cannot use the presence of the sign as a defense.
Warning Signs and Owner Responsibility
As already mentioned, a property owner can use the presence of a warning sign as a defense in a personal injury case. This should not deter you from pursuing damages, especially if your injuries are severe. To win your case, you must show that the sign was less effective than a reasonable person would expect. You could argue that it was:
- Not close to the hazard at the time of the accident
- In a place with poor lighting and could therefore not be seen.
- Written in illegible handwriting
- Written in a language you could not understand
- Too small
It is important to note that the presence of a warning sign does not negate the property owner’s responsibility to maintain their property in a safe condition. For example, if there is a spill, the owner is allowed ‘reasonable time’ to notice and clear it.
Despite the presence of warning signs, you can sue the property owner if the spill existed on the floor long enough for them to have corrected it.
Speak to an Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Warning signs can complicate the question of owner liability. If this is a factor in your case, you will need the help of an experienced Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident Attorney. Contact James Ponton today at (404) 857-4124 to schedule a free consultation.