Does Florida Law Require The Use Of “Wet Floor” Signs?
Many slip and fall accidents involve a wet walking surface, whether it be slippery ice, a spill in a grocery store, or a puddle caused by a leaking roof. Recognizing this, many states have passed laws that require property owners to post “wet floor” signs to warn visitors. While this type of precaution can play a crucial role in helping people avoid accidents on someone else’s property, this is not actually a legal requirement in Florida. A lack of this type of warning sign can, however, still be used to strengthen an injured party’s case when attempting to prove negligence. To learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of your own slip and fall case, please reach out to our experienced Fort Lauderdale premises liability lawyers today.
Florida’s Slip and Fall Laws
Florida adheres to a general negligence theory when attempting to assign liability in a slip and fall case. Basically, these arguments rest on the premise that one party (the property owner) has a legal responsibility to keep visitors safe. This includes an obligation to follow certain safety standards, to operate their property in a way that doesn’t pose unreasonable dangers to others, and to warn visitors of hazards. These obligations, while they apply to some degree to all property owners, both public and private, are particularly strict for property owners who welcome others onsite for their financial benefit.
Warning Visitors About Transitory Substances
When it comes to transitory foreign substances at business establishments, injured parties are generally required to prove that a business had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and didn’t take steps to remedy it. In states that require the use of wet floor signs, evidence that such a warning was not given would be strong evidence of a property owner’s negligence.
While a lack of a warning sign isn’t necessarily proof of a property owner’s negligence in protecting visitors in Florida, it can still have an impact on a subsequent legal claim. If, for instance, there was a wet floor sign, the defense could argue that a visitor was adequately warned of the risk and so is owed less in damages. The success or failure of this type of argument will again, depend on the facts of the case, including how far away the sign was from the fall site, as well as the amount of time that the floor was wet.
Call Our Office to Schedule a Meeting with One of Our Dedicated Lawyers
The presence of a wet floor sign isn’t necessarily fatal to a slip and fall victim’s case. Its presence (or absence) can, however, have significant bearing on a person’s claim, so if you were hurt in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property and have questions about the strengths and weaknesses of your own case, please call the dedicated Florida premises liability lawyers at Boone & Davis for help. You can set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by calling our office at 954-566-9919 or by completing one of our online contact forms.