While the state of Florida does not have a “wet floor sign” law, victims of slip-and-fall accidents are eligible for compensation if there is evidence to prove negligence on the part of an establishment. However, there are several things that you need to consider when hiring an attorney to aid you with your case after such an accident.
What Does Florida Legislation Say About Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
As a general rule, slip-and-fall accidents fall under the Premises Liability Law. According to this law, all property owners, whether private or commercial, have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the people they allow into their premises.
As such, they are required to conduct regular inspections and maintenance on their buildings and be aware of any possible health risks to guests and occupants. Furthermore, property owners must comply with the established standards of safety and resolve any safety issues that may endanger the lives of their visitors. The law also requires that private and public property owners must inform their guests about potential safety hazards on their premises.
In the case of a slip-and-fall accident, a general negligence theory is typically applied to determine which party is held responsible. In other words, if one party is liable to another and fails in that responsibility, they are required to provide compensation for any harm that befalls the latter party.
In the event of slip-and-fall accidents due to “transitory foreign substances” in commercial buildings, the injured party must prove there was negligence on the part of the business owner. This typically entails providing irrefutable evidence that the business was aware of an unmitigated safety hazard on their premises.
The failure of the business owner to take preventative actions against possible dangers can be considered as evidence of liability if:
- The specific hazard had been present for a long period of time and would have been detected during routine inspections
- The condition is recurrent and therefore can be predicted
- The safety hazard can be determined by incident reports, testimonies from paramedics, camera footage of the accident scene, and eyewitness statements. In addition, it should be determined whether the danger existed before and the owner should have been aware of it.
Property owners can warn their guests about hazards involving “transitory foreign substances” by putting wet floor signs on risk areas in their premises. They should also warn others about slippery floors so that they can be more mindful to prevent accidents.
Does The Law Require Commercial Buildings to Put Up Wet Floor Signs?
The Premise Liability law does not have any clause specifying that establishments must put a wet floor sign. However, commercial building owners are required to remedy potential safety hazards on their premises or warn their guests about the dangerous conditions. They can do so by putting up wet floor signs, orange cones, Cordone tapes, or regular employee reminders to customers visiting the establishment.
Will A Wet Floor Sign Affect My Slip and Fall Compensation Claim?
While wet floor warning signs do not completely shield establishments from liability after slip-and-fall accidents, they provide a degree of protection against lawsuits. For instance, the business owner can make the argument that they are aware of the hazard and put up a sign to warn customers streaming into their premises.
Under Florida’s Comparative Negligence law, owners of commercial establishments can defend themselves against slip-and-fall lawsuits if the accident occurs in a location where a wet floor sign has been set. In such a scenario, the compensation owed to the injured party is significantly reduced since they are held partially responsible. On the other hand, the business owner can be held fully responsible if the wet floor sign was positioned in a number of inconvenient ways including:
- Positioning in a poorly lit environment
- Presence of other safety hazards that a customer was not made aware of
- If there was no other route for the customer to use
Sometimes establishment owners will leverage the Comparative Negligence law to argue partial responsibility on the part of the injured party. This is why you need to hire an experienced slip-and-fall accident attorney to help you navigate the lawsuit.