Can You Sue if There is a “Wet Floor” Sign?

August 10, 2021

The question of whether you can sue if there is a “wet floor” sign depends on the facts of your situation. It won’t help your case if you slipped and fell on a wet floor with such a sign. Slip and fall cases use the negligence legal theory. It requires those in charge of property to provide safety to visitors. Whether a “wet floor” sign can protect an owner against a lawsuit depends on the sign and the conditions that caused your fall.

Because there are no clear answers without facts, you should talk to the slip and fall lawyers at Wapner Newman. We can talk about the legal issues of what happens when you slip on a wet floor. How much compensation do you get for falling on a wet floor? We will discuss your situation, how the law may apply in your case, and your possible compensation. We’ve handled many of these cases. We will tell you how your case may play out, given what happened.

What Happens When You Slip on a Wet Floor?

The injuries you suffer can range from minor to catastrophic. They’ll be affected by your overall health and age. A fall that an 18-year-old could walk away from may put a 60-year-old in the hospital. Falling down stairs could cause more serious injuries than falling on a floor. You may end up with a headache or permanent brain injuries. Fall victims can suffer back injuries, broken bones, or soft tissue injuries.

If you’re able, after the fall, contact the people responsible for the property. Take photos of the area to create evidence of the condition of the floor and surrounding area. Get medical help as soon as you can.

What are the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Laws Concerning Slips and Falls?

Under premises liability law, owners and managers of public spaces (malls, restaurants, stores, office buildings) need to keep their property free from hazards. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, private property owners are responsible for the safety and well-being of visitors.

Property owners have a duty of care. There’s a responsibility not to cause harm to others. They must make sure their property doesn’t pose a threat to others. A parking lot must be properly lit. Stairs need to be kept clear. Pennsylvania law states that property owners must maintain their properties, provide warnings of hazards, then repair these defects.

Under Pennsylvania law, any business or store open to the public must inspect the premises to find obvious or hidden defects. If one is found, they must be proactive by correcting them or warning others of the problem. To show negligence, you need to prove the owner or manager of the property caused your injury because it:

  • Caused the danger, or
  • Knew about it but didn’t handle it properly, or
  • Should have known about the danger, but didn’t, and failed to take action.

You’d also have to show:

  • The other party owed you an obligation to keep you safe.
  • The other party failed in that duty of care.
  • It caused the accident.
  • You were injured and suffered medical and financial harm as a result.

If all these issues go your way, the next step would be looking at your role, if any, in causing your injuries. Pennsylvania and New Jersey follow the modified comparative negligence doctrine. If you are more than half at fault for the slip and fall, your case will be dismissed. If it’s less than that, the money you can recover is reduced by your share of the blame. The jury would decide these issues.

The party responsible for the property isn’t liable for harm to visitors if the danger is obvious or known to them. An exception would be if the property owner or manager could anticipate the harm even when the injured parties know about the danger or it was clear to see.

How Would a “Wet Floor” Sign Impact Your Case?

A wet floor warning must give you notice of dangers that aren’t clearly obvious. The warning needs to be big enough to be seen, in the right location, and understandable. It must be about the harm that you suffered. A wet floor warning sign won’t help the property owner if you fell because the floor is uneven or tiles are loose.

The warning sign must be effective. If you slipped on water pooled on the floor and there was such a sign, we would need to determine . . .

  • If the sign was close enough to where you fell
  • Whether it was visible or blocked by something or by other people.

These factual issues need to be resolved before we could give you a good idea of the strength or weakness of your case.

How Much Compensation Do You Get for Slipping on a Wet Floor?

What you collect in compensation for a fall from slipping on a wet floor depends on:

  • Whether your injuries will last a long time and how serious they are
  • The pain and suffering you endured after the fall and what you’re expected to suffer in the future
  • The cost of past and future medical care and rehabilitation
  • Lost pay due to your injuries after your accident and into the future.

The strength of your case also plays a role. Even if the sign doesn’t end your ability to seek compensation, your share of the fault will reduce your recovery.

Ask a Slip-and-Fall Attorney if You Have a Case

Slip and fall accidents can be complicated and hard to prove. But that doesn’t stop us from helping people injured by the negligence of others. You won’t know if your case has a good chance of success and how much you may collect until you talk to us.

Call Wapner Newman today at (215) 569-0900 so you can talk about your injury with a Philadelphia negligence attorney. If transportation is a problem, we will come to you. Our firm serves slip-and-fall accident victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.