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Property Owners Must Use Signage to Warn Shoppers of Slip & Fall Dangers

We’ve all been in this situation before: It’s pouring rain and you enter a store, directly from the parking lot, and duck in quickly to close your umbrella. You, and every other shopper before you, shakes off the rain before continuing into the store. It doesn’t take a great imagination to think about how slick the entry way of that store is after only a few shoppers walk inside.

In cases where the manager or store owner should be aware that there is a possible safety concern, they are required to put up a “Caution: Wet Floor sign. The signs are usually bright yellow and are put in place to warn people that there is a potentially dangerous slippery area to avoid.  Of course, premises owners want to keep shoppers safe, but there is a legal reason to use these caution signs. When they are in place, the manager is showing that they are taking the time to warn shoppers of a potential dangerous situation. This is a step toward making good on their “legal duty of care.

If a dangerous situation exists, such as the one described, and management fails to place the warning signs in obvious, visible areas, they may be considered negligent when someone slips and falls on the slippery floor.

Additionally, posting warnings is not enough.  The management should place slip resistant mats (and check them frequently and change them when they are soggy).  The floors should be mopped as necessary to avoid wet conditions.

It stands to reason that the store owner or manager must be allowed a reasonable amount of time to recognize the danger and to act on it. For example, if you drop a bottle and liquid spills onto the floor in aisle three and you immediately slip and fall, the premises owner could not possibly have been aware of that dangerous circumstance.

Slip & fall law is complicated. Speak with a NJ personal injury attorney at Team Law who will investigate your accident and determine if the property owner can be held liable for your injuries sustained in your fall.

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