UNITED STATES—If you own property, you may not be concerned about the possibility of someone slipping and falling while visiting you. However, every year, more than eight million people go to the Emergency Room due to a fall. If there is an area of your property that is especially dangerous, you may need to consider putting up warning signs in order to avoid a potentially costly lawsuit against you.
Premises Liability and Your Property
The main reason you need to be worried about having warning signs on your property as a homeowner is due to the concept of premises liability. This rule of law states that the owner can be found liable for the injury if the owner’s neglect caused the injury.
Someone trying to sue you due to premises liability after falling on your property must prove the following:
- They had lawful permission to be on your property
- You as an owner were negligent
- Your negligence caused the accident to occur
Premises Liability and Failure to Provide Caution
When considering whether or not to have warning signs on your property, the most important thing to consider is whether the lack of warning signs on your property would mean that you were being negligent. When a court finds you legally negligent, it means failed to put forward the care that an ordinary person would have applied. You can do this through action or inaction.
In the case of warning signs, a person could sue you and claim that you were negligent because you did not take the reasonable care necessary to place signs warning of places or environments that might cause someone to slip and fall. Click here for more information about failure to provide caution and the law.
Do Not Enter Signs and Negligence
If you put up a “Do Not Enter” sign, you may be able to claim that someone was clearly trespassing on the property. This violates one of the key points they have to demonstrate in court against you in a slip and fall lawsuit: that they were on the property legally.
However, even if you put up a “do not enter” sign, you are still required to keep the property safe for trespassers. Conditions on your property must reasonably be safe from causing harm, even if you have a “Do Not Enter” sign. If someone slips and falls on your property after you have put up a “Do Not Enter” sign, you may still be found guilty of negligence, depending upon the state of the property and what caused the fall.
Caution Signs and Wet Floor Signs
If you have areas of your property that are wet or icy, you may wish to install signs warning about the wet floor or icy sidewalks. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you argue successfully that you did your best to warn anyone coming onto the property.
However, you also have to be very careful when you put these signs onto your property to ensure that the signs are very visible. If they are hidden in any way, visitors to your property could argue that they did not see the sign until it was too late.
Warning Signs May Not Protect You From Costly Lawsuits
Ultimately, slip and fall accidents can result in costly injuries. Simple warning signs are a good idea for your home, but they may not be enough to prevent you from getting sued. If someone tries to sue you for a slip and fall accident, it is important to seek the services of an experienced lawyer so that you can protect your financial assets, including your home.
Cheryl Roy has built a successful legal career over the years. However, she wanted to reach out to people beyond her practice and decided to do so by writing. Cheryl took it as a personal mission to make legal information more accessible to the public. Therefore, she started sharing her expertise with individuals and businesses facing a legal dilemma. Now she has branched out to many online and offline platforms and works as a collaborative editor for Bader Scott Injury Lawyers.