“Caution, Wet Floor;” we have all seen the yellow triangle
sign propped up at stores. One side has it written in English and the
other side is written in Spanish. This wet floor safety sign is extremely
important. Why? Well because wet surfaces are slippery and people may
slip and fall. It is a very inexpensive way for stores to warn visitors
about possible danger.
Experienced Poughkeepsie slip and fall attorneys know that commercial owners do not use wet floor safety signs out of kindness
or because they are nice. Retail outlets are legally required to use the
sign. In fact, retail stores are required to warn guests about all hazards
that could cause harm.
Slippery surfaces are unique because they stay wet or damp after the bulk
of liquid has been mopped up. Since the hazard will persist for some time,
a warning is proper.
In addition to warning guests about hazards, stores have a general duty
to keep the premises reasonably safe so that visitors are not caused to suffer a
slip and fall injury. This includes the warnings already discussed, but it also includes not
creating dangers in addition to inspecting the property for dangers.
Let us talk about inspecting for hazards. Imagine a women’s clothing
shop. The front door is locked because opening time has not arrived. The
clerk opening the store enters through the back door and walks through
the entire store looking for things on the floor, trip hazards, wet spots,
frayed carpeting, and the like.
This is all it takes to complete a reasonable inspection. But once in the
morning is not enough. As customers roll though the store, things get
messy, so regularly occurring inspections are required. If a hazard is
found, the hazard must be fixed. If it cannot be fixed, than people must
be warned. Failing at this can cause people harm; injuries that will lead
the storeowner to defend against a lawsuit.
What if a hazard was not found, but should have been found; it was right
out in the open to be seen? The
property owner can be held liable if someone is injured by the hazard. If a reasonable inspection would
have turned up the danger, than the owner is responsible for fixing it;
even if the owner did not know about it, he or she will still be liable
if an accident happens.
These rules apply to every store regardless of type or size. The small
corner store, the tackle shop, gas stations, large chains such as Wal-Mart
and McDonalds, car dealerships, shopping malls, casinos; anywhere an owner
holds his or her place open to the public.
Learn more about what you should know about New York slip and fall accidents in
our latest article posted here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.