How much warning is enough to prevent injury? Businesses and property owners alike display warning signs on their premises to alert anyone entering the property to beware of certain potential dangers. But if you are either an invitee, licensee, or trespasser on the property, and you are, in fact, injured by the very thing the warning sign was designed to warn you about, what is your recourse, if any?
Query 1: Posted on the property is a “beware of dog” sign for all to see. An invite, or licensee of the property owner sees the sign and is bitten by the dog when entering the property. Despite the warning sign, can the property owner still be held liable for any injuries suffered by the plaintiff as a result of a dog bite?
Query 2: You see the “slippery when wet markers” placed on the floor of your favorite eatery. You still slip and fall when you enter the property. Can you sue for any injuries you received even though there was a sign warning you about the danger?
The short answer to both of these questions is “yes,” but your burden of proof to show that the defendant was negligent and did not do what was required of him to do to prevent your injuries may be difficult.
Potential Signs and Why They May Not Be Enough
Property owners posting “do not enter” signs are warning trespassers not to enter the premises. They do not give a hint as to what type of injuries may be lurking inside. The sign is not sufficient to give notice to anyone, including trespassers, that there is a dangerous condition on the property that they should be aware of. You may ultimately be liable to persons injured on your property, despite this type of warning.
Dog owners, beware of posting “beware of dog” signs as a warning to persons entering your property. The “beware of dog” sign can potentially be used against the property owner in a personal injury dog bite case. In many jurisdictions, proving that the dog owner knew that their dog was vicious and had attacked others would go a long way in establishing liability. The warning sign telling society at large to beware of the dog will be used as evidence to prove that the dog owner knew that the dog was dangerous. It can also be used to show that the trespassing injured person assumed the risk of injury by entering the premises despite being warned that the dog was dangerous.
We have all seen the “caution-wet floor” markers on the floors in banks, grocery stores, local convenient stores, and restaurants. If these signs are placed in areas that are visible to ingress and egress traffic, this may prove to be a mitigating factor in an action for personal injury, if the defendant can show that the plaintiff did not take the necessary precautions to project themselves from injury.
If you have been injured through the intentional or negligent actions of another, you will need to talk to an experienced personal injury law attorney. Please contact us today, by phone at 1-888-900-7034, or take advantage of our online case evaluation form to schedule your initial case review.
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