When it comes to accidents surrounding slip and fall injuries, it's sometimes challenging to determine exactly who is at fault. For this reason, there are a number of misconceptions floating around about these types of accidents. A number of people miss out on their due compensation because of incorrect information. In the event that you are involved in this type of accident, make certain you can distinguish fact from fiction.
A Warning Sign Always Eliminates Liability
Many people are under the impression that having a warning or caution sign up automatically excuses the property owner from any liability. However, this isn't always the case. It's not just important to have this type of sign posted, but it's even more important that the sign be placed in an area where it is highly visible. As an example, consider a wet entryway into a store.
The area right next to the door would be considered a highly visible area. Posting the sign a few feet inside the entrance isn't considered a visible area. Posting the sign in this fashion isn't giving the people entering the store a fair warning of the ground condition. In this instance, the property owner could still be held liable if you were to slip and injury yourself. A sign that is turned in the wrong direction could also affect the property owner's liability. Don't think just because a sign was posted you don't have a valid claim.
If You Contributed To The Fall You Don't Have A Claim
There's also this idea that if you somehow contributed to your injuries, you don't have a claim. When a person is thought to play a role in their slip and fall accident this is called comparative negligence. This is the idea that your actions, in part, played a role in your injuries. Even if you fall in this category, this doesn't mean you don't have a claim. Consider the previous example about the wet entrance area. Say you were talking on your cell phone. This caused you to miss the warning sign, resulting in your fall and injuries.
You can still be awarded compensation for your injuries. Although you were distracted, it is the property owner's responsibility to ensure the area is safe for their customers. At most, the court could choose to evoke the comparative negligence claim. The judge or jury would then reduce your award by a certain percentage. However, the most important thing to remember is that your own negligence doesn't necessarily mean you don't have a claim.
Don't let a misconception keep you from the compensation you both need and deserve. If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, you can get the help you need from places like Putnam Lieb.