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Does the Existence of a Warning Sign Affect My Slip and Fall Claim?

Oct 31, 2019 - Personal Injury, Tuscaloosa by

Experienced Injury Attorney in Tuscaloosa, AL

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on another’s property, then you may be entitled to significant compensation under Alabama law.  In Alabama, premises liability law gives injured persons the right to sue and recover damages in cases where they have been unreasonably exposed to a property hazard, and subsequently harmed.

In some instances, however, the property owner may have installed a warning sign that alerted you (and other entrants) as to the hazard at-issue.  How does that influence your ability to bring a successful action for damages?

Property Owner Liability

Property owners have a duty to maintain a reasonable safe premises for entrants.  If they fail to do so (either by failing to inspect the property to identify dangerous conditions, or by failing to correct those dangerous conditions once discovered), then they can be held liable.

It’s worth noting that property owners are given other options under Alabama law.  Rather than correct the dangerous condition, they can put up a sign warning premises entrants of the dangerous condition.  That way, premises entrants have an opportunity to avoid the risky area, or to exercise additional caution when traversing the property.

Shifting Responsibility Through Warning Signs

In premises liability disputes, obviousness is a critical issue.  If the dangerous condition (that caused the injury) was known or obvious to the plaintiff, then they cannot bring a successful action for damages.  The existence of a warning sign serves as “notice” in the sense that it creates an assumed knowledge of the dangerous condition at-issue.

As a plaintiff, this can put you in a rather difficult position in litigation.  There are ways to overcome this, however.  If you can show that the warning sign was not visible, or was not legible/understandable, for example, then your slip and fall claims will not necessarily be precluded.  Alternatively, you could argue that the dangerous condition was unavoidable despite the warning.  If there was no reasonable alternative to using that portion of the property, then you could ostensibly argue that you had no choice but to engage with the hazard.

Contact Cross & Smith for a Free Consultation

Here at Cross & Smith, our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured plaintiffs throughout Alabama in a variety of disputes, including those that center around a slip and fall accident on another’s property.

In slip and fall cases, the defendant is likely to utilize a number of strategies to avoid or minimize liability — they may argue, as discussed, that they provided ample warning to premises entrants and therefore should not be made liable for harm caused by property hazards.  To successfully overcome these barriers, it’s important to engage in a well-considered, detail-oriented litigation strategy.  Over the years, we have developed the insight and tools necessary to do so effectively.

If you’d like to speak to an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney at our firm, we encourage you to call 205-391-9557 or to send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"I have hired Justin Smith to handle two separate automobile accidents that I was involved in. I have worked for several different attorneys during my lifetime, and I am fully aware that most attorneys take a while to respond to phone calls or emails. Justin has always been so quick to respond to any questions or needs that I have had during each process. He is such an attentive and steadfast attorney who has always shown unparalleled professionalism."