Can Warning Signs Protect A Property Owner From Liability?
When you get injured on someone else’s property, you might run into several challenges when trying to get compensated for your injuries. One of the challenges is that the property owner may claim that they had a warning sign in place.
But can warning signs protect property owners from liability? The answer depends on the circumstances of your accident. Contact a Miami premises liability attorney to help you seek compensation for your injuries on someone else’s property.
Do Warning Signs Protect from Liability?
Whether or not a warning sign can protect a property owner from liability depends on the effectiveness of the sign. A warning sign can only be effective when it puts the visitor or customer on notice of a dangerous condition.
A warning sign must be visible enough to be effective. When a sign contains unreadable text, it is unreasonably small, or it is placed in a location where a visitor is unlikely to notice it, the sign may not be effective.
When a warning sign is not adequately visible, the property owner may still be held liable for the injuries on his/her property. However, the effectiveness of the warning sign depends on the unique circumstances of your situation, which is why it is advisable to have a knowledgeable attorney review your case.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Premises Liability Claim?
When you suffer injuries on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation if you can prove these four elements in your premises liability claim:
- The property owner had possession or control of the property;
- The property owner or occupier was negligent;
- Their negligence caused your accident; and
- You suffered damages as a result of the injury.
Can You Sue a Property Owner if There Was a Warning Sign?
Whether or not you can sue a property owner depends on the type, visibility, and reasonableness of the warning sign in place. Just because the property owner claims that they had a warning sign does not necessarily mean that they are not responsible for your injury.
Regardless of the presence of the warning sign, you must prove that the property owner was negligent. In other words, you need to demonstrate evidence that the owner failed to exercise reasonable care under the given circumstances.
Under Florida law, property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care by maintaining their property in good condition. Whether or not a property owner exercised reasonable care is determined based on what another reasonably prudent owner would have done under similar circumstances.
Typically, property owners are required to fix and eliminate all known dangerous conditions on their property to prevent accidents. A property owner must also warn visitors of dangers that:
- Are reasonably not known to the visitor when entering the property; and
- Cannot be reasonably discovered by the visitor.
Often, when a warning sign is visible and complies with the applicable standards, a property owner can avoid liability for accidents caused by the condition the visitor was warned about because the visitor “assumed the risk.”
However, it is advisable to consult with a premises liability lawyer to discuss your unique case and determine if the warning sign can protect the property owner from liability. Speak with our attorneys at Pita Weber Del Prado by calling 305-670-2889.