Do “Warning Signs” Protect Property Owners?
Property owners have a duty to provide safe premises to anyone who is legally on their property. Individuals who are injured on another person’s property may have the right to seek compensation. However, slip and fall victims generally have several hurdles to clear before they can recover any monetary damages for their injuries.
Property owners assert many defenses in order to avoid liability for any accidents on their property. One common defense is attempting to limit their liability by posting a “Not Responsible for Accidents or Injuries” sign.
Not Responsible for Accidents Disclaimers
Disclaimers, warning and notices that about dangers and risks are found in many public premises. Regardless of the wording, they all basically mean the same thing – “enter at your own risk” or “use at your own risk.” Property owners display these signs to put visitors on the premises on notice that the owner will not pay for any injuries resulting from accidents on their property.
For instant, public swimming pools and hot tubs property owners must display clear warning signs about various things, such as whether there is a lifeguard on duty, the pool operation hours, and safety rules. The bottom line is that “Not Responsible for Accidents” signs contain general warning with the clear message that visitors assume all risks for injuries.
Impact of Not Responsible for Accidents Signs
It is common practice for property insurance adjusters to argue that when a property owner posts a warning sign, the duty to warn of a dangerous condition has been met. However, it is not as simple as that. In order to successfully file a premises liability claim, the four elements must be met:
- Possession or control of the premises
- The existence of a dangerous condition on the premises
- The dangerous condition caused the accident
- The victim was injured as a result of the accident
This means that in order to win your premises liability claim, you must prove that the property owner breached his or her duty. Even if the owner places the warning signs, he may still be liable for the accident and resulting injury.
Effective Not Responsible for Accidents or Injuries Sign
Warning signs can shift liability from a property owner to the visitor on the property. However, if order to shift liability, the sign must be effective. If a “Not Responsible for Accident” sign does not meet the following qualities, a property owner may be liable to the injured victim:
- The sign must be placed where visitors are likely to see it before encountering the dangerous condition
- The sign must be clearly visible and not covered or blocked or obscured by dim lighting
- The sign must have large lettering that can easily be read
- The sign must be in a language understood by most visitors who will see it
Call a Los Angeles Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today!
The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping our injured clients reach the best monetary settlement when they are involved in any type of accidents.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a slip and fall accident that was caused by the negligent actions of another party, our experienced Los Angeles premises liability attorneys are available to personally review your case. Call us at 1-888-848-5048 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.