Can you claim for a fall if a wet floor sign is present?

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Hazard warning signs make up an important element of claiming personal injury compensation for slipping accidents, particularly slips on wet floors which often happen at work or in a shop, and especially in supermarkets.  Any employer or shop should erect a hazard warning sign the minute they become aware that there is a potential hazard for people in their building, whether it is whilst mopping floors or after a spillage.  However, just because a hazard warning sign has been displayed, it doesn’t necessarily get someone off the hook in terms of not being liable for injuries should a claim be made after a slipping accident.

How wet floor signs affect an injury claim

To be able to succeed in a claim for personal injury compensation after a slipping accident, a claimant and their specialist solicitor will have to demonstrate that the people or business responsible for the area in which they were injured breached reasonable health and safety regulations and exposed them to the risk of injury.  Slip and fall claims are often successful if it can be shown that a slippery floor wasn’t indicated or that a floor was made slippery yet nothing was done to warn people about it.

One thing that employers and shops are supposed to do is display a hazard warning sign – usually a yellow sign – at the site of a slippery or wet floor.  This ought to enable people to see that the area could be dangerous and then take extra care when crossing the floor area.

However, simply erecting a hazard sign may not provide sufficient warning or prevent the business or shop from being held liable for any accident, and subsequently a claim may arise.

Hazard signs must be displayed correctly

The positioning of a hazard sign is vitally important if it’s to do its job properly.  A sign must be visible, unobstructed and placed in advance of the slippery area.  If a sign is displayed incorrectly, obstructed or in the middle of a slippery area that someone would have to already have walked part of to be able to see it, it becomes redundant and is no use.  Therefore, just because a hazard sign is around and about, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to claim compensation should you slip and fall.

It’s not always easy to know if you have a valid claim for slipping accident compensation.  That’s why we’re here.  You can contact us and ask our team, we know your rights and know what questions to ask in order to evaluate whether or not your claim is likely to be strong enough to proceed.

If you or someone you know has slipped on a wet floor and been injured, you may be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. If you have any questions about liability or whether or not your accident scenario warrants a claim, please call our team on 01225 430285, or if you prefer, we can call you back. We can help you to understand your rights – we’ve successfully helped many clients claim compensation for their injuries and we’d love to help you, too.

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming...

Hello, I slipped on wet decking on 16th September last year and broke my right femur, I am 72 years of age. having been informed I walked past a wet floor sign but didn’t notice it and been told also that although I suffered injuries I cannot claim because the place I fell said they done all the correct safety procedure. I feel this is wrong. I am still having hospital treatment. Can you help me please and let me know if it is possible to claim. Thank you.

Ian Morris

Displaying a hazard sign is an important safety measure for any business or venue to implement if an area is slippery or where a potential risk of injury is present. However, displaying a hazard sign does not necessarily mean that a business or venue will not have been negligent if someone then goes on to slip or fall as a result of a hazard.

A hazard sign needs to be clearly displayed, obviously marking an area of risk. The hazard sign should not be obscured or in a position that could lead to a member of the public not seeing the sign or not being able to identify the area of risk. In this case, it would appear that there are questions to ask as to whether the owners of the decking had taken appropriate precautions to both reduce the risk of injury and correctly identify the area where the hazard was present.

In the scenario you describe, there is an argument to say that the decking was known to be hazardous when wet and that the sign may not have been obvious. Also, if the decking is often wet – which is likely if it is outside – should the business in question or owners of the venue have covered the decking with some non-slip surface being painted or applied to it to reduce the risk of injury.

We would certainly be very happy to further investigate this matter for you with a view to pursuing a No Win No Fee claim on your behalf. Please call us on 01225430285 or request a call from us so that we can further help you with your claim.

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I was walking through a shopping mall when I slipped on a spilled drink from a drinks kiosk and fell on my back causing soft tissue injuries to my lower back, shoulder and neck. There was a caution sign near the spillage, but I didn’t notice it at the time. When my daughter asked on of their staff had not cleaned up the liquid, their reply was they were waiting for the shopping Mall staff to clean it, but while we were sat on a nearby bench, two of the kiosk staff came out, one with a mop and the other with a roll of kitchen towel and cleaned up the spillage. Can I still claim?

Ian Morris

We believe you have a valid claim for compensation and expect you to have a strong prospect of succeeding with this should you pursue the claim.

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Hello, I live in a block of flats with a communal hallway provided by my housing association, we have cleaners that come in every week. On the 2nd October I called them to inform them that my child had slipped by the entrance to the block due to wet floors and no wet floor signs, they completed a incident form with me and took notes however exactly a week later on 9th October, I came in to the building and slipped over injuring my back. Again no wet floor signs and they was only informed a week prior to that that they keep cleaning the floors and not leaving appropriate signs out. Do I have a claim?

Ian Morris

You certainly do have grounds to make a claim for the injuries that you have sustained. The cleaning company have been entirely negligent in failing to erect any hazard warning signage to indicate that the floors may be slippery. The fact that you had reported an incident a week before where your child slipped on the floors and that there was no sign in situ after cleaning on that day, simply strengthens your case.

Although a hazard sign should be erected whenever a floor is wet or made wet through cleaning, the fact that you reported that this had not happened and the cleaning company continued to fail to erect signage is a clear breach of duty and we would anticipate that you would succeed with your claim. If you have not already done so, we would recommend that you also report your fall and ensure that another incident report form is completed.

We would love to assist you in making a No Win No Fee claim for personal injury compensation. You can contact us on 01225430285 or if you prefer, use our website to start your claim for compensation.

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Hi, I slipped over in a supermarket in a big puddle of water and milk combined in front of the milk section. I did note there were 2 wet floor signs posted either side of the spillage but it was not cleaned up so I had no indication that the spillage was going to be in between the signs.
I fell quite hard on my knee and have an instant bruise and some swelling.
Could I claim for this, this isn’t the first time it’s happened in this same supermarket, the same happened a few months ago in the frozen section and was no sign posted at the time and was the same knee I fell onto.
Thanks

Ian Morris

There are two potential claims for us to consider here. Firstly, the initial fall you had in the frozen section of the supermarket. That would appear to be a valid claim and one we’d like to investigate further.

Secondly, the recent fall. Although hazard signs were on display, that doesn’t mean that the supermarket has no further liability or responsibility and this doesn’t mean that you can’t pursue a claim. Displaying a hazard sign is an important step in preventing accidents and mitigating liability, but displaying a sign is just one part of an important range of actions that should be taken by a supermarket when a spillage or hazard is found in an aisle. Not only must the signs be displayed in an obviously visible spot, but they must be displayed where the hazard is located. In this case, the spillage itself may not have been particularly visible due to the colour of the floor or the lighting in the store and the location of the signs may have led you to feel that you were in a safe area when you fell.

We would like to investigate both of these potential claims for you. For further help, please call us on 01225430285 or use our website to provide some initial information and request a call from us.

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Hi there,
I recently slipped on a very wet floor at work. Although there were wet floor signs displayed, I still slipped and damaged the ligaments in my knee.
There are two cleaners, one to wet mop and the other to dry mop along side them, but the lady that was meant to be dry mopping wasn’t doing it, she was leaning against the wall watching the other cleaner wet mop. Would I be able to make a claim?

Ian Morris

If the signage was in a clear and visible position and you were aware that the floor was wet, it is unlikely that you would succeed with a claim in this scenario. There is a small chance that a claim could proceed if it were shown that the floor was unduly wet, but establishing that there was negligence in this case is unlikely.

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Hi while away on holiday the cottage we stayed in had been renovated to incorporate a upstairs bedroom but to do this they had to shorten the stairs so the outside door could open hence the bottom step has a larger drop than normal & yes there are two warning signs stating this but when you are descending stairs you still dont comprehend a larger drop hence when my wife came down she misjudged it & she ended up in hospital with a fractured foot would she be able to make a claim ?

Ian Morris

Do you have any photographs or video footage of the accident site and signage? Without seeing the site, the position of the signs and whether the temporary arrangements were unduly dangerous (to warrant the closure of the accommodation until such time as the steps were returned to uniform and unobstructed condition), it is very hard to be certain either way.

We would certainly like to view any such images that you may have in order that we can assist you further. You can contact us for further help via justice@direct2compensation.co.uk It would be helpful if you could include a few details – such as contact information, accident date etc, so that we can then return to you to further discuss this with you.

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I slipped on a wet mat in a shopping centre by a drinks machine and dislocated my knee and I’ve possibly torn the tendon in the front of my kneecap resulting in surgery. There were 3 drinks machines, each with a rubber mat that was wet from ice falling from the machine. A wet floor sign was in front of the middle machine. I had to walk past the sign to get to the drinks machines. The mat in front of the third machine slipped and I fell. The mats were rubber and supposedly non-slip.

Would I be able to make a claim?

Ian Morris

My view is that you do have a valid claim for slipping accident compensation. Although a hazard warning sign was in situ, it would seem that the cause of your accident (the mat slipping as you stepped on it) would not have been prevented whether the sign was present or not. One would rightly assume that the mat was safe to stand on and to be stood upon without it slipping away. As this is the cause of your injury, I believe that you have a valid claim.

If the details of your injury were not recorded in the accident book or with the shopping centre, you should contact them to ensure that the details of your fall (as you have listed here) are on record.

Our Solicitors can act for you on a No Win No Fee basis and given the severity of your injury to a complex joint (the knee) the longer term consequences of the injury could be serious. As such, this would be reflected in any settlement should you go on to succeed with your claim for compensation.

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Should a sign be in place in a nightclub toilet that says mind the step ?

Ian Morris

It is not mandatory to place a sign to indicate that there is a step present. However, if the step is hidden from view, obscured by a door or not visible due to floor surface colours or lack of lighting, then a sign should be erected to provide a warning.

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I was visiting a hotel and as I walked through the lounge door to the hallway/corridor I slipped on a small step the other side of the door. I put a complaint in to the owner, and they stated that there was a hazard sign on the door warning of the upcoming step, and that as a fire door it would automatically close meaning the sign was always visible (the door was closed as I approached, but I didn’t notice the sign). Is one sign on a door enough? The step had the same colour carpet as the rest of the floor so wasn’t immediately visible until I had already buckled my ankle. Now I have injured my ankle and I’m afraid I may lose the job I only just started as I’ll have to take a long time off.

Ian Morris

As the hotel appears to have taken steps to warn guests of the step, it is unlikely that you would be able to demonstrate that they had been negligent in this matter. As the doors are fire doors, they must close automatically to ensure that fire regulations are met. With this in mind, it is unlikely that there would be a suitable 2nd location at which another hazard sign could be erected.

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Should a pub display a height warning sign on a wall in their car park if there is a much higher drop on the other side of the wall? There is no warning for people on the pubs property that there is a danger from the height differential to prevent a customer who is unaware of the hidden height difference from one side to the other, from jumping over the wall.

Ian Morris

There is unlikely to be a need to display a warning sign in the circumstances you describe. Walls are not objects that are designed to be used to access or leave a premises and patrons of the pub should be using the entrances or gates provided.

However, if the low wall was in the car park with a large drop behind it, you could argue that there should be some sort of fence or barrier to prevent people from falling over the same.

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How quickly does a company need to erect a sign for a broken lift after they have become aware that it was broken? Is there a specific time limit in which they have or should a sign be placed on the lift as soon as they are made aware of an issue?

Ian Morris

As soon as the fault or hazard is reported to the responsible party, they are on notice and should act immediately to erect signage or withdraw an item from use.

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Hi leaving work last night I went to exit the school building through the hall. The doors were open and a yellow hazard sign placed at the hall entrance to indicate the hall floor had been washed so therefore take care. As a result I slowed myself and looked to see a drier path through as the laminate flooring was very shiny with surface wetness . As I continue into the hall I slipped and fell on the wet floor and after a trip to A&E discovered I have fractured my foot.

Am I at liability for choosing to enter the hall when a wet floor sign was visible? The hall doors were open for staff to walk through (a yellow sign at each door) but there were no extra cones to condone the wet area off limits indicating that we should not enter.
Many thanks.

Ian Morris

As there were hazard signs posted at each end of the area, it is likely that the courts would not be willing to find against your employer in this matter.

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Hi. My parent slipped in a hospital on a wet floor. There was no sign. The hospital are lying and saying there was a wet floor sign. What can she do?

Ian Morris

Without either an accident book entry, an independent witness or photographs to confirm that there was not a sign on display it is very hard to do anything to demonstrate that the defendant is being dishonest in their denial of the claim.

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Hi there,
There was a door leading off to a corridor at work and as I opened the door to step out I slipped and fell hurting my back. There was a wet floor sign in the corridor but not infront of the door so how would I know it was wet?

Ian Morris

The provision of a hazard warning sign is an important risk warning to people in an area where a hazard is present. Erecting a hazard sign where there is a slip hazard is important and it can protect both the company or business responsible for the premises (the occupier) as well as the people who will access the area (employees or customers). However, a hazard sign needs to be erected in clear view for all users of the area and in the scenario you describe, there is a clear argument to be made that hazard signs should have been erected on both sides of the door.

My initial view is that you have a valid claim for compensation as a result of the injuries you sustained when slipping on a wet floor that you were not made aware of being a hazard. If you would like to pursue a claim further, we’ll need to speak with you to get some further information. You can either call us on 01225430285 or we can call you if you use our website to make an online enquiry.

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I slipped at work in staff toilets there was a spillage outside the toilets wet floor sign in situ but seperate by 2 doors and a corner leading into the toilets which unknown to me had recently been mopped. I have hurt my back and now work are saying that the wet sign covers not only the spillage outside in the corridor, but also inside the toilet?! Paramedics were called.

Ian Morris

There is a valid case to pursue a claim for slipping accident compensation here. The erection of a hazard warning sign is an important indicator of the risk of injury by slipping. However, the location of the signage is vital too and it is important that people are made aware as to where a risk is. In this case, it would be expected that the sign provided was placed where the slip hazard was situated and that an area through two doors and around a corner would need a separate warning.

Please use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to make further contact with us in order that we can start your claim for compensation. Alternatively, you can call us to find out how we can help.

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Hi Ian, I fell in a store while exiting the shop, and broke my elbow. After receiving cctv footage I can see that they have a wet floor sign up. Do i have a claim?

Ian Morris

The provision of the hazard warning sign does not mean that you have no claim, but it does indicate that the store were aware of a slipping hazard and had attempted to provide a warning to customers to take extra caution.

In your case, if the hazard sign was clearly visible, but you simply hadn’t seen it you may struggle to take this further. However, if the sign was obscured from view or erected in a position that made it hard to see or appeared to indicate that a different area was slippery, you could seek to pursue a claim. With any matter like this, it is usually sensible to go through the claims process to see if our specialist Solicitors can do anything for you.

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I am I am a 65 year old male on social security disability, recently I had a slip-and-fall at McDonald and aggravated my old back injuries along with other injuries. Can I file a claim for compensation? At the main entrance to the bathroom there was a wet floor sign, however in the handicap stall separated from the main bathroom there were a leak around the toilet, no wet floor sign near the leaking toilet.

Ian Morris

The provision of a hazard warning sign is an important physical warning that there could be a slipping hazard present. However, simply placing a hazard warning sign out doesn’t in and of itself prevent a business or organisation from being liable if someone then goes on to slip and suffer injury.

A hazard warning sign needs to be erected in the correct location, clearly visible and it should mark an obvious hazard. In your case, you mention that a hazard sign was erected outside of the toilet entrance but that you slipped within the confines of the disabled access cubicle. Given that the floor of that unit was wet because of the toilet leaking, it would be reasonable to expect that the toilet in question was repaired or put out of use until repair, or at the very least, that a warning sign was erected in an obvious position within the actual toilet.

With this in mind, my initial view is that you may have a valid claim for slipping accident compensation. This is something we would like to look further in to for you and as such, please call us on 01225430285 or use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to get in touch.

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Our local shop is mopping the whole floor surface of shop (39 minutes before closing). They put up a yellow hazard warning sign to be careful if wet floor.) I stated surely they can be sued if someone slips but advised not as warning sign). Surely this is not true advise they can mop half the floor leaving a dry other half then in last few minutes). Not happy if risk as have herniated disc and already had surgery? If I was to slip?

Ian Morris

There is no prescribed ruling that would indicate that the local shop opting to mop the entire floor surface in one go is unsafe or overtly dangerous. However, by making the entire floor wet and potentially slippery, the store would have an obligation to ensure that all lawful visitors to the store are given adequate warning that the floor may be slippery. As such, as long as the store are working sensibly and erecting hazard warning signs in clear visible locations (clearly visible upon entering the store and on each wet floor area), they are likely to have met any requirements they would have a responsibility to meet and would not be liable if a customer were to then slip and fall.

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Hi,
I slipped and fell backwards in s big pile of spilt alcohol on the shop floor In Sainsbury’s. I didnt see the wet floor sign and I sustained soft tissue injury on my lower back, pain in elbows,wrists and rib cage. I have pre existing issues with my spine ( 2 metal rods in my back since the age of 12)The fall has also triggered my fibromyalgia to a point that my whole body is in pain. The mental anguish of the fall has brought on anxieties and depression for which I have been on medication for years. Am I able to make a claim?

Ian Morris

If there was a hazard sign in situ and you simply didn’t see it, you would struggle to succeed with a claim for slipping accident compensation as the defendants would argue that they had provided a notice that there was a hazard.

However, if you didn’t see the hazard sign because it was obscured from vision or placed in an inappropriate location you may succeed with a claim for slipping accident compensation as there would be a case to make against the defendant for failing to provide an appropriate warning of the risk of slipping.

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