If a store has a “caution – wet” sign posted and you slip and break your wrist, are they still liable?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2012

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If a store has a “caution – wet” sign posted and you slip and break your wrist, are they still liable?

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Personal Injury, South Dakota


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The store is liable for your injury unless the store can successfully assert the defense of  assumption of the risk.  Assumption of the risk means you recognized and understood the danger and voluntarily chose to encounter it.  For example, you saw the warning sign, but engaged in horseplay on the wet floor and slipped and fell and broke your wrist.

If assumption of the risk is not applicable, then the store is liable for your injury.  You should contact the store's insurance company and verify they are accepting liability before incurring huge medical bills.  Assuming that liability is not an issue, when you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means you have reached a point where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the store's insurance carrier will consist of these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the store for negligence.  If the case is settled with the store's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the store's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the store prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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