A wet floor sign is used to warn people about wet floors and so prevent them from slipping and falling. Businesses often place such warnings to avoid negligence charges brought by people on their property. In many countries, if an injury results from a wet floor, the owner of the premises may be found liable for compensatory damages. Many lawyers specialize in such tort lawsuits.
Liability under United States common law
By the calculus of negligence
, placing these signs makes sense even if there is a very small chance
of anyone slipping. One factor in determining liability is the awareness of the landowner of the spill. Because individuals are generally expected to be less aware than businesses of incidents such as spills, wet-floor signs are not usually found on personal property
such as family dwellings. Nevertheless, a house guest can seek injury compensation if they show that their host was aware of the spill and made no remedy or warning. The highest standard of liability exists in the workplace, where workers' compensation
may apply to any injury regardless of fault. The lowest standard exists for uninvited trespassers
, who cannot expect care from their possibly unwilling "host.