At the Law Office of Stanley A. Davis, our mission is to aid in your recovery in any way that we can while providing attentive, caring counsel and filing legal action on your behalf.
Can I File a Premises Liability Claim in Tennessee?
Nashville Slip and Fall Attorney Explains Property Hazards
Accidents can occur anywhere property owners and/or operators neglect taking reasonable steps to ensure safety. Dangerous conditions in businesses, parks, private homes, hotels and resorts, and even public places can place visitors at risk for serious injuries. When accidents happen due to dangerous properties, victims and their families can often hold the owner and/or operator accountable through a premises liability claim. Slip and fall accidents are among the most common reasons for these types of lawsuits. However, dog bites, swimming pool accidents and hotel injuries may also be the fault of the property owner.
If you or a family member is dealing with injuries after slipping and falling, or any other accident, then attorney Stanley A. Davis can provide the compassionate legal representation you need for your injury claim. As a civil trial specialist, he is not afraid to take your case to court if this means getting the compensation you deserve. His work as a slip and fall attorney includes a number of significant recoveries, including $425,000 for a man seriously injured in a retail store. The property owners claimed they were unaware of the dangerous conditions that led to the accident, but Stanley proved otherwise. Thus, the client received damages to cover medical bills related to the injury, pain and suffering, loss of income and other complications.
What are Common Types of Premises Liability Claims?
Property owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to address hazardous conditions or warn visitors of the dangers. These hazards can be loose railing, broken floorboards or other fall hazards, but may also include lax security or carelessness which allows physical or animal attacks. Some of the most common accidents that may be grounds for a premises liability claim include:
- Slip and fall accidents. A slip and fall may result from an unaddressed spill, uneven floors, loose carpeting and debris. Depending on the conditions, a fall may cause permanent spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury or even wrongful death. The catastrophic personal injuries that may result from slip and falls are particularly distressing because often a simple sign, word of warning or quick corrective fix could have prevented the accident from ever happening.
- Dog bites. Animal owners are legally responsible for the injuries that result when their pet bites or attacks another person. These accidents are a particular danger for children, who may sustain severe facial injuries, including permanent scarring.
- Swimming pool accidents. Falls, diving accidents and the risk of drowning make swimming pool accidents particularly dangerous. Pool owners must usually take additional precautions, such as putting up sturdy fencing, to prevent accidental child drowning.
- Hotel accidents. Hotel owners must ensure guests and their property are safe on the premises. Negligent staff, lack of security and fall hazards can all cause serious injury to guests.
- Vacation accidents. Tennessee vacation destinations such as national parks, museums and historical sites must be properly maintained by the owners to prevent tourist injury.
Five Tips on What to Do After a Slip and Fall
After a slip and fall injury, you may be entitled to collect compensation from the property owner. To protect your future claim, you should take certain steps immediately after the accident. These are:
- Seek medical attention. Your health following a slip and fall should be your most important concern. Keep any medical documents you receive, as this will help if you decide to file a premises liability claim.
- Tell whoever oversees the property, such as the owner or manager, about the accident. If the accident happened at a business, including rental properties, then the person in charge should file an accident report. This is not required by law, but many stores have policies that require a report. If you need to leave to get treatment for injuries, then ask for a copy before leaving. If you cannot do so immediately, then make sure to follow up as soon as you can.
- Document the scene, if you are able. Take pictures of where the accident happened as well as pictures of any possible related conditions. Write down the time, date and any other details about the accident. This can help your lawyer determine fault.
- Reach out to anyone who saw you slip and fall, and get his/her contact information. This witness can back up your account and can be crucial to your case. Your attorney could use witness testimony to help prove your claim even if the owner then took actions to try to avoid a lawsuit.
- Get advice from a slip and fall attorney. Do not talk to anyone or sign anything before you call a lawyer. Some insurance companies attempt to get you to sign away your right to file a lawsuit by offering a low settlement amount to cover your current medical costs.
Can I Sue for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Owners, managers and landlords all have a responsibility for maintaining and monitoring their properties. If they are negligent and knowingly allow potential hazards to exist, then they may be liable for any injuries that result. Whether you can or cannot file a lawsuit to cover your expenses after a slip and fall accident depends on the details of your claim.
To prove the property owner is at fault for your injury, your lawyer must demonstrate that the owner did any of the following:
- Caused the dangerous condition to happen, which led to the accident.
- Knew of the hazard and failed to properly remedy the situation.
- Should have noticed the dangerous condition and taken action to remove or repair it.
Premises liability claims are often complex and will likely require your legal representation to thoroughly investigate the claim. For example, if a spill or another hazard happens and someone falls before the property owner is aware of the danger, then the person injured may not be able to receive compensation. The owner must have failed to exercise reasonable care after knowing about the situation.
Additionally, if you are a construction worker who fell on a job site and suffered injuries, then you may be entitled to file for workers compensation benefits and, depending on who is at fault, a third party claim.
Every case can benefit from a review. Contact our Nashville law firm to speak to an experienced slip and fall attorney about your ability to file a claim.
What Kind of Injuries May Result from a Slip and Fall Accident?
Dozens of injuries that vary in type and severity can result if property owners fail to keep conditions safe for the public. These may include:
- Spinal cord injuries. The impact of a fall, especially if you fall backwards, can be sufficient to break vertebrae and damage the spinal cord. This can cause permanent full or partial paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries. A brain injury may result from a fall even if your head does not directly strike a surface. Even a minor brain injury such as a concussion may require lengthy recuperation times. A severe brain injury may have much more serious effects, such as paralysis, personality changes and more. Slip and falls are a leading cause of both spine and brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
- Broken bones and multiple fractures. Depending on your profession, even a single broken bone may keep you from work. Multiple fractures may require surgery and may result in permanent impairment.
- Torn muscles, ligaments and tendons. Injuries to the muscles and joints can prevent you from working and may need surgery.
- Wrongful death. A serious slip and fall accident, especially a fall from a height, can cause fatal injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Claim
When filing a premises liability claim, it is important to establish that the property owner or occupier was negligent in maintaining their premises, resulting in your injury. Proving negligence requires demonstrating the following elements:
- Duty of care: The property owner or occupier had a legal duty to ensure the safety of visitors.
- Breach of duty: The property owner or occupier failed to uphold their duty of care by not addressing or warning about the hazardous condition.
- Causation: The hazardous condition directly caused your injury.
- Damages: You suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of the injury.
Our experienced premises liability attorneys at the Law Office of Stanley A. Davis have a deep understanding of Tennessee laws and can help you gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case to prove negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your premises liability claim and explore your legal options.
Understanding Comparative Fault in Premises Liability Cases
In premises liability cases, it's important to understand the concept of comparative fault. Comparative fault is a legal principle that determines the degree of fault or responsibility for an accident or injury that is shared between the injured party and the property owner. In Tennessee, if you are found to be partially at fault for your slip and fall accident, it can affect the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Here are some key points to know about comparative fault in premises liability cases:
- Modified Comparative Fault Rule: Tennessee follows the modified comparative fault rule, which means that if you are found to be 50% or more at fault for your slip and fall accident, you may be barred from recovering any compensation.
- Reduced Compensation: If you are found to be less than 50% at fault, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault and awarded $10,000 in damages, your compensation would be reduced to $8,000.
- Proving Fault: To determine fault in a premises liability case, evidence such as witness testimonies, surveillance footage, property maintenance records, and expert opinions may be used. It's important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim and establish the property owner's negligence.
- Seek Legal Representation: Given the complexity of premises liability cases and the potential impact of comparative fault, it's crucial to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney. They can evaluate your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights to ensure you receive fair compensation.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, don't hesitate to contact the Law Office of Stanley A. Davis. Our dedicated team of premises liability attorneys has extensive experience handling these types of cases and can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need.
Need Legal Advice from a Slip and Fall Attorney?
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