Property owners in Tennessee have a duty to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. If a property owner allows a dangerous condition to exist on their property and you get hurt, the law may permit you to hold them responsible for the harm. Dangerous conditions can include potholes, slippery floors, loose rugs or carpets, bad lighting, unsafe handicap ramps, and uneven curbs, sidewalks and stairs. These hazards can exist at gas stations, restaurants, shopping malls, parking garages, parking lots, hotels, public places, and virtually any place of business. Property owners are supposed to inspect their property to make sure these hazards do not exist and repair them if they do. The law calls these “premises liability cases.”
Examples of premises liability actions include:
- Slip, trip and falls
- Swimming pool drownings
- Dog bites
- Injuries due to dangerous activities on the land such as blasting, drilling, or construction
- Elevator or escalator injuries
- Porch or stairway collapse
- Rapes and sexual assault
In almost every case, you will have to overcome the property owner blaming you for your injury. You will also have to prove the property owner had notice of the dangerous condition in time to have either fixed it or warned you of the condition. Proving notice can be done by establishing the owner had actual knowledge or constructive knowledge. Constructive knowledge means the condition existed for such a time that the owner should have known of its existence. The notice element can be difficult to prove and usually requires a detailed investigation.
What to do if you are hurt on somebody’s property:
Take pictures of the scene and what caused your injury as soon as possible. You should write down the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all witnesses. If you have been hurt at a place of business, make sure you report it to the manager on duty and an incident report is filled out. If you suffer an injury, seek medical treatment as soon as possible for your injuries. Finally, call us before you speak to the insurance company or give a recorded statement. The adjusters are trained to ask potentially damaging questions.
What we do:
We represent people in Nashville and throughout Tennessee in these difficult cases. Getting our lawyers involved early can drastically increase your odds of success. Waiting months or even weeks to hire a lawyer can seriously jeopardize your claim. The property owner and its insurance company will immediately begin working against you. Their team of adjusters and lawyers can sink your case before you are aware of it. Our firm has the ability and resources to immediately investigate your case. We have a specialized team of experts who can perform a site inspection and gather critical evidence before the scene is altered or changed to hide the dangerous condition. Insurance companies and businesses will usually want to repair the area where you fell quickly after the incident. It is important that we properly photograph the area as soon as possible before any repairs are made. We will also identify of all of the owners of the property to make sure all of the responsible parties are included. Often times commercial property is leased and the real owner may not be known. Having the wrong party in the case can ruin your chance of recovery. This type of case is one of the most difficult cases in Tennessee. Protect your rights and act immediately by getting us involved.