Premises liability claims hold property owners responsible for negligence and injuries that occur on the property site. Premises liability claims can be made against private homeowners, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, amusement parks, or any business.
Most premise liability claims are “slip and fall” claims relating to unsafe walking conditions and injuries. But premise liability claims also include a wide variety of injuries caused by hazardous or negligent conditions.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, slip and fall accidents account for 17% of all accidental deaths and are the second leading cause of accidental injury death behind car accidents.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from unsafe property conditions, call our offices today at (615) 244-4511 to schedule a free consultation.
What Is a Premises Liability Claim?
Premises liability claims occur when an individual, or “invitee” is invited on to private property and suffers an injury on the property as a result of the property owner's negligence. A property owner's negligence creates unsafe conditions that can result in injuries.
To have a successful premises liability claim, the victim must be able to prove that:
- The defendant was responsible for the property where the injury occurred, and
- The victim was invited on to the property, and
- The defendant's negligence directly caused the conditions that led to an injury.
To be eligible for a premises liability claim, the plaintiff must be an “invitee” or “licensee” of the property. Shoppers and visitors of businesses are considered to be invited onto the property. Usually, property owners do not owe standards of care to trespassers or any individuals on the property without invitation.
Common Premises Liability Claims
Common conditions that lead to premises liability claims include:
- Poor lighting
- Unsafe stairway conditions
- Falling objects
- Animal bites
- Playground accidents
- Shoddy construction
- Snow and ice on walkways
- Exposure to hazardous materials like mold or chemicals
- School injuries
- Daycare injuries
- Building code violations
Property owners are required to maintain their property and keep it up to certain standards. When property owners are negligent, use poor building materials, or otherwise fail to maintain the safety of their property, they can be held liable for injuries that occur.
“Slip and fall” accidents are injuries where a victim slips or trips on another person's property due to unsafe floor conditions like wet floors, hidden cords, unsecured carpets, ice accumulation, or broken tiles and floorboards.
Claims for injuries that occur on your own property are usually filed through homeowners insurance. Claims for injuries on rented property are premises liability claims if the injury was the result of the landowner's negligence in failing to maintain the property.
Premises liability for children usually involves unsafe playground equipment or unsecured swimming pools.
Workers who were injured while completing work duties may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
How To Handle Premises Liability Claims
If you have been injured in a premises liability case, you need to:
- Take care of yourself—if you have been injured, seek immediate medical attention
- Gather information—write down information about the name and phone number of the property owner, the names and numbers of any witnesses, insurance information for the property owner, and the names and numbers of anyone to whom you reported the incident.
- Take pictures—if possible take pictures of the scene of the incident
- Do not give a statement—do not give a statement to the property owner's insurance company, and do not sign any paperwork from them.
- Don't take the blame—do not make or agree to any statements about your role in the injury.
- Contact a personal injury attorney—contact an attorney as soon as possible after the injury. Tennessee code § 28-3-104(a)(1) gives victims of injuries no more than one year to file a case.
Who Is Responsible for Premises Liability Claims?
When the judge or jury is considering your case, they will look for several elements to determine if the landowner is at fault, and if so, what duty the landowner owed to the visitor. These elements include:
- The circumstances that brought the visitor to the property
- The purpose of the property
- The predictability that an accident or injury would occur under
- The landowner's ability to repair the dangerous condition
- Any steps the landowner took to repair the condition
Comparative fault is a common occurrence in premises liability cases. This means that the fault is shared between the landowner and the injured victim because the court found the victim to be partially at fault for her own injury. In comparative fault cases, the landowner is not held 100% responsible for damages. If the injured individual is found to be 25% at fault for the injury, then the landowner is held accountable for 75% of the damages.
Tennessee Premises Liability Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as the result of a negligent property owner, you need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to investigate your claim and gather the necessary evidence. Your attorney will take photographs of the site, investigate accident reports and medical bills related to the injury, take witness statements, and inspect property records. A skilled personal injury attorney will understand how to utilize the evidence to best support your claim.
Establishing liability in a premises liability claim and formulating the details of the claim is a complicated process. The Law Offices of Luvell L. Glanton is dedicated to recovering compensation for clients injured by negligent property owners.
Call our offices today at (615) 244-4511 to schedule a free consultation.