Tennessee Personal Injury and Premises Liability Claims
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UPDATED: Mar 10, 2020
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In Tennessee, a premises liability lawsuit can succeed only if the person responsible for the safe maintenance of a property has been negligent, leading to an injury and damages. Specifically, the following key elements must have been true at the time the injury occurred on the property:
- A piece of property or something located on the property was in an unsafe condition;
- The person who had the responsibility of maintaining the property knew or should known about this condition but failed to make the property safe or to warn others about the unsafe condition;
- The person who had the responsibility of maintaining the property had enough time to correct the unsafe condition, but did not.
If the dangerous condition had just arisen and there was no time to fix it, the owner or controller of the property might not be liable. For example, if the person in front of you at the grocery store knocks over a jar of pickles and you slip in the liquid, the store probably wouldn’t be held responsible.
Types of Liability Claims
Property owners owe different people different degrees of care. A customer in a store is entitled to more protection than a burglar who breaks into your house. When most people think of a premises liability case, they think of a slip-and-fall accident. This is the most common type of premises liability accident since restaurants, places that serve drinks, and grocery stores have frequent spills that can cause an accident. Winter weather causes many slip-and-fall accidents as well. But there are other kinds of premises liability accidents, including:
These are accidents usually caused by an uneven walking surface like torn or worn carpet, cracked concrete or cement, or plant roots. Hard-to-see obstacles such as electrical cords and fixtures that protrude, or concealed holes in the ground, ditches, and culverts, can also cause this type of accident;
Falling through unsafe surfaces
These accidents usually happen on construction sites and on old stairs, porches, wooden walkways, garages, rotten floors, and in attics. These injuries may be caused by things such as falling material, broken ladders, dangerous machinery, or hazardous material;
Many accidents happen in and around swimming pools, such as drowning and diving accidents;
Fire or explosion
These accidents are often caused by hazardous materials such as stored gasoline, paints, and flammable material, as well as by faulty wiring and improperly maintained machinery.
Accidents in commercial facilities
Accidents happen in amusement parks, health spas, and other commercial facilities that provide machinery and equipment for customers to ride on or use, either because the equipment isn’t safe or because of someone’s negligence.
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