Premises Liability Lawyers in Knoxville, TN
When you think of premises liability, a slip-and-fall type event may immediately come to mind. While slip and fall does apply to a number of premises liability cases, premises liability can extend further than that singular focus.
Premises liability refers to the liability placed on a landlord or property owner for damages brought about by dangerous or hazardous conditions. Let’s look at it another way. Property owners and landlords can be held responsible when someone falls victim to a non-safe space.
Property owners and landlords bear a duty to maintain their property and help ensure guests and visitors stay safe while on it. This duty should not be taken lightly; it carries liability along with it. If a visitor incurs an injury while on the premises, and owner negligence played a part, the property owner or landlord may have to assume liability. That entitles that person to compensation at the landowners’ sake.
This being said, liability can depend on a number of factors; the owner or landlord may not be directly responsible for damages. That’s where an experienced Tennessee premises liability lawyer can prove beneficial. Contact Wettermark Keith for a free consultation of your case and the circumstances surrounding it. Maximum compensation may depend on it.
Premises Liability: A Dangerous Condition Breakdown
The conditions underlying what constitutes premises liability come in quite an array. A common thread that runs through all of them is this: they are hazardous and compromise the safety of visitors. Some hazardous conditions include:
- Damaged or jagged pavement;
- Holes or uneven ground;
- Poor visibility and lighting;
- Security deficiencies;
- Icy or slip-prone surfaces;
- Wet surfaces or spaces with water collection;
- Faulty seating (chairs, benches, stools, etc.);
- Falling objects or debris;
- And more.
Hazardous conditions can run the gamut; this list is by no means exhaustive. The key to a premises liability case lies in whether proper maintenance could have prevented the condition and resulting injury. If it could, a premises liability claim may just be in order.
Slip and Fall
As a leading reason for injury in premises liability cases, slip and fall deserves at least a mention. Rather than slapstick comedy bites, slip and fall injuries can form into serious conditions for the victim. Common causes for these types of injuries include pooled liquids, slick floors, poor lighting, uneven floors, and elements like snow or ice. A slip and fall at a place of business or other property that arose from improper maintenance could lead to a successful case, especially if hazard warnings or other signs seemed absent. If this applies to you, the experienced attorneys at Wettermark Keith can help with your premises liability claim.
What Underpins a Premises Liability Case
We may regularly find ourselves outside the comforts of our home — and on another person’s property. We frequent grocery stores for food runs, stop at rest stops and gas stations, snag a quick bite to eat at a restaurant, visit friends’ residences, and more. It’s pretty safe to say that our day can take us to a range of places.
When it comes to premises liability, the reason for our visit matters. The law takes into account our visitation status when considering a property owner or landlord’s liability. This helps in determining where negligence truly lies. In the eyes of the law, the reasons for being on a property fall into four, distinct categories. These are:
Invitee or Invited Guest. Someone’s deemed an invitee when that person has been invited onto someone else’s property. Coming into a shop, store, or establishment that wants customers satisfies this category. Legally, the person who entered would constitute an invitee. That matters later on, from a legal standpoint, if said guest slips on a slick floor.
Social Guest. A social guest designation sounds like what it is. The property owner gave direct permission, or requested, your presence on the property. There could be some overlap though. A social guest can also be an invitee or a licensee when looked at from a legal perspective.
Licensee. A licensee comes onto a property by consent or through some sort of authority. A police responding to a disturbance would be a licensee example.
Trespasser. Largely self-explanatory, a trespasser has no right to be on a property but is. Property owners can still incur liability if reasonable trespassing rationale exists and a hazardous condition remained unaddressed.
For a premises liability case to be made, a few burden of proofs must underpin a valid claim. A successful case requires:
- Proof that the defendant legally owns the property in question;
- The plaintiff fulfills either the invitee or licensee legal roles, though a trespasser can bring suit if certain circumstances permit;
- And some sort of negligence directly influenced the injury.
Once all these prerequisites have been proven, a premises liability suit can commence.
Time Limits on Tennessee Premises Liability Cases
Time is of the essence on cases like these; Tennessee mandates a one-year statute of limitations in accident claims. This means that someone who has suffered an accident or injury has one year to file a claim before it becomes void forever. This time to file starts on the date the accident occurred — so delay does not do any favors. If you feel a premises liability claim pertains to you, let Wettermark Keith take the reins. The sooner we start the claim, the more time our personal injury attorneys have to build your case. Maximum compensation could count on that extra time. Head to our contact form as soon as possible for us to get in touch and begin the process toward compensation and recovery.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Don’t let your undue injury define you; a dangerous condition, not you, left you harmed. The blame rests on the negligent party who lacked the foresight to address hazards and concerns. Responsibility ultimately falls on another party’s shoulders, especially if some form of maintenance could have easily remedied the conditions.
If you’ve been the victim of negligence or oversight on another party’s property, legal options are available to you. Wettermark Keith’s expert personal injury attorneys can help explore those options — and marshal a case that could end in compensation for you. You don’t have to shoulder this burden alone; we’re here for you and your recovery. That’s what our firm lives and strives by.
With decades of experience behind us, Wettermark Keith comes well-equipped to handle your case from start to finish. Our firm not only holds the expertise required to pursue maximum compensation: we also can devote the time your case deserves. We’ll assign a practiced lawyer to you who will work earnestly in pursuit of the compensation you’re rightfully owed.
To delay could lead to decreased compensation or even a forfeiture of a claim. Your best interests are at heart at Wettermark Keith; it’s how we’ve conducted our firm for nearly 20 years and counting. Put our trusted firm’s name in your corner in the courtroom — we’re on your side. Reach out to us through this contact form so we can connect and move toward recovery together.