Tennessee property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe for visitors. When accidents occur due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, the party in control of it should be held liable. The experienced injury attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard are dedicated to helping victims in the Nashville area and beyond pursue the compensation that they need. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, our firm provides knowledgeable legal representation for individuals throughout Williamson and Davidson Counties, including in Green Hills and Brentwood.Holding a Negligent Property Owner Accountable for Your Harm
Many situations may give rise to an accident on another party’s property. For instance, a restaurant patron may slip and fall on a spill that has not been cleaned, or trip over a broken step that has not been fixed. Other hazardous conditions that may be dangerous to visitors include uneven pavement, poor lighting or security, or falling objects.
Property owners have a duty to keep and maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Failure to do so can lead to significant injuries for an unsuspecting visitor, and property owners should be held responsible when this happens. Either landowners or occupiers can be held liable in a premises liability lawsuit. For instance, the owner of a restaurant may be the defendant in a case arising from a slip and fall there. Similarly, if a city fails to maintain its sidewalks, and someone trips on uneven pavement, it could possibly be held liable for any harm that results.
In Tennessee, a property owner or occupier owes differing duties of care to those entering its premises, based on the visitor’s purpose. “Invitees” are owed the highest duty of care. These visitors are entering a property for a business purpose, such as customers in a retail store or restaurant. Entities opening their property to invitees must keep their premises free from dangers and make regular inspections for hazardous conditions. They also must warn invitees of any dangerous situation that has not been fixed.
Property owners owe “licensees,” often defined as social guests, a slightly lower degree of care. However, they still must warn licensees of any dangers on the premises. Illegal trespassers, or any visitors not lawfully on someone’s property, are not owed any duty of care from dangers that exist there. The only duty a property owner owes to trespassers is that of not intentionally harming them.
One exception to the lack of duty owed to a trespasser, however, arises in some situations when children are involved. If there is a condition on a property that is likely to attract a child, such as a swimming pool, the property owner sometimes may be held liable under the doctrine of “attractive nuisance.” This doctrine only applies to man-made dangerous conditions, rather than those that naturally occur.
The statute of limitations for premises liability cases in Tennessee is one year from the date of the accident. If a person hurt on someone else’s property fails to file his or her claim within this time, the right to take legal action is barred. Because of such a limited time frame, it is important to consult a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible following an accident.Discuss Your Accident Claim with a Franklin Attorney
If you have been hurt on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to damages for your medical costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering. The accident lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard have guided many Franklin residents and others through the process of asserting their rights. If you need legal assistance to seek compensation for your injuries, contact us online or call us at (615) 800-7096.