Who Is Liable for a Slip-and-Fall Injury in Tennessee?
An injury can occur for various reasons, often when someone least expects it. Motor vehicle, pedestrian, and work-related accidents may result in minor to serious and even fatal injuries. In those cases, responsible parties can include intoxicated drivers or negligent manufacturers. Another common injury occurs when someone slips or trips and falls. If a person falls from a high elevation, he or she may land on a hard surface, such as pavement or concrete. The force of this impact can result in severe injuries, which can be life-threatening, requiring surgery or extensive medical care. In some Tennessee slip-and-fall accidents, property owners may be held liable if an individual gets hurt in their building or on their land depending on the circumstances.
Common Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Because a slip-and-fall accident typically occurs suddenly, victims may try to brace themselves while falling, which can only aggravate any damage. For example, a person may put a hand or arm out in an effort to try to soften the fall. However, this usually still results in any of the following injuries:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Sprains or strains
- Bruises or contusions
- Cuts or lacerations
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord damage
Premises Liability and Negligence
In any premises liability claim, a victim must prove that the property owner or operator acted negligently. This means that the owner had a duty of care to the injured party, but that duty was breached, which therefore caused the harm. Some of the most common reasons for slipping and falling include wet or uneven flooring. However, there are other reckless or negligent actions that owners can be at fault for doing or allowing, such as the following conditions:
- Poorly lit indoor or outdoor areas
- Unmarked steps or changes in elevation
- Worn or damaged floorboards or handrails
- Clutter or debris obstructing hallways, common areas, or walkways
- Failure to post a warning sign of hazards or other dangerous conditions
When pursuing a personal injury claim after a slip-and-fall injury, proof of negligence can come in the form of photographs or video of the accident scene that show the dangerous and unsafe environment. In some situations, cleaning or maintenance logs can demonstrate a lack of attention to certain repairs. In addition, eyewitness testimony can corroborate how your injury was sustained.
According to Tennessee law, if a victim also acted negligently, which contributed to at least 50 percent of the cause of the injury, the plaintiff cannot recover any compensation. If the victim’s negligence was less than 50 percent, the amount of any damages awarded is reduced by the percentage of his or her negligence in causing the accident.
Contact a Tennessee Premises Liability Attorney
Although slipping and falling may not seem like a major incident, it can result in devastating consequences. If you or your loved one is suffering from a fall, you could be facing costly medical bills and long-term care. As a victim of a slip-and-fall accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. A dedicated Chattanooga personal injury lawyer from Warren & Griffin, P.C. will help you take the steps necessary to make sure you receive appropriate compensation for your damages. To schedule a private consultation, call us today at 423-265-4878.