Going for a walk each morning should not be dangerous. However, it’s possible that you could suffer a slip and fall accident that can leave you seriously injured. This type of accident can also occur when shopping at Dollar General, Walmart, Publix, Kroger, visiting your doctor, when visiting a friend or neighbor’s home, or even walking down the hall of your child’s school.
Slip and fall accidents come under premises liability law, which requires property owners to maintain their property so that hazards do not lead to accidents involving guests. At the same time, premises liability only protects those who were invited to the property where they were injured, which means trespassers don’t have much going for them should they suffer an injury when illegally on someone else’s property.
Obvious hazards might not make a property owner liable
There are times in which a property owner might not be held liable for a slip and fall accident because of obvious hazards. For example, if there is a fountain or large pond in the middle of a waiting room, a reasonable person would have taken reasonable actions to avoid the hazard to prevent an injury. A customer or visitor to a property is not permitted to hold the property owner liable for every single type of accident that could occur on the property.
Slip and fall on government property
Suffering a slip and fall injury on government property is not as cut-and-dry as suffering the same injury on a private or commercial property where you were legally allowed to be present. You can still seek compensation from the government, but expect that the compensation will be capped. This means that there will be limits set on how much money you can receive from the government if you need to file a lawsuit.
If you trespass, you cannot seek damages
It’s important to note that if you trespass on someone else’s property, whether residential or commercial, you cannot seek damages from the property owner if you suffer an injury. A trespasser has no legal recourse for compensation if injured when on property illegally.
However, there is the attractive nuisance doctrine, which holds property owners liable if there is an attractive nuisance that would draw children to the property, such as a pool. Even though the child technically trespassed, if he or she was injured by an attractive nuisance, the property owner can be held liable for the injuries.
There is a time limit to file a claim
You can’t wait forever to file a lawsuit against a property owner when injured in a slip and fall accident in Tennessee. You have just one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in order for it to move forward.
Premises liability law protects you when visiting a friend’s home or when walking around a storefront so long as you are not trespassing. The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has a dedicated personal injury team that can examine your case and help you acquire the compensation you deserve. Call our office at 615-425-2500 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation today. We operate offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, Knoxville, and Clarksville to better serve our clients.