Visiting a family member or friend at their home is always a pleasure, especially when getting together for a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or graduation celebration. It can quickly turn stressful if you suffer an injury on that person’s property. What should you do? Who pays for your medical bills? Do you have to use your own insurance, pay out-of-pocket, or can you hold the homeowner responsible for your injuries?
All of these questions are answered under premises liability law in Tennessee. This law protects legal visitors to properties should they suffer an injury in any type of accident.
When is someone else responsible for my injury in Tennessee?
The owner of the property you legally visited can be held liable for your injury if the following is true:
- You were owed a duty of care by the property owner
- There was a dangerous condition present on the property
- The property owner knew of the dangerous condition but did not fix the problem
- The dangerous condition was the cause of your injury
Common premises liability accidents
The most common premises liability accidents include:
- Dog Bites
- Inadequate Security
- Asbestos Exposure
- Roadway and Sidewalk Defects
- Poorly Lit Staircases
- Icy Entranceways
Reasonable conduct on the part of the property owner and victim
Every premises liability case has reasonable conduct that must be looked at before determining whether or not a lawsuit should move forward against the property owner. Both sides involved in such a case, the owner and the victim, should display some level of reasonable conduct. A business owner has a duty to ensure that visitors to their property are safe while there. Visitors to properties also have a duty to act in a safe manner to prevent being involved in an accident.
Does homeowner’s insurance cover an injury on someone else’s property?
Let’s say you visit a friend for a barbeque and wind up suffering a leg injury while walking up the steps of their deck, because the step was loose and collapsed when you stepped on it. The majority of homeowners have homeowner’s insurance because it is required by mortgage companies.
If this happens to you, it is best to speak with the homeowner immediately about their insurance coverage. Seek medical care and then report the incident to the insurance company as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that the insurance company thinks the claim is not valid.
Should the homeowner claim that they don’t have homeowner’s insurance, or would prefer settling the issue without getting the insurance company involved, you will need to file a lawsuit against them. There is no directory to find out who does and doesn’t have insurance.
Suffering an injury on someone else’s property, such as a friend or family member, can quickly turn a fun celebration into a debacle. Make sure you seek medical care immediately and then consult with a Nashville personal injury attorney about your case. Call the office of the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm at 615-425-2500 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Nashville, Hendersonville, Knoxville, and Clarksville.