We expect outings to be fun, social gatherings to bring connection, and errands to be productive. However, when an accident happens at the outing site, the friend’s home, or the store, negative outcomes intrude. Pain, medical bills, recovery time, and a variety of other unwelcome situations follow that accident.
While there are cases when an accident is truly that–something that is no one’s fault–there are plenty of times when accidents are preventable and occur because of another party’s negligence. If your accident occurred on someone else’s property, reach out to the Covington personal injury lawyer at GKBM.
With help from a Covington premises liability lawyer from our firm, you can hold the negligent party accountable and pursue compensation for your losses.
Property Owners and Reasonable Care
In Tennessee, property owners must take reasonable care to keep their properties free of hazards and safe for those who lawfully enter the space. Suppose you sustain an injury on a property because the owner did not maintain the area or failed to inform you of a known danger. In that case, you may be able to hold the property owner responsible for compensating you for the injuries and losses you suffered.
If you sustain an injury while trespassing on a property, the likelihood of holding the property owner culpable is slim–except in special circumstances. Tennessee Code §29-34-208 does not owe a trespasser a duty of care. They are not legally obligated to exercise “reasonable care” in keeping their properties safe from or warning trespassers of hazards.
Property owners are only required to avoid “willfully, intentionally, or wantonly” causing the trespasser harm. Exceptions come into play, however, if the trespasser is a child and if there are “attractive nuisances” on the property.
An attractive nuisance is a structure on a property likely to entice child trespassers. Swimming pools, trampolines, or even broken-down vehicles can fit this category. Property owners must take care to secure these structures and prevent child trespassers, who are not equipped to recognize risk, from accessing them.
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Types of Premises Liability Cases
What counts as “reasonable care” can vary depending on the type of property where the injured party was hurt.
Whether a business owner rents, leases, or owns their business space, they must still take measures to keep it safe. For example, grocery store owners need to have plans in place to clean spills quickly. In the meantime, they must mark the areas with the spill, alerting shoppers to the danger.
Amusement park owners must have security in place to manage crowds and parking areas. They must also post signs at rides indicating the potential health dangers for riders or establishing height and weight requirements. They need trained maintenance workers on hand to ensure rides operate safely and grounds are free of debris or other slip- or trip-inducing obstacles.
If a business property includes escalators or stairwells, these structures and areas must also be kept in working order and maintained with safety in mind. Stairwells need proper lighting and handrails, for example.
Most homes don’t have escalators or long and potentially slippery aisles. Still, homeowners owe it to their guests to warn them of loose stair railings or broken steps and to secure or point out loose or frayed carpeting that could pose a tripping hazard. They must also keep guests safe from attacks or bites from domestic pets.
Dog bite laws in Tennessee are somewhat complicated. To ensure your rights are protected, get legal guidance from a skilled Covington premises liability attorney.
Landlords and Renters
The Tennessee Department of Health (DOH) establishes the responsibilities of both tenants and landlords.
Renters must keep the space they inhabit clean and healthy. For example, they need to keep their home dry, free of pests and contaminants (as much as is in their control), and safe. If a child is burned on a stove, and the stove is functioning, the fault is with the renter, who did not monitor the situation, rather than a landlord who refused to fix or replace a malfunctioning stove.
The DOH explains that under the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, landlords must:
- Comply with building and housing codes
- Make timely repairs or remedies to keep the space healthy and safe
- Keep all common areas clean and safe. For example, if landlords own an apartment complex, maintaining safe lobbies, stairwells, parking lots, or other common areas is their responsibility
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A Premises Liability Attorney in Covington Will Help You Pursue Damages
Injuries sustained in premises liability cases can take just about any form. Victims may experience:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage (to nerves, ligaments, muscles)
- Head trauma, including severe brain injuries
- Back and neck damage
- Spinal cord injuries
Even in scenarios when wounds heal, that healing requires recovery time away from work, medical costs, and other related expenses, such as child care or transportation and responsibilities the victim can no longer manage alone.
In more severe situations, the victim’s injuries may be permanent and disabling. Their condition may keep them from ever returning to work, caring for themselves independently, or participating in life as they did prior to the incident. Whatever your situation, a skilled premises liability lawyer in Covington can help you get the compensation you need to recover and stabilize your financial future.
What Compensation Covers
Your attorney will assess your losses with care and make a fair settlement demand to cover:
- Medical costs and future care
- Income loss, including lost future wages and benefits if applicable
- Other accident-caused expenses
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
Getting the settlement you deserve requires prompt legal action and an understanding of how personal injury claims and processes work. Trust an experienced attorney to value your losses. It is easy for victims to overlook or underestimate needs. Your lawyer can handle your settlement demand and negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Suppose the insurance company will not make a reasonable offer or negotiate in good faith. In that case, your Covington premises liability attorney will review your best options with you and provide superior representation at all proceedings if you take the case to court.
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Start working toward financial justice and stability today. Connect with a Covington premises liability lawyer from GKBM for a free case review. With skill, experience, and the firm’s resources, your attorney will work tirelessly to secure a substantial settlement to cover your injuries and losses and help you face your financial future with peace of mind.