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Premises Liability Lawyers

Whether you are going to work, shopping at a grocery store, visiting a friend for dinner, or even walking through the hallways of your apartment complex, you likely enter property that belongs to others every single day. Serious injury can occur if property owners fail to use reasonable care and create or allow a dangerous condition. If you have been injured in an accident that occurred on someone else’s property, you may have premise liability claims against the owner of that property. A law firm with knowledge and experience of premise liability law can provide a free consultation.

PREMISES LIABILITY INJURES EXPLAINED

Common Types of Injuries

Some of the most common types of injuries are a result of:

  • Slip and falls
  • Dog bites
  • Retail store liability
  • Dangerous property
  • Negligent/Inadequate security resulting in assault
  • Trampoline accidents
  • Improper maintenance of the premises
  • Failure to prevent or remove ice and snow
  • Hazardous conditions on the premises
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Fires
  • Elevator/escalator accidents
  • Flooding/wet floors
  • Toxic fumes

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Contributory negligence or comparative fault negligence can be a defense used by property owners if you were partially at fault. This can bar or limit an injured person from recovering damages if they contributed to their own injury through their own negligence. The law is different depending on the state where the injury occurred.

In Kentucky, you can recover a percentage of damages equal to the defendant’s negligence. For example, even if you were 90% at fault in an accident and the property owner was only 10% at fault, then you can recover 10% of the damages resulting from your accident.

Tennessee follows a different approach. In Tennessee, you will only be allowed to recover damages if you are less than half at fault for the damages. As long as you were 49% at fault or less, then you can recover damages. For example, if you were 30% at fault in an accident and the property owner was 70% at fault, then you can recover 70% of the damages. If you were 50% at fault in your accident or more, then you can’t recover any damages at all.

It can be difficult to prove a defendant’s negligence when injury occurs in someone’s property. In order to recover damages in premises liability claims, you must be able to prove four general elements.

Duty of care:  You must be able to prove that the property owner had a duty to make sure that you were safe on their property. In other words, in a premises liability claim, you must prove that property owners had a legal obligation to you. The property owner should exercise reasonable care and maintenance to ensure a safe premise. This may include the duty to warn visitors of the condition of the property, to remove or remedy dangerous conditions or to provide a safe environment.

The property owner’s duty may depend on the type of property and the legal status of the visitor. A person can enter the property as an invitee, licensee or trespasser. In general, an invitee has been invited into the property for business purposes. A licensee is someone in the property as a social guest or a reason unrelated to business. A trespasser is someone entering the property without permission. A higher duty of care may apply to invitees.

Breach:  You must be able to show that the property owner did not abide by that duty or legal obligation, and failed to provide safe premises. You must prove that the owner knew or should have known that unsafe conditions existed in their property.

Causation:  In addition to proving a duty to exercise reasonable care and a breach of that duty, you will have to prove that your serious injury was caused by the premises’ owner’s negligent acts. The defendant’s negligence must be the substantial factor in causing your injuries.

Damages:  In order to recover damages, you must prove that you actually suffered damages and that the injury occurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

Medical Expenses

You may obtain compensation if you have been injured on someone’s property. You may be able to recover damages for medical expenses such as:

  • Hospital bills
  • Surgery costs
  • Medical supplies, such as walkers and wheelchairs
  • Prescription medication
  • Rehabilitation and therapy costs

People who sustained serious injury will likely incur future medical expenses too. The treating doctors or an expert can help identify what medical treatment, medication or supplies will be needed in the future. You may be able to recover the amount of those future medical expenses in addition to your current medical expenses.

Lost Wages

An injury obtained on someone else’s property can result in a temporary or permanent inability to work. If you are the sole income provider for your household, then this can be a devastating financial loss. A premises liability attorney can help you get compensated for the time that you lost from work, and even for lost earning potential if your injury will prohibit you from work again in the future.

Non-Economic Damages

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, then you know that the experience you had to endure isn’t erased once medical bills and lost wages have been paid. A premises liability lawsuit can compensate you for economic damages, and can also help compensate for non-economic damages that can’t necessarily be put into any certain dollar amount. Pain and suffering damages can include the actual pain from the injuries and medical procedures, depression and anxiety, difficulty sleeping or eating, inability to perform daily activities of life such as bathing, cooking, cleaning or driving, and even loss of enjoyment of activities you used to engage in such as exercising or playing with your family.

Loss of consortium is another type of damage that can be recovered in a premises liability case. This is a legal term used to describe the impact an injury had on your relationships and companionships. Serious injuries from others’ negligence can affect your personal relationships. Different states have different laws to address how an injured party’s family can be compensated. Depending on where the injury occurred, your spouse or children may be entitled to compensation if they were deprived of your companionship and benefits.

In Tennessee, the injured person is limited in the amount they can recover for non-economic damages. In personal injury cases, you are usually only allowed up to $750,000 in non-economic damages. There are exceptions to this cap, such as in cases of catastrophic injuries. In those situations, the cap increases to $1,000,000 if the plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries (spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia; amputation of 2 hands, 2 feet or 1 of each; or third-degree burns over 40% percent of the body). Another exception is in the wrongful death of a parent of minor children if the parent had lawful rights of custody and visitation. A personal injury lawyer with experience in premises liability claims can help you determine if these exceptions apply to your case.

Punitive Damages

In rare circumstances, a property owner’s conduct may be so wrongful that extra damages may be awarded. These damages aren’t necessarily meant to compensate you for your experience but are instead designed to punish the property owner for his or her actions, especially if the owner knew about the unsafe property, and deter similar conduct from happening again in the future. These extra damage are also sometimes referred to as exemplary damages. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to actual damages, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are capped in Tennessee. The amount an injured party can recover in Tennessee for punitive damages depends on the circumstances of the claim.

If a fear of not being able to pay your lawyer for his or her services has kept you from filing a claim against the owner of the property where you were injured, then wait no longer. The personal injury attorneys at Hughes & Coleman work on a contingency basis, meaning that your attorney only gets paid if you win your case. If your attorney does not secure you any compensation, then you don’t owe him or her a dime. There are no expensive down payments or hourly fees. The initial consultation is free as well, just call or fill out a case evaluation form online. One of the members of the Hughes & Coleman personal injury team will contact you and discuss the specifics of your case with you.

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Statutes of Limitations—Your Time to File a Claim is Limited

A statute of limitations is a legal concept that sets the amount of time an injured party has to initiate the legal process. The amount of time for personal injury cases in Kentucky and Tennessee can be as short as one year from the date you were injured.

Time limits on statutes of limitations vary by state and type of case, but once that period of time runs out, you will be barred from pursuing your premises liability case. It very important that you seek legal services as soon as possible after being injured. The premises liability lawyers at Hughes & Coleman are here to help—simply call or file a free evaluation form to discuss your premises liability case with a local attorney as soon as possible.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have a premises liability case, your main focus should be to recover from your injuries. You have enough to deal with right now, don’t try to fight a case by yourself. Premises liability cases can be extremely complicated. There are deadlines to meet, procedural rules that must be followed, and paperwork that has to be filed. Failure to cover everything can result in detrimental effects for your case or even in your case being thrown out altogether. The attorneys at Hughes & Coleman are here to fight your case so that you don’t have to. Call a local attorney today at Hughes & Coleman – 800-800-4600!

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