Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of visits to the hospital emergency room in Tennessee (and around the country).
Where they are preventable and caused by tripping, falling or slipping in a business, you may have a valid premises liability case.
However, many people are not even aware that they may have solid legal grounds for a lawsuit.
The experienced slip and fall attorneys at Houston & Alexander, PLLC can advise and represent you if you have been the victim of such an accident in Tennessee or Northern Georgia.
We will assess your case and, if necessary, seek the compensation you deserve.
What are the most common injuries resulting from slips & falls?
You do not need to be incapacitated as a result of your slip and fall accident to file a lawsuit.
Even cuts and bruises may qualify as grounds to make a claim but most victims are not aware that such injuries entitle them to compensation.
The people we represent in slip and fall accident lawsuits generally suffer the following types of injuries:
- Second- or third-degree burns
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises or lacerations
- Fractured or broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Bone or joint dislocation
- Neck and back injuries (including herniated discs)
What are the common causes of slip & fall injuries?
Slip and fall injuries can occur on public or private premises. Most commonly, they occur in businesses where adequate steps have not been taken to safeguard people against unsafe or hazardous situations.
Following are some common examples of slip and fall accidents in Tennessee:
- Wet floor accidents
- Accidents due to poor flooring or stairs
- Poorly-lit or unmarked step-offs
- Elevator accidents
- Escalator accidents
- Poorly-labeled hot liquids or foods causing burns
- Items placed directly in the way of where people walk
- Lack of “warning” or “hazard” signs to alert people to unsafe conditions
When is a Tennessee property owner liable for slip & fall injuries?
If you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident in Tennessee, you may be wondering if the property owner could be liable for your injuries.
There are particular circumstances when this is more likely to be the case than others.
For instance, in each of the following circumstances, the owner of the premises would generally be liable for your slip and fall injuries:
- Your accident was a direct result of the property owner failing to perform regular maintenance and inspections to keep the premises safe
- Your accident was a direct result of the presence of a dangerous surface (like a broken step or wet surface) which the owner had failed to correct
- Your accident resulted from an object being placed where it should not have been
- A situation was hazardous but there was no warning sign or barrier to make you aware of it
- Your accident was caused by inadequate lighting in an area of the property
If the accident happened for any of the above reasons – rather than your own carelessness – you may be able to hold the property owner liable.
If you blame yourself for being careless but one or more of the above conditions contributed to your accident, you may still have a case of “comparative negligence”. This is where you and the property owner share liability.
It is best to speak to one of our slip and fall attorneys as soon as possible after your accident, while the details are still fresh in your mind, for a professional assessment of your case.
How to determine slip & fall injury liability
As well as the precise circumstances of your slip and fall accident outlined above, the location of the accident and why you were in that location are key factors in determining liability.
The following are two common situations that will help you determine whether you are due compensation for your injuries.
Slip & fall injury of invited guests
If you are a customer at a business, you are considered an “invited guest”.
As such, the property owner is expected to conduct inspections and take normal precautions to prevent hazards. Customers should be warned of potential hazards and the owner should make suitable repairs in any situation that could be regarded as dangerous for guests.
Where a situation is temporary (like a light bulb going out causing an area to be poorly lit and hazardous) it is usually treated differently to a more permanent situation like a long-term broken handrail on a staircase causing a fall.
In the latter case, holding the property owner liable would be more straightforward because he or she should have repaired it.
Slip & fall injury from temporary hazardous conditions
Sometimes, temporary hazardous conditions like bad weather conditions cloud the issue of liability in slip and fall cases.
Whether or not the property owner can be held liable for accidents in such cases may depend on how much notice he or she had to take adequate steps to prevent accidents from occurring.
If the property owner was aware of the hazardous condition and had time to take evasive action but did not, he or she may be liable.
Protect Your Rights: Call Houston & Alexander, PLLC
As you can see, slip and fall accidents can be complex and must be examined on a case-by-case basis.
However, if you have been injured through no fault of your own, you deserve compensation so that you can move on with your life.
During your free initial consultation, an attorney at our firm can review your case and discuss possible legal strategies with you.
If you retain us, we will represent you on a contingency basis. This means you will owe attorneys’ fees only if we obtain compensation for you.
Call us at our Chattanooga office today at 423-267-6715 or contact us online.