If you were injured in a slip and fall on the property of another, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages. This is an area of law called “premises liability.”
Under Tennessee law, those who own property owe a duty to exercise ordinary care to avoid injuries to visitors on their property. So, if a property owner’s negligent maintenance, operation or design of the property caused your slip and fall injury, the owner could be held liable. The duty also applies to those who merely occupy property such as tenants.
Two key questions in any slip and fall case in Tennessee will be:
- Did the property owner have notice of the dangerous condition?
- Was the hazard so “open and obvious” that you could have avoided it?
Attorney David E. Gordon is a Board Certified civil trial specialist. He has many years of experience in protecting the rights of those injured in slip and falls in Memphis and surrounding areas in Tennessee and northern Mississippi . You can count on him to give you the personalized, one-on-one attention you deserve.
Contact him today. He will review your slip and fall and explore all legal options available to you. Our consultations are always free.
What Is Premises Liability?
Like other personal injury cases, a premises liability case involves injuries caused by a party’s negligence. The party could be a person, company or even a government agency.
In a premises liability case, the specific type of negligence is a property owner’s actions (or failures to act) which allow visitors to be exposed to a dangerous property condition on the premises.
Because premises liability is a type of personal injury case, you need to keep in mind that, typically, you will have only one year from the date of the incident in which to file a lawsuit (or one year from the date of death).
Additionally, your fault can be taken into account. If you are 50 percent or more at fault for the injury you suffer due to a hazardous property condition, you may be barred from recovering any damages. Otherwise, your damages would be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault assigned to you.
What Types of Premises Liability Case Do We Handle?
At The Law Office of David E. Gordon, we handle many different types of premises liability cases, including:
- Slip and falls
- Inadequate security
- Escalator and elevator accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Snow and ice accidents.
Each type of premises liability case presents unique issues and may involve related types of claims.
For example, in an inadequate security case, a premises liability claim may lie against a hotel owner who failed to put proper locks on doors. At the same time, a battery claim may lie against the person who broke into a hotel room and assaulted a guest.
In an escalator accident, the owner of a store or office building may be liable for allowing visitors to use a broken escalator. However, the manufacturer may also be liable if the escalator had a manufacturing or design defect, or a mechanic may be liable for failing to conduct inspections and make needed repairs to the equipment.
Because our firm focuses primarily on slip and fall cases, we will focus here on those types of injuries here.
How Can a Lawyer Help with Your Slip and Fall Claim?
When you contact David E. Gordon about your slip and fall case, he will provide you with a free, confidential and no-obligation consultation. During the consultation, he will listen closely to you and learn all of the facts of your case. He will also answer any questions you may have.
If we agree to work together, we will launch an immediate investigation into your slip and fall. We will preserve, gather and analyze all evidence relating to your slip and fall. We also will consult with any experts who can shed light on how the slip and fall happened and the extent of your injuries.
We will file all necessary claims and other documents. We also will deal directly with the insurance companies on your behalf. As a former insurance defense attorney, David knows how these companies operate. He will aggressively counter any attempts to deny or minimize your claim.
His goal will be to secure a settlement that fully and fairly compensates you. If no settlement can be reached, he will be ready to take your case to trial.
In short, we can do everything it takes to pursue maximum compensation for the harm you have suffered in a slip and fall.
How Can You Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Case?
A slip and fall or trip and fall can occur in many different situations. For instance, you may have been injured in an accident that involved:
- Snow or ice on a sidewalk or in a parking lot or entryway
- A recently mopped lobby or hallway
- Liquid that had been spilled in an aisle (and sat for several hours)
- Objects sticking out of the ground
- A hole that had been concealed
- Broken or uneven pavement or stairs
- Broken handrails in a stairway
- Torn or frayed carpeting or a loose area rug
- Poor lighting in a common area
- A defective elevator or escalator.
However, not every slip and fall can result in a successful legal claim against the property owner.
An important question will be whether the owner knew or, in the exercise of ordinary care, should have known about the dangerous condition. In your case, we will look for evidence that establishes the owner’s “notice.”
In some cases, the owner may have actual notice. For example, evidence may show that the owner caused the dangerous condition or could have reasonably foreseen that its operations would lead to a hazard.
In other cases, a property owner could be deemed to have “constructive notice.” If the hazard had existed for a long time without being addressed, it would lean towards liability.
For example, the evidence may show that a landlord received several complaints about a broken handrail. However, the landlord did nothing to repair it or warn about the hazard. In that scenario, the landlord could be held liable for any fall-down accidents caused by the defective handrail.
Attorney David E. Gordon can thoroughly investigate your case and consult with safety experts and others to determine whether a property owner’s negligence caused you to suffer injures in a slip and fall.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
We will be focused on recovering full and fair compensation for you in slip and fall injury claim, including a recovery for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and any diminished ability to earn wages in the future
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (harm to a marital relationship, for instance).
In many cases, we can obtain a recovery through a settlement, which eliminates the need for a trial. However, as a Board Certified civil trial specialist, attorney David E. Gordon will always be ready to take your case into the courtroom.
An issue that may arise when seeking compensation in slip and fall accident claim is whether the hazard you encountered was “open and obvious.” For example, did you step into a hole that any reasonable person could have seen?
If the hazard was open and obvious, then (as we mentioned above), your recovery could be reduced in relation to your degree of fault. If you are considered to be at greater fault than the property owner, then you could be barred from a recovery.
It is important to work with a lawyer who will aggressively take on property owners (or insurance company lawyers) who will try to assign undue fault to you in a slip and fall claim.
Get Help from a Memphis Slip and Fall Attorney Today
When you hire the Law Office of David E. Gordon for your slip and fall accident claim, you will work directly with Mr. Gordon. He will be dedicated to providing highly personalized service, seeking maximum compensation and keeping you informed and updated at every stage of your case.
We serve clients in Memphis and throughout Tennessee and northern Mississippi. To get started on your case, call or reach us online today and receive a free consultation.