Chattanooga Premises Liability Attorney
If you were injured by a defective or unsafe condition on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim. When property and business owners fail to use reasonable precautions to protect their guests, it can lead to terrible consequences. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. You need to know your legal rights.
Let Scott Davis, a Chattanooga personal injury lawyer at The Davis Firm, LLC, walk you through the process of securing compensation for your injuries.
Attorney Scott Davis knows how insurance companies try to fight personal injury claims. He worked as an insurance defense lawyer for over 15 years. But now he’s using that experience and knowledge to fight for people who’ve been injured through no fault of their own.
Our premises liability attorneys have handled hundreds of cases and know what kind of compensation you may be entitled to. As a respected trial attorney with over 200 verdicts to his name, the insurance companies take Scott Davis seriously when negotiating a fair, reasonable settlement of your claim. Prior to working in the insurance industry, he served as a judge advocate for the U.S. Air Force, and he continues to uphold the values of service, integrity, and respect.
Contact Scott Davis of The Davis Firm, LLC by phone or online today to learn more about your rights and how our premises liability lawyers can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a type of personal injury claim that involves an injury caused by an unreasonably unsafe or defective condition on someone else’s property. Most premises liability cases involve concepts of negligence. Only in rare cases, such as inherently dangerous conditions like explosive blasting, is strict liability imposed.
A premises liability claimant generally must prove that a property owner, business, or other responsible party was negligent in the operation and/or maintenance of the property by failing to use reasonable care.
Just because someone is injured on someone else’s property or because the property was in an unsafe condition does not automatically give rise to a premises liability claim. Instead, a premises liability claimant must show the property owner knew or should have known of the unsafe condition and failed to take reasonable steps to correct the condition.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Premises Liability Claim?
Like all negligence cases, to prove a premises liability claim you must prove four elements:
- The property owner’s or occupant’s duty of care
- The owner’s or occupant’s breach of that duty of care
- The breach directly and proximately caused damages
- The existence of any compensable damages
The duty of care owed by a property owner depends on the status of the person entering the property. The law groups visitors into three categories:
- Invitees – An invitee is someone who has the property owner’s express permission to enter the property, such as business customers or a homeowner’s friends or relatives. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care by taking reasonable steps to keep the property reasonably safe.
- Licensees – A licensee is someone who also has the property owner’s express permission to enter the property, but the licensee is entering the property for his or her own purposes, such as a salesperson visiting a residence. A property owner typically owes licensees a duty to warn of dangerous conditions that create an unreasonable risk of harm but only if the property owner knows about the condition and the licensee is not likely to discover it.
- Trespassers – A trespasser is someone who has no permission from the property owner to be on the property. A property owner owes a trespasser no duty of care, except to refrain from willfully or wantonly causing injury to the trespasser. However, if the trespasser is a child, a property owner does owe a duty of care to avoid a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to children caused by conditions on the property, traditionally called an “attractive nuisance,” such as an unsecured swimming pool.
A premises liability claimant must also prove that the property owner or occupant breached the applicable duty of care. For invitees, this typically involves arguing that a reasonable person would have taken steps the property owner did not take to maintain or correct a defect in a condition of the property. For licensees, it usually involves proving that a property owner knew there was a dangerous condition on the property and that any reasonable person visiting the property would not have been likely to have discovered it.
Next, a claimant must prove that the property owner’s breach directly and proximately caused damages. Direct causation involves proving that, but for the property owner’s breach, the claimant would not have been injured. Proximate causation involves proving that there was not some intervening, superseding cause of the claimant’s injury.
Finally, a claimant must prove that he or she suffered compensable damages. In most premises liability cases, this takes the form of medical bills and lost wages.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Premises Liability Case?
Generally, the owner of a property is liable for premises liability claims. However, in many cases, the property is not occupied by the owner but by someone leasing the property. In those situations, it can be more difficult to determine who is liable for your injuries.
Such a determination often involves reviewing the applicable lease and the parties’ past practice to determine whether the owner or the party leasing the property is responsible under their relationship for the defective condition giving rise to your claim.
An experienced premises liability lawyer like Scott Davis can review the details of your case to determine the parties responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.
Examples of Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability claims arise when a person is injured on someone else’s property as a result of an unsafe condition, typically caused by the property owner’s negligence. Such negligence can take on numerous forms, such as:
- Slip and fall – One of the more common premises liability claims involves a person slipping or tripping and falling on water, grease, or some other slippery substance or object on the floor.
- Snow and ice – When injuries occur from slipping on snow and ice on a sidewalk, private walkway, driveway, or parking lot, the injured victim may file a premises liability claim.
- Animal attack – If a person is attacked and injured attacked by a property owner’s pet or kept animal, a premises liability claim could apply.
- Swimming pool accidents – In swimming pool accidents, premises liability claims can result when adequate safety measures aren’t present and someone falls into a swimming pool or when the injury is caused during normal use of the pool.
- Inadequate maintenance of premises – This includes injuries caused by a feature of the premises that is improperly maintained by the property owner or occupant, such as a worn or torn carpet that causes a trip and fall.
- Defective condition of premises – This category includes injuries caused by a defectively designed or constructed feature of the premises, such as uneven pavement or loose or broken steps
- Elevator and escalator accidents – These injuries often result from inadequate or improper maintenance of elevators and escalators, which can cause falls or crushing accidents.
- Inadequate security – A person who suffers injury caused by an attack or assault by a third party may have a claim that the property owner failed to provide adequate security for the property, and the lack of that security led to the attack.
- Amusement or recreational park accidents – Injuries can be caused by inadequate maintenance or a defective condition of the park or by an amusement ride.
- Fire – Injuries can arise from the property owner’s use of a grill, fireplace, or firepit, for example.
No matter the circumstances of your injury on someone else’s property, contact the premises liability lawyers of The Davis Firm, LLC today to discuss your legal rights and the compensation you may be entitled to pursue.
How Our Chattanooga Premises Liability Attorneys Can Fight for You
If you or a loved one suffered injuries caused by the defective condition of someone else’s property, your time and energy are naturally focused on recovery and getting back to the life you had before the accident.
Do you also have the time and energy that are required to spend fighting with insurance companies and lawyers to get compensation for injuries that were no fault of your own? Our Chattanooga premises liability attorneys are ready to fight on your behalf to seek the compensation you deserve.
Our premises liability attorneys are prepared to take on the burden of investigating your claim, collecting documentation, determining the value of your claim, negotiating with the lawyers and insurance companies, and, if necessary, pursuing your claim at trial to seek a favorable verdict for you. With us on your side, you can focus on your recovery while we deal with the legal matters.
Types of Compensation in a Premises Liability Claim
As with all personal injuries, compensation for a premises liability claim typically falls into four main categories:
- Medical expenses – This includes past and future expenses arising from hospital bills, surgery, doctor’s visits, medication, durable medical equipment, and physical/occupational/speech therapy, among others.
- Lost income – You may recover past and future income due to work missed as a result of recuperation from your injuries, as well as future income lost if you return to work with reduced hours or to a new job with lower pay than before your accident.
- Pain and suffering – These damages are intended to compensate you for the pain of your injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life – These are damages that are intended to compensate you for the loss of quality of life that are the result of your injuries, such the inability to participate in activities you enjoyed prior to getting hurt. Depending on your family and marital status, your family members may also be entitled to claim compensation for the loss of your companionship and services to the family that your injuries caused.
In cases where a loved one dies from injuries caused by the defective condition of someone else’s property, certain surviving family members may also be entitled to claim wrongful death damages.
Contact The Davis Firm, LLC to speak with our reliable Chattanooga personal injury lawyers today and learn more about the kinds of compensation you may be entitled to for your premises liability claim.
Statutes of Limitations on Premises Liability Claims in Tennessee and Georgia
Premises liability claims involving personal injury must be filed in court within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. In Tennessee, it is one year.
The clock on the statute of limitations typically begins on the date of injury. However, in certain circumstances, it may be possible to pause, or toll, the statute of limitations. One of the most common reasons to toll the statute of limitations is what is known as the discovery rule, which holds that the statute of limitations does not begin until the plaintiff knows of the facts giving rise to his or her claim, or should know of such facts through reasonable diligence. In rarer cases, the statute of limitations can be delayed due to a defendant’s bad acts.
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Contact the Chattanooga Premises Liability Lawyers at The Davis Firm, LLC Today
When you have been injured by an unreasonably dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you shouldn’t have to be responsible for the resulting medical bills and lost income. When your injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve to receive monetary compensation for your injuries.
Why spend time and energy fighting with lawyers and insurance companies that should be spent recovering from your injuries and focusing on getting back to your life and your family?
Let Scott Davis handle the burdens of seeking the compensation you deserve. Contact us today by phone or online to learn more about your legal rights and about how The Davis Firm, LLC can help you pursue maximum compensation for your premises liability claim.