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Who is liable in slip and fall accidents in public places?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Slip and fall accidents in public places can be more than just embarrassing. They can also lead to serious injuries and complex legal situations. Understanding liability in these cases is essential.

What constitutes a slip and fall accident?

A slip and fall accident occurs when someone slips, trips, or falls due to a hazardous condition. These hazards include any conditions that a property owner could have prevented. Wet floors without proper signage uneven pavement or flooring are two common hazards. Other hazards include poor lighting in stairwells or obstacles left in walkways.

Establishing liability

Determining who is liable for a slip and fall accident involves proving negligence. This means showing that the property owner failed to maintain a safe environment. In Tennessee, individuals can establish liability if an incident meets certain criteria.

First, property owners can be liable if they knew or should have known about the hazard. For example, if a store manager was aware of a spill but failed to clean it up promptly.

Moreover, the hazardous condition has to have existed for a significant period. For instance, if a dangerous condition, like an icy sidewalk, was present for multiple days.

Finally, property owners can be liable if they did not take reasonable steps to fix the issue. This can include not placing warning signs or not repairing faulty stairs.

Comparative fault in Tennessee

Tennessee uses comparative fault, so your compensation might drop if you share blame. For example, if you were texting and missed a wet floor sign, your payout might decrease. The specific percentage of fault determines the compensation reduction.

Steps to take after a slip and fall accident

If you experience a slip and fall accident, taking the following steps can help support your case:

  • Report the incident: Notify the property owner or manager immediately.
  • Document the scene: Take photos of the hazard and surrounding area.
  • Collect witness information: Get contact details from anyone who saw the accident.
  • Seek medical attention: Get a professional evaluation of your injuries, even minor ones.
  • Keep records: Maintain all documentation related to your injuries and the incident.

Moving forward after an accident

Understanding your rights in slip and fall cases is crucial. Recovery after a slip and fall accident involves more than just physical healing. It’s also about protecting your interests and making sure you receive appropriate compensation. Taking the right steps immediately after an accident will drastically influence your case.

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