Slip and Fall Claims & Premise Liability

The different case types of personal injury law can be confusing, especially if you are trying to pursue an accident claim. Premise liability is a type of personal injury claim where there is an at-fault party who is responsible for a victim’s injuries. Slip and fall claims fall underneath the premise liability case type. The negligent party is normally a property owner or property manager of where the accident occurred. Dangerous conditions for slip and fall claims involve the negligent party not taking proper care of hazards.

Slip and Fall Claims

Slip and fall accidents typically happen at grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, malls, and private property. There are typically hazardous conditions that have caused a dangerous situation for people in the area. For example, wet floors with no warning signs are the biggest culprit. Slip and fall accidents fall underneath the premise liability claim umbrella because the property owner is responsible for potential hazards.

The statute of limitations for slip and fall claims in Tennessee is one year from the date of the accident. It is crucial to pursue a claim with our Tennessee personal injury attorneys soon after the accident occurs. Seeking compensation from the at-fault party if you do it alone, but you don’t have to! Our Tennessee personal injury attorneys will help you prove the following to help you win your slip and fall case:

  • The at-fault party was negligent for the way the hazard was left on their property.
  • The defendant owned, managed, or leased the property where the hazard was present and didn’t keep the property up to a good, safe standard.
  • Prove that your injuries were directly related to the accident.

Property owners and managers of public stores and spaces are responsible for making sure the area they are accountable for is safe for others. They owe others a duty of care to rid the premises of any hazards and/or identify and place warning signs for potential dangers. If they breach that duty, they can be found negligent for any accidents, for example not fixing damaged flooring or not placing a wet floor sign.

tennessee slip and fall claims premise liability

Slip and Fall Cases & Comparative Negligence in Tennessee

Comparative negligence comes into play when a slip and fall case makes it into court. The property owner or manager can deny responsibility for the accident and/or neither party can agree on a settlement amount. That is typically how these cases make it into court. Then a jury and judge will analyze the evidence of the case to determine the percentage of fault for each party.

Comparative negligence means that all parties involved are assessed when looking into the details of a slip and fall case. The percentage of fault can be a major component when it comes to pursuing a claim. Our Tennessee slip and fall injury lawyers will be able to assist in proving the negligent party is more at fault for the hazard. Arguments that will come from the property owner or manager will consist of:

  • Was the injured person wearing footwear that was not appropriate?
  • Was the injured person not paying attention to their surroundings?
  • The dangerous condition should have been obvious to the injured person.

Comparative negligence affects the amount of compensation that is available for the victim to collect as long as they are not found more than 50% at fault. For example, if the victim of the slip and fall is found to be 20% at fault for the accident and is granted $50,000 in damages, their total amount will be reduced by 20%.

This would make their total settlement amount $40,000. This is intended to create fairness for both parties involved in this personal injury case. Our Tennessee slip and fall attorneys will provide you with legal advice to assist you in getting the most compensation for your damages.

Slip and Fall Claims & Potential Damages

In Tennessee slip and fall victims can claim economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages consist of medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages consist of pain and suffering, emotional damage, and loss of life enjoyment.

Sometimes victims can even claim punitive damages but this is only in rare cases where the defendant has been negligent before for similar accidents. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party to make sure they stop being negligent.

It is important to keep in mind that Tennessee has a law that caps the amount of non-economic and punitive damages you can receive. The max amount of non-economic damages is $750,000 and the max amount for punitive damages is $500,000. This does all depend on the severity of the injuries. If a victim suffers traumatic injuries from a slip and fall accident, the damage cap for both will increase to $1 million.

Slip and Fall at Work

Premise liability cases that happen at work are supposed to be covered by the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. In the case that you slip and fall while at work that resulted in injuries, you would file a worker’s compensation claim rather than a slip and fall claim.

The rules for receiving compensation are different from Tennessee slip and fall claims. You will not have to prove fault for the accident, you just have to make sure your employer has worker’s compensation insurance. However, when you experience a slip and fall at work, you can only get compensation if the accident happened while you were on the clock.

About the Author

Michael Feiner
Michael Feiner

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Michael A. Feiner is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 2001, Michael has devoted his practice to representing plaintiffs throughout Florida in various tort and strict liability cases and has successfully litigated cases against national insurance companies, large public companies, and governmental agencies, resulting in tens of millions of dollars for his clients. He has handled all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of plaintiffs, including automobile negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, product liability, dog bites, and sexual harassment. Michael’s product liability case against Microsoft, as well as his representation of victims of sexual harassment and abuse by physicians, has garnered him important media attention at both the local and national levels. Michael is an experienced trial lawyer and successfully argued an appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeal. In the reported decision Ortlieb v. Butts, 849 So.2d 1165 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003), Michael persuaded the Fourth District Court of Appeal that a directed verdict on liability was appropriate where the defendant did not rebut the presumption of negligence of a rear driver in a rear-end collision.