Slip and fall accidents are common and can happen to anyone at any time. They can result in serious injuries, costly medical bills, and lost wages. If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident in Tennessee, you might be able to file a claim.
At The Law Offices of G. Turner Howard III, we understand slip and fall accidents can cause pain, frustration, and confusion, so we are ready to help you determine if you have a case and get you the compensation you deserve.
Types of Slip and Fall Cases
Understanding the different types of slip and fall cases is crucial in determining the appropriate legal course of action for your case. Here are common types of slip and fall accidents in Tennessee:
- Trip and Fall Accidents: These accidents happen when a person trips over an object or obstacle in their path. Such objects include uneven pavement, debris, or unsecured cords.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents occur when a person slips on a wet or slippery surface, resulting in a fall. They can be caused by spilled liquids, recently mopped floors, or ice and snow.
- Step and Fall Accidents: These accidents involve a person falling due to an unexpected change in the walking surface, such as a pothole or an unmarked step.
Establishing Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
Understanding the elements of proving liability in slip and fall cases is crucial to building a solid case and securing the compensation you deserve. They include:
- Duty of Care: Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment for visitors, which includes taking reasonable steps to prevent accidents. This obligation is known as the duty of care. In a slip-and-fall case, you should establish that the property owner had a duty of care toward you.
- Breach of Duty: After establishing the duty of care, the next step is to prove that the property owner breached this duty by failing to take reasonable steps to maintain a safe environment. Breach of duty includes neglecting to fix a hazardous condition, not providing adequate warnings, or failing to conduct regular inspections.
- Causation: You must prove that the breach caused the slip and fall accident and the resulting injuries.
- Damages: You must show that you suffered damages after the slip and fall accident. Damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the accident. Documenting these damages is vital in pursuing compensation.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen for various reasons, and understanding these common causes can help prevent these incidents and ensure a safer environment:
- Wet or Slippery Surfaces: Spilled liquids, freshly mopped or waxed floors, and ice or snow can create hazardous conditions that make it easy for individuals to slip and fall.
- Uneven or Damaged Flooring: Cracked or rough pavement, loose floorboards, and poorly maintained carpets can all lead to trip and fall accidents.
- Poor Lighting: Inadequate lighting, especially in stairwells, hallways, and parking lots, reduces visibility and makes it difficult to see potential hazards underfoot. Lack of sufficient lighting could be considered negligence.
- Obstructed Walkways: Walkways, aisles, and corridors blocked by boxes, wires, furniture, or other debris can increase the chance of falls.
Factors That Can Affect a Slip and Fall Case in Tennessee
Understanding these factors that impact slip and fall cases will help you determine if you have grounds for a personal injury claim and improve your chances of success:
- Comparative Fault: Tennessee follows a modified comparative fault system, which allows the court to consider the degree of fault of all parties involved in the accident. If you are found to be partially responsible, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
- Statute of Limitations: In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is one year from the date of injury. If you fail to file within this timeframe, you forfeit your right to pursue legal action.
- Immunity: Specific government entities, such as cities, counties, and public schools, are typically immune from civil lawsuits. However, the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act waives immunity in some situations, including accidents caused by negligent operations or maintenance of public property.
- Contributory Negligence: If you are found to have contributed to your accident in any way, your compensation can be reduced or eliminated. Examples of contributory negligence include wearing improper footwear, ignoring your surroundings, or disregarding posted warning signs.
Evidence Needed to Support a Slip and Fall Case
To build a compelling slip and fall case, gather documentation of the accident scene, medical records related to your injuries, and signed statements from any witnesses present.
- Documentation of the Accident Scene: Taking pictures of debris, spills, cracks, or other hazards at the accident scene can help build a strong case. Measurements of the size and depth of defects can also be useful. Remember to document the lighting conditions, traffic flow, and any warning signs on the premises.
- Medical Records: Your medical records will provide evidence of sustained injuries, diagnosis, and recommended treatment. Remember to inform your physician that your injuries resulted from a slip and fall so they can document it in your file.
- Witness Statements: Written and signed statements from witnesses describing what they observed can provide crucial corroboration of events. Ask witnesses to recount details like the location of the hazard, how long it had been before your fall, and any warnings given. You should collect witness statements while events are still fresh in their minds.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident in Tennessee
After suffering a slip and fall accident in Tennessee, you should:
- Seek Medical Attention
- Report the Accident
- Document the Scene
- Consult with an Attorney
Slip and fall cases can be complex, so discussing your case with an experienced personal injury attorney is advisable.
Contact a Knoxville Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence on their property in Tennessee, you might have grounds for legal action. The key is to act quickly to preserve evidence, document the details of your accident, and consult with a Knoxville slip and fall accident attorney.
Your lawyer can evaluate the details of your accident and determine if you have grounds for a premises liability claim. If you have a viable case, they will handle the legal process on your behalf and help you recover damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
With the help of a Knoxville slip and fall accident lawyer from the Law Offices of G. Turner Howard III, you have a high chance of getting justice. Contact us today for a free case review and to discuss your legal options.