How Fault is Determined in a Premises Liability Case

August 5th, 2020 by Attorney John Colvin

premises liability in Winchester, TN

Under Tennessee’s premises liability laws, property owners and property occupiers may be held liable for injuries/accidents that occur on their land. You may be wondering: What do you need to do to prove fault in a premises liability case? The short answer is that you need strong supporting evidence that demonstrates a property owner’s negligence and that they caused or had actual or constructive knowledge of the safety hazard. Here, our Tennessee premises liability lawyer provides a more comprehensive explanation of the standard of fault in premises liability lawsuits. 

Tennessee Law: Proving Fault in a Premises Liability Claim

As premises liability lawsuits are fault-based claims, plaintiffs should make a proactive effort to prove the defendant’s culpability. Tennessee has complex premises liability laws. To hold a business or a property owner responsible for an accident that occurred on their premises, you must prove that they failed to live up to their duties under the state law. Specifically, this means proving the following two things: 

  • Negligence: Negligence is the failure to take proper care within the context of a specific situation. In a premises liability lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s careless actions or inactions contributed to their accident. What constitutes negligence is very much a case-by-case issue—it could be anything from failure to remove a slip and fall hazard to a failure to provide adequate security. 
  • Cause or Knowledge: In Tennessee, proving negligence is not necessarily sufficient to prove fault in a premises liability case. You must establish the standard elements of negligence and you must prove one additional element: Cause or Knowledge. As the Tennessee Court of Appeals explains in the case of David G. Rogers v. Autozone Stores, plaintiffs in a premises liability lawsuit must prove that the unsafe condition on the premises was created by the property owner or one of their agents or that the property owner has actual or constructive knowledge of the safety hazard. 

As with other personal injury claims, a successful case is always built on a strong foundation of supporting evidence. If you or your loved one was injured on another person’s property, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Tennessee premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. Your accident requires an immediate investigation. If you wait too long to act, important evidence may be lost. Our law firm is prepared to conduct a comprehensive investigation of your accident. We will gather all of the evidence you need to prove fault. 

Call Our Winchester, TN Premises Liability Attorney for Help

At the office of John Colvin, our Tennessee premises liability lawyer will fight aggressively to protect your rights. If you have questions or concerns about proving fault in a premises liability claim, we can help. To arrange a free, no commitment premises liability consultation, please contact our law firm today. From our Winchester location, we represent injured victims throughout the region, including in Franklin County, Bedford County, Coffee County, and Lincoln County.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama