Property Safety Laws in Tennessee

by mdp | June 14th, 2011

Premises Liability on Private Property and Possible Lawsuits in TN

premiseIt is an everyday occurrence that people enter the property of others in Tennessee, whether that property is a residence, a restaurant, a retail store, or any other type of property. Because this occurs so often, there are certain laws that have been established to protect the safety of others. For example, it is the responsibility of property owners to prevent dangerous situations from arising on their property or to warn others entering the property that potentially hazardous conditions exist. If the property owner fails to take these steps to avoid harm, they may be liable for any injuries sustained by others on their property.

It is common knowledge that when you’re in a car accident with another person, you exchange insurance information, or when you are injured on the job, you file a workers’ compensation claim, but few people are aware of the proper steps to take when injured on public or private property. If you have been injured on the private property of another person in TN and your injury was caused by the negligence of the property owner, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the property owner in order to collect financial compensation for your injuries.

Laws Governing Premises Liability on Private Property in TN

When determining liability in a TN premises liability claim, negligence is the key factor. If the injured victim can prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous conditions that caused the accident, the property owner may be held liable for the victim’s injuries. When it comes to private property in Tennessee, the laws governing premises liability differ slightly. In Tennessee, there are different areas of the premises liability law intended to define the status of the person injured.

  • An invitee is a person who enters private property for the purpose of conducting business, and should expect to be protected from dangerous conditions on the property.
  • A licensee is a person who is specifically invited to enter private property for a certain period of time, such as for special occasions. Licensees are due the same level of protection as invitees as long as they do not stay past the expiration of their invitation.
  • A trespasser is a person who is not invited onto private property but enters anyway. Trespassers are typically not due the same protection as invitees or licensees, with a few exceptions explained below.

TN premises liability law typically does not impose a duty on property owners to protect the safety of individuals who trespass on private property. For example, someone who is injured while taking a shortcut through private property may not be able to claim property owner negligence for their injuries. However, property owners do have an obligation to not cause intentional injury to trespassers. That being said, if a property owner knowingly constructs a structure intended to injure or capture potential trespassers, any injuries sustained by an individual on that person’s property may be considered intentional and the property owner may be held liable.

Possible Tennessee Premises Liability Lawsuits

The laws governing premises liability on private property in Tennessee are often difficult to decipher for individuals without a legal background in this area of the law. It is important to be aware of the laws specific to TN premises liability on private property after sustaining injuries on the property of another person. With the legal guidance of a TN premises liability attorney, you may be able to collect the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, loss of future income, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured on the private property of another person and you feel this accident could have been avoided if the property owner had performed his legal duty, contact a Tennessee premises liability lawyer today to receive a free claim review and discuss your legal options.