Knoxville Premises Liability Lawyer
When they visit another person’s property, business invitees have certain expectations. Customers expect value for the money they spend, vendors expect fair payment for their work or wares, and employees expect a fair day’s pay for a full day’s work. Various laws apply in these areas. Business invitees also expect to be reasonably safe. Social guests in Tennessee have similar expectations. The legal duty of care, which is outlined below, applies in this area.
An experienced Knoxville premises liability lawyer at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, Attorneys at Law works very hard to obtain maximum compensation for victims in these cases. We know the law, and we know how to make it work for people like you. Additionally, we know how to anticipate and refute some common insurance company defenses. This two-tiered approach has worked very well for us in the past. So, we’re confident that it will produce results that exceed your expectations.
Premises Liability Basics
Most people are familiar with the concept of a premises liability case. If Lucy unintentionally runs over her neighbor’s mailbox, she must pay compensation. Likewise, if Lucy crashes into another car on the freeway, she must pay compensation. Or, if Lucy owns a building and a hazard at that building, like inadequate security or an uneven walkway, causes an assault, fall, or other injury, Lucy must pay compensation.
The big difference is damages. If Lucy buys her neighbor a new mailbox, that’s pretty much all there is. But a seriously injured person is a lot different from a seriously injured mailbox. So, in addition to economic damages, the tortfeasor (negligent actor) is liable for noneconomic damages, for things like pain and suffering. This compensation is available if a Knoxville premises liability lawyer establishes negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Legal responsibility in a premises liability case, or the duty of care, usually depends on the relationship between the owner and victim, as mentioned above. If the victim was a business invitee or a social guest, the owner usually had a duty of reasonable care. This duty requires owners to initially ensure their property is safe. Furthermore, they must frequently inspect the property and clear injury hazards.
A lower legal responsibility applies if the victim was a licensee or a trespasser. Licensees are people like guests of apartment tenants who only have indirect relationships with owners. Trespassers are people like illegal skateboarders who have no permission to be on the property at all.
Evidence in a premises liability claim usually pertains to knowledge of the hazard. Direct and circumstantial evidence is admissible in this area. So, if the victim doesn’t have a “smoking gun” which clearly shows the owner knew about the problem, maximum compensation is still available.
Insurance Company Defenses
Comparative fault and assumption of the risk are two of the most common premises liability defenses in Tennessee.
Comparative fault shifts blame for an accident from one party to the other one. For example, if Lucy’s guard dog bites a customer, Lucy might argue that the customer provoked the dog and was thus partially responsible for the attack. There are almost always two sides of the story in cases like this one.
Assumption of the risk often involves a warning sign. For example, if Lucy posts a “Beware of Dog” sign on a fence, that sign might or might not be a defense to a negligence claim.
Contact an Experienced Knox County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Knoxville premises liability lawyer, contact Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, Attorneys at Law by going online or calling 865-500-HURT. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.