Accidents that occur on someone else’s property unfortunately make for especially complicated civil lawsuits, even if you are on good terms with the landowner. This is due to how the unique obligations landowners have for people lawfully on their property differ from the typical “duty of care” that a standard personal injury claim has.
A skilled Memphis premises liability lawyer could help prove liability for your accident and recover compensation for any losses from which you suffer. A dedicated personal injury attorney’s guidance could make all the difference when it comes to understanding and overcoming potential legal obstacles.
While many states differentiate between lawful visitors who are on a premises for their own purposes and those who are there for the owner’s financial benefit, Tennessee law treats both as essentially identical. Owners owe lawful visitors “reasonable care,” meaning they have a responsibility to inspect their property for hazards and fix them or warn visitors about them.
Importantly, landowners are not considered liable for injuries that lawful visitors sustain from “open and obvious” hazards. This means that dangerous conditions are so easy to notice that any reasonable person would know to avoid them. Additionally, any visitor who knowingly and voluntarily assumes a risk of injury, like signing a waiver, cannot file suit for losses caused by acknowledged risks.
Injured people who are partly liable for their own damages are subject to a proportional reduction in their recoverable compensation. They may be barred from recovery completely if their share of total fault is more than 50 percent. A Memphis premises liability attorney could explain these rules in more detail and go over how they might impact someone’s particular case.
A successful claim like this may allow recovery for economic and non-economic damages, including:
Tennessee Code §29-39-102 limits recovery for non-economic damages to $750,000 total per case. If the incident in question leads to a catastrophic injury such as paralysis, the cap for non-economic damages is raised to $1 million.
There are also time limitations for filing a claim like this. Tenn. Code Ann. §28-3-104 allows prospective plaintiffs only one year after their accident to start the civil litigation process. Assistance from a property liability attorney in Memphis could be crucial to ensuring maximum recovery in spite of these restrictions.
Civil claims based on premises liability are unique in various ways, meaning it is essential to ensure you are represented by an accomplished team familiar with cases like yours. Do not risk retaining legal counsel who could make a mistake and derail your pursuit of financial restitution. Fortunately, a qualified lawyer has experience handling cases of this nature and is available to assist you through every stage of yours.
Talking with a Memphis premises liability lawyer should be a priority after an accident on someone else’s land. Call our office today to learn more about your options.