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Complications of Proving Fault in Premise Liability Cases


When someone is injured on another’s property due to poor maintenance, the hurt individual may pursue a premise liability claim. People do this to access the funds they need for medical care, to be sure the Tennessee property owner is held responsible, or a mixture of both. But even if you were hurt and believe the case is clearcut, the reality is many liability cases are complex, especially when it comes to proving fault.

Property owners facing an unsafe premises allegation often argue they are not responsible for the injuries. Having a skilled Nashville personal injury lawyer on your side can be extremely helpful if you are experiencing denials from a property owner.

Common Defenses by Property Owners

Laws connected to premise liability hold property owners accountable for injuries that occur on their property due to hazardous conditions. Common examples include slip-and-fall accidents, inadequate security, faulty maintenance, or unsafe building designs. To win a premise liability case, the injured party must prove that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the safety of the premises.

Owners may assert one of more of these common denials of liability:

  • Risk was avoidable. Property owners might claim that the hazard was open and obvious, and the injured party could have easily avoided it.
  • Injured party was reckless. Owners might assert that the injured party was acting recklessly or irresponsibly at the time of the incident. For example, if someone was running in an area designated for walking, the owner might argue that the person’s own negligence led to the injury.
  • Lack of knowledge. A person or organization responsible for a property may say they were unaware of the hazardous condition so they cannot be held liable. They might argue that the dangerous condition developed shortly before the accident and they had no reasonable opportunity to discover and rectify it.

Management companies and property owners often have their own legal teams, so it’s important for injury parties to have their own legal support as well.

Gathering Evidence and Establishing Negligence

A lawyer can assist an injured party in pushing back against the property owner’s defenses by collecting crucial evidence, such as surveillance footage, photographs of the hazardous condition, and witness statements. Attorneys can also enlist the help of expert witnesses, such as safety inspectors or engineers, to provide professional opinions on the hazardous condition and the owner’s negligence. Expert testimony can strengthen the injured party’s case.

Once evidence is in place, your Nashville personal injury lawyer will work to prove the four elements of negligence, which are duty, breach, causation, and damages. They will show that the property owner had a duty to maintain a safe environment, breached that duty by failing to address the hazard, and directly caused the injuries and damages suffered by the harmed party.

Was a property danger what prompted your injury? Many premise liability cases are settled out of court. The injury lawyers at Calhoun Law, PLC can negotiate with the property owner’s insurance company to ensure a fair settlement. Schedule your confidential consultation today.

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