Memphis Slip & Fall Lawyers
Hurt in a Slip & Fall Accident in Memphis? Call (901) 209-5500
Serious injuries can occur due to something as simple as an icy sidewalk or wet floor. For this reason, premises liability laws have been put into place to ensure that individuals, agencies, and entities maintain reasonably safe property conditions in order to protect others from harm or injury. If a person slips due to an unsafe property condition and sustains an injury as a result, the injured victim may have a right to file a premises liability claim against the property owner.
Injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else's property? Call our Memphis slip and fall accident lawyers at Donati Law, PLLC right away at (901) 209-5500!
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Although slip and fall accidents can occur for numerous reasons, many are caused by the following types of unsafe property conditions:
- Uncovered pits
- Wet and unmarked floors
- Oil spills
- Icy pavements
- Broken staircases
- Uneven ground
- Failure to install safety railings
Who Can Be Held Liable for Your Injuries?
Similar to all premises liability accidents, slip and fall accidents must be handled on a case-by-case basis. However, before an individual can establish a premises liability claim, he or she must be able to prove that the unsafe condition was the direct cause of injury and that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the property owner.
In Tennessee, to win a suit based on a slip and fall, you must prove that the owner or operator of the premises either created the dangerous condition or had knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused your fall. Even if the owner or operator didn't know about the particular condition that caused your fall, they can be found liable if they had "constructive notice" of the condition. This means that the owner or operator should have known about the condition based on common practice, a re-occuring incident, or a pattern of conduct.
Still, certain conditions exist, which may leave the property owner not responsible for the accident or damages:
- The dangerous condition was blatantly obvious
- The property owner was unaware of the danger in an appropriate amount of time
- The damages could have been avoided by the victim
- If the property owner relayed information or posted signs regarding the potential danger
Because there are various ways in which a property owner can avoid responsibility for a premises liability victim’s injuries, it is wise for injured people to contact experienced legal representation right away. A skilled premises liability lawyer can examine the details of the victim’s cause and gather evidence to prove that the property owner should be held liable.
Statute of Limitations for Slip & Fall Lawsuits in Tennessee
Like any other legal matter, slip and fall accident lawsuits are subject to a legal deadline known as a "statute of limitations" which sets a hard deadline on how long you have to sue. Under Tennessee Code section 28-3-104, injury lawsuits related to slip and fall accidents must be filed in civil court within one year of the date of the incident. In the rare case that a slip and fall leads to a person's death, the family of the deceased will have one year from the date of death to pursue a wrongful death action against the responsible property owner.
If you fail to file a claim before the statute of limitations period expires, you will lose your right to sue and will effectively be barred from recovering compensation for your injuries. Since adhering to the statute of limitations can ultimately make or break your claim, it is important to get an attorney involved as early as possible after your accident to guard your interests and maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome.
What to Do if You Slip and Fall
No matter where a slip and fall happens —in a store, on a sidewalk, or at a friend's house— it is important to remember that your actions immediately following the incident play a crucial role in building the best possible legal case. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at a store, it’s important that you follow these key steps.
1. Seek Medical Treatment
Following a slip and fall accident, protecting your health should be the number one priority. Even if you don’t feel hurt, you should be checked out by a medical professional. Sometimes injuries don’t begin to exhibit symptoms until hours or days after the incident. Additionally, these medical records will be important pieces of evidence in any subsequent lawsuit or insurance claim you may choose to file.
2. Report the Incident
No matter where you fall, always inform the property owner, manager, or landlord of the incident immediately. Even if you fall on the sidewalk outside of a building or store, you should report the incident to someone who works at the business. Remember to write down all details or ask for a written report from the manager.
3. Gather Details
If there were any witnesses to the accident, make sure you collect their:
- phone numbers;
- email addresses; and
- account of the accident.
Any statements collected could help prove your case if you decide to initiate a legal claim. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the location where you fell. Make sure you have photographic evidence of icy stairs, wet floors, or any other condition that led to the fall. In addition, you should ask for a copy of any surveillance footage.
4. Don’t Talk About the Incident
When you speak with the property owner or manager, don’t get into details about what occurred. Keep everything as professional as possible, and don’t place blame on yourself or anyone else. Anything you say could be used against you in a court or during an insurance claim deliberation. Additionally, do not post any details related to your accident on social media.
5. Contact an Attorney
Since many slip and fall claims can be complex and difficult to validate, you should seek the help of an attorney with experience handling these types of cases. Lawyers with experience in this area have the resources necessary to fight for the best outcome possible.
We Are Dedicated to Strategic Legal Representation
The first step to obtaining the justice you deserve is retaining the aggressive legal representation you need. Our lawyers at Donati Law, PLLC offer top-tier legal services on behalf of those injured due to the negligence of others. We are well-versed in personal injury claims and how to fight back against insurance companies. Because we are highly experienced in the field of Tennessee premises liability law, we are available to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Call our Memphis legal team today to discuss your case! We are backed by more than 150 years of collective experience.