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What should I know about premises liability cases in Tennessee?

Property owners in Tennessee are responsible for ensuring that the premises are safe for visitors. If a slip and fall happens because of unsafe conditions on a property, the property owner can be held liable.

When a Property Owner May Be Liable

When a restaurant patron slips on a spilled beverage that hadn’t been cleaned up or a retail shopper trips on a broken step that had not been fixed, the property owner may be liable for their injuries. Common premises liability injuries include head injuries and broken bones from slips and falls, but people can also suffer from severe burns, electric shocks, and illness from toxic exposure.

Property owners owe a duty of care to certain people who venture onto the property. The three categories of people who may be on the property include the following:

  1. An invitee is a person who is visiting the property to conduct business or for another reason that is beneficial to both parties. Restaurant patrons and retail shoppers are included in this category.
  2. A social visitor is someone who is welcome on the property but who was not necessarily invited, such as a family member or friend.
  3. A trespasser is a person who is not welcome on the property.

For the first two types of visitors, property owners have a responsibility to ensure that there are no hazardous conditions that could lead to injury. For the third type of visitor, a property owner has a responsibility to not intentionally cause injury, but if a trespasser is injured on the premises, the property owner is not liable.

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