Holidays are a dangerous time for slip and fall accidents and other premises liability cases in Tennessee.
Beginning with the leaf-peepers and other tourists in October and November, Knoxville personal injury attorneys understand a host of factors contribute to the increased risk of fall accidents.
While Tennessee is not exposed to the brutal winters endured by our northern neighbors, snow and ice accumulation can also increase the risk of a fall accident. And every few years, we experienced significant snowfall and accumulation, according to the National Weather Service. In fact, more than a foot of snow fell in 2011.
The holidays are upon us. Just three weeks until Thanksgiving and the hectic six-week, year-end holiday season that follows. Businesses have an obligation to provide customers and invited guests with safe passage.
Tennessee law permits those who suffer a fall injury due to a negligent condition on business or private property to collect compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost earnings, disability benefits and other damages.
Premises Liability Claims in Tennessee
-Wet or slippery floors
-Dark or dangerous stairwells
-Elevator and Escalator accidents
-Dog bite/animal attacks
-Dangerous parking lots
-Merchandise falling from shelves
The Tennessee Supreme Court has abolished the doctrine of contributory negligence, which might otherwise prevent a claim by a plaintiff who is partially at fault. McIntyre v. Balentine, 833 S.W.2d 52 (Tenn. 1992). However, the state has instead adopted a form of comparative negligence, or comparative fault, which may limit or even eliminate your ability to collect damages. Under state law, a plaintiff may only collect damages if the defendant's negligence is greater than their own.
It's common for property or business owners to quickly repair a dangerous condition in the wake of an accident. So it's important you contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Knoxville as soon as possible after an injury accident has occurred. Conducting a thorough investigation in the immediate aftermath of an incident can help prove your case.
Knoxville Nursing Home Falls
Knoxville nursing home neglect attorneys would also encourage you to pay special attention to the conditions of local nursing homes and assisted-living facilities during holiday visits. This is prime time for these facilities, so if you see unsanitary conditions, lack of staffing or other warning signs, you can bet conditions are typically even worse for residents at other times of the year.
While it's true our most fragile older adults often reside in these homes because of their need for increased care and supervision, it's also true that short staffing, high turnover and inadequate training frequently result in resident neglect.
Fall accidents are epidemic in nursing homes. The National Institutes of Health reports the average 100-bed nursing home reports 200 falls a year. Many more falls go unreported.
These falls kill about 1,800 residents a year. Even outside nursing homes, older residents are most at risk. About 1.5 million senior citizens suffer a fall accident each year -- that number is expected to double to 3 million by 2030. Broken bones, broken hips, broken hands, and traumatic brain injury commonly result.
In fact, fall accidents are the leading cause of fatal injury accidents among those over the age of 65. And those who recover physically may suffer from the reduced mobility that often comes with a fear of falling.
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