Nashville Public Property Premises Liability Lawyer

There is not a big difference between liability for public and private properties. A piece of property, whether it is owned by the government or owned by a private corporation, the owner still has a duty to keep the property in a safe condition.

Anyone looking to file a claim for any harm they sustained on another's property, should contact a skilled premises liability attorney. A Nashville public property premises liability lawyer can help you compile evidence to build a case against those responsible for your pain and suffering.

Defining Government Liability

If the property is owned by the government, and if it knows that there is a dangerous condition on the property and did not fix it or warn others that there is a dangerous condition, the government is going to be responsible for damages that people may sustain when they encounter that dangerous condition.

That is called the “Governmental Tort Liability Act” in Tennessee. Most damages or actions against the State of Tennessee (or Nashville), are going to be capped at a maximum of $300,000. This cap is not in place for private entities, but since the State of Tennessee writes the laws, they have written a law giving themselves some protection.

Nashville’s Duty of Care to its Residents

The government is no different from private entities. There is not always a great rush to protect a citizen who has been injured due to the inaction of a property owner. Therefore, it is important to contact a Nashville public property premises liability lawyer to help with the injured person's case.

The government treats it almost like a regular private insurance company and the person has to jump through the same legal hoops to prove the person’s case against Nashville, or any private entity where there may be a premises liability case.

It would require going to court to prove there was a dangerous condition. It would need to be proven that Nashville was aware of the dangerous condition or created a dangerous condition and prove that it should be responsible for the injured person’s damages and injuries.

Filing Injury Claims against the Government

There are generally two processes, and it depends on what government entity it is, i.e., Nashville or Tennessee. If it is property or real estate that is owned by the State of Tennessee, that claim will go through the Tennessee Claims Commission.

The person has to file a Notice of Claim with the Claims Commission and then file their complaint against them. The person will proceed in front of an Administrative Law Judge or the Claims Commissioner.

If it is a lawsuit against the City, whether it is Nashville, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, or Cookeville, those are city governments and all complaints are filed in the State Court in Tennessee, e.g., either a Circuit Court or Chancery Court. There would be a judge instead of a jury to hear the case.

Implementation of the Negligence Standard

When implementing the negligence standard, there must be a classification of property and an examination of the alleged dangerous condition. A determination of the liability case will be against Nashville or any surrounding city. Nashville public property premises liability lawyers can help a potential client document the condition that caused the injury or harm.

A determination is then made about whether the government either created the condition, knew about the dangerous condition and/or did not warn others about it. The Court will implement that same standard to determine if this city or county should be liable.

Nashville Liability Laws

Metropolitan Davidson County Council can pass certain code restrictions with regard to the responsibility and restrictions on what a person can do with their real estate. However, liability and premises liability is going to be decided by State Legislature (the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives).

They pass the laws setting forth premises liability as far as an owner’s responsibility to visitors, trespassers and invitees, and then state judges will interpret that law for citizens.

How Property Classification can Affect a Case

If an accident occurs on public property, owned by the government, there is going to be a limitation on the amount of damages an injured person can receive. If it is private property, the same limitations do not apply.

If it is commercial property versus a private residence, juries will scrutinize those cases against commercial properties a little more than they do private property, simply for the fact that commercial properties are going to know they have a lot of visitors on that property and have superior knowledge as to the condition of the property.

Types of Recoverable Damages

Damages recoverable if the property is owned by Nashville or any other government entity are the same as if the person is injured on private property, e.g., lost wages (past, present and future) and medical bills (past, present and future). The injured person can also receive compensation for pain and suffering, including emotional damages.

The amount of damages a person can obtain in a claim against the government or a public piece of property, is less than the person can receive for an injury on private property, just because of the “Governmental Tort Liability Act” in Tennessee.

As far as factors that can prevent people from being able to seek out damages, the law in the State of Tennessee has limited the amount of damages that can be claimed. Otherwise, it is going to be the same as any private property.