Comparative Negligence Rules Apply to Your Slip and Fall Case

In a Tennessee slip and fall case, the court will consider whether any carelessness on your part contributed to your accident and resulting injury. Tennessee is a comparative negligence state, so the amount of compensation to which you are entitled could decrease in proportion to the amount of fault you shared for the accident. The following are a few questions the court may consider when analyzing your potential share of the blame:
  • Was there a legitimate reason for you to be on the property where the dangerous surface existed? If so, could the owner have possibly anticipated that reason?
  • Would a reasonably careful person have noticed the dangerous area or surface and been able to avoid it, or at least walk carefully enough in the area so as not to trip or fall?
  • Were there any warnings present (such as posted signs) indicating that the area was dangerous?
  • Were you doing anything that had you distracted from paying attention to where you were stepping? Or were you running, jumping, or otherwise behaving in a way that would have made a fall likely?
If the court determines that you did share some fault for the accident, you may not be able to collect the full amount of damages you otherwise would have received. Instead, your total will reduce by the percentage of fault you share. For example, if the court determines you were 20 percent at fault and the total damages in the case were worth $5,000, you would only collect $4,000, losing 20 percent of the overall value of the claim. If you’re determined to be 40 percent at fault, you’d only collect $3000. If you’re determined to be 50 percent at fault or more, you will get nothing! For further legal guidance after a slip and fall accident, contact a Bristol personal injury attorney. You can call Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. today at 423-797-6022 to schedule your free initial consultation, or contact us online.