Classification of Visitors in Chattanooga Premises Liability Cases

As defined by Chattanooga law, premises liability means that a dangerous condition existed on someone else’s property that caused the person to suffer an injury. Premises liability means the premises owner is liable for someone’s injury because of a danger to their property caused the person to be injured. The Chattanooga standard of reasonable care is what a reasonably prudent person would have done in the same or similar circumstances.

If a reasonable property owner would have known about this problem and this property owner did not know about this problem, then this property owner violated their duty because they did not act like a reasonably prudent property owner would have acted. Anyone who has experienced harm or negligence while on someone else’s premises should contact an experienced premises liability lawyer about filing a claim.

Defining Property Owner’s Duty of Care

A property owner’s duty of care is what a reasonable person would do to alleviate dangers or to warn people about dangers that they cannot alleviate. This duty includes the duty to inspect their property and to know what is there and to pay attention when they see anything that might cause a problem, to pay attention when somebody tells them that might cause a problem, and then to take immediate action either to remedy the problem or to warn people about the problem and to stay away from it.

The obligations of a property owner are to make sure that where people are going to be walking on their property is free from hidden dangers or unreasonable dangers. They may not be hidden but if they are likely to cause injury then they have to take action to eliminate the problem or to warn people about the problem.

Ignorance is no excuse on the part of a property owner in Chattanooga premises liability cases. There are some hidden dangers that a reasonable property owner may not find and may not know about. In that case, they would not be liable but if a reasonable inspection and paying attention to the property would have revealed the danger, then the property owner is liable even though they did know about the danger. Ignorance of the danger is usually not an excuse if a reasonable inspection would have revealed the danger.

Distinguishing Visitor Classifications

There is not a lot of distinction for classifying of visitors in Chattanooga premises liability cases. There used to be more of a distinction but that distinction has become blurred over time. There is one main distinction that still exists, which is a trespasser. If a person is trespassing on property, then the owner’s duty to warn them about hidden dangers is not as great. But if a person is an invitee or a guest on their property, their duty to inspect warn.

Property Invitations

An invitation to a property is broad and it includes people who come to the person’s property for normal business purposes. If the person is open to the public to conduct business and anybody who comes to their property, not necessarily planning to do business but just to get information or even to maybe try to sell the person something, it would be considered a permissible entry onto the property as an invitee or a guest. The person would owe a duty to protect those people from dangers.

Local Trespassing Laws

Trespassing in regards to the classification of visitors in Chattanooga premises liability cases, is entry onto a property without permission. Permission can be implied like if a salesman comes and knocks on the person’s door, they have implied permission to come and knock on the person’s door. If the person tells them that they have to leave their property, then they come back again later, then they do not have that implied permission. If a person is coming onto the person’s property, not for a legitimate purpose, then they would be a trespasser.

If a person comes on for any type of illicit purpose, if they come onto the person’s property for any unlawful or inappropriate purpose, then they would be a trespasser. If they come onto a part of the property that is not open and it is not available to a person to walk in freely, they would also be a trespasser. They can go from being a guest to being a trespasser simply by climbing a fence or going through a gate or a door or something like that.

Role of the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

The attractive nuisance doctrine in Tennessee says if a person has something on their property that would look like a good place to play for children, and then the person needs to take steps to protect children from getting hurt at that place on their property. It basically requires a property owner to recognize that children will not conform to the standards that we expect of adults to avoid trespassing. The children will not avoid trespassing and will not use the discretion to not go where they are not allowed to go.

The classification of visitors in Chattanooga premises liability cases can apply children because they tend to go where they are not supposed to go. A property owner must take steps to make sure that nothing on their property attracts children which can then hurt them. Equipment or construction materials or other dangerous materials can cut, crush, choke, poison, or injure children. Swimming pools or bodies of water can drown children. In these cases, the property owner has a duty to make sure children are not easily able to get to those parts of the person’s property.

Chattanooga Premises Liability Lawyer