Tennessee Premises Liability Law: Inadequate Maintenance
At InjuryTN, our skilled premises liability lawyers have experience representing victims of injuries throughout Middle Tennessee, including Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Clarksville. We understand that serious injuries and even fatalities can happen when property owners or managers take shortcuts and fail to conduct adequate maintenance for systems and structures on a site.
Managers and owners of property need to expect particular systems and structures to deteriorate or start failing as time progresses. In order to avoid conditions that could result in unreasonable risks of serious injury, those responsible for maintaining a property bear the responsibility of making sure all repairs are appropriately conducted in a timely and efficient manner. This entails a thorough evaluation along every step of the way, without taking any shortcuts or cutting any corners. This also means exercising reasonable precautions in order to identify risks on the property and quickly addressing them by employing the help of a professionally licensed repair serviceperson to better mitigate these risks.
Tennessee Property Owner Maintenance Laws
Tennessee legislators have made a point to recognize the significance of mandating that property owners adequately maintain their premises in conditions that could be deemed reasonably safe, and multiple statutes have been introduced to further this.
For instance, Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-401 establishes that residential landlords must be in compliance with all applicable housing and building codes. In cases where codes are not applicable, landlords still have the responsibility of maintaining all structural components of the property, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Exterior Walls
Such structural components of the property should be “kept in good repair” in addition to having the ability to withstand ordinary loads and forces.
Likewise, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-2-203 requires school district school boards to adequately supervise any construction of school buildings or additions to existing buildings in order for students to attend school without running into any form of physical hazard.
Similarly, Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-27-407 state laws require condominium associations to maintain adequate property insurance in addition to providing for all repairs, reconstruction, and replacements in common areas pursuant to any organizational policies or bylaws.
Furthermore, Tennessee’s building codes, defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 6-54-502, have established concise standards for all modifications or repairs of existing structures, which commonly requires this maintenance work to pass thorough inspection prior to being approved.
Property owners are additionally required to provide and maintain working order of smoke detectors, as per NFPA 72. If a property owner or manager’s inability to abide by this statue results in any form of injury, this failure to adhere would most likely be deemed negligence due to inadequate maintenance.
Regardless of the case, evidence found which proves that a property owner was in clear violation of Tennessee statutes or building codes on building repair and maintenance is admissible in court, and will often help reinforce a premises liability claim.
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If you or someone you love has been injured because of inadequate maintenance, you should seek immediate legal assistance to help you determine the best way forward.
Understanding Negligent Maintenance in Tennessee
Those who sustain an injury because of inadequate or negligent maintenance may not initially recognize that the injury was caused by such a lack of adequate maintenance. Some of the following are examples of inadequate maintenance and negligent maintenance in Tennessee:
- Broken locks and/or windows
- Broken glass
- Lack of appropriate security measures (i.e. cameras or alarm systems) in dangerous neighborhoods
- Loose ceilings or floor tiles
- Loose handrails
- Mechanical failures and malfunctions
- Obstructed walkways
- Overgrown vegetation
- Uneven or broken stairways
- Unrepaired fixtures
Providing evidence that prior complaints had been submitted to the property owner for the hazardous conditions may be used as evidence in premises liability court.
Contact Experienced Premises Liability Attorneys
Certain cases which involve the property owner or manager facing claims of inadequate or negligent maintenance will submit a cross-motion in an attempt to diminish their own liability by way of comparative fault. Defendants, then, often maintain that a separate, third party was partially or entirely responsible for the hazardous conditions under which an injury was sustained. It is, therefore, necessary for plaintiffs to employ the assistance of a skilled premises liability attorney that can help them carefully investigate all pertinent facts in order to identify any possible defendants to avoid damages being reduced by the comparative fault of a third party not named in the initial claim.
If you or someone you know has been injured on a commercial property in Middle Tennessee, you should contact InjuryTN to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights. There are no costs or fees until we win your case!