Premises Liability: Holding Property Owners Accountable for Injuries

Many premises liability cases in Memphis involve individuals slipping and falling in stores and other commercial establishments. However, it’s important to note that property owners can be held liable if a visitor sustains an injury on the premises. If you have been injured due to a hazard on someone else’s property, it may be in your best interest to speak with a Memphis premises liability lawyer. Personal injury attorney David E. Gordon has extensive experience with property negligence claims and can evaluate your case to help you understand your options for recovering compensation.

Types of Cases Handled by a Premises Liability Attorney

In a premises liability lawsuit, an injured person pursues a claim against the property owner or manager who is responsible for the dangerous conditions that caused the injury. Hazards can take various forms, and at the Law Offices of David E. Gordon, we handle a wide range of premises liability cases, including slip and falls, inadequate security, escalator and elevator accidents, swimming pool accidents, snow and ice accidents, improperly stacked merchandise in stores, tripping over unmarked changes in flooring height, and criminal attacks facilitated by negligent security.

Each case presents unique issues and may involve related claims. For example, in a case involving inadequate security, a claim may be filed against a hotel owner who failed to install proper locks on doors. Simultaneously, the person who broke into a hotel room and assaulted a guest may face a battery claim.

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In an escalator accident, the owner of a store or office building may be liable for allowing visitors to use a broken escalator. However, the manufacturer could also be responsible if the escalator had a manufacturing or design defect, or if a mechanic failed to conduct inspections and make necessary repairs to the equipment.

Memphis premises liability attorneys thoroughly investigate to determine the cause of an injury and identify the responsible party. It is crucial to start collecting evidence that establishes liability as soon as possible after an injury occurs.

Duty of Care in a Premises Liability Claim

The owner or manager of a property could be held liable if they fail to take appropriate steps to warn about or correct a dangerous condition on the premises. The duty of care owed by a manager depends on the visitor’s status and reason for entering the property.


When someone trespasses, the property manager may not be liable for any harm the trespasser suffers on the property, unless the owner deliberately set a trap. However, property owners do have a duty to protect children, even those who trespass, from hazards that could attract them, such as swimming pools.

Licensees and Social Guests

If a person enters someone’s property as a social guest or for their own benefit, such as a door-to-door salesman, the duty of care increases. The property owner is obligated to warn visitors about dangerous conditions or take steps to correct those hazards.

Business Invitees

In situations where a property owner invites people onto the premises for their benefit, such as a store owner welcoming shoppers, additional duties of care are owed to those business visitors. The property manager must not only address hazards but also conduct regular inspections to identify and rectify dangers. A Memphis premises liability attorney can work to demonstrate that an injured invitee was owed the highest duty of care, demanding a higher level of compensation for the demonstrated negligence.

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Negligence and Fault in Property Liability Cases

Similar to other personal injury cases, a premises liability case involves injuries caused by negligence. The negligent party can be an individual, a company, or even a government agency. In a premises liability lawsuit, the specific negligence is attributed to a property owner’s actions or failure to act, which puts visitors at risk of accidents. There is generally a one-year window from the date of the incident to file a claim.

Additionally, your own level of fault may be taken into account. If you are 50 percent or more at fault for the injury you sustained due to a hazardous property condition, you may be unable to recover any damages. Otherwise, your damages would be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault assigned to you.

Consult a Memphis Premises Liability Attorney for Your Injury Case

If you have suffered an injury that could have been prevented if the property manager had acted responsibly, dealing with the consequences on your own can be frustrating. You may be entitled to significant compensation to offset your losses, including intangible factors such as pain and suffering and emotional anguish.

Working with a Memphis premises liability lawyer as soon as possible after an injury can be highly beneficial. A legal advocate can help you navigate discussions with insurance companies and investigators, allowing you to focus on your recovery and avoid making statements that could limit your ability to recover compensation. Attorney David E. Gordon will begin collecting evidence right away to support your claim while it is most readily available.

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By holding property owners accountable for hazardous conditions on their premises, you are not only seeking justice for yourself but also helping prevent future injuries to others. To learn more about what may be possible in your case, call today for a free consultation. Garrity Traina