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§49.7A Duty on Private Property

The Case:  Hickman v. Jordan, 87 S.W3d 496 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2001).

The Basic Facts:  Plaintiff pedestrian was injured when she was struck by a car in a private parking lot.

The Bottom Line:

 

·       “Both common sense and the Tennessee Code create an obligation on the part of drivers of automobiles to exercise due care. Section 55-8-136 of the Tennessee Code provides, ‘every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway….’ Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-136 (1998). The Code further provides: ‘The driver of a vehicle shall not back such vehicle unless such movements can be made with reasonable safety and without interfering with other traffic.’  Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-163 (1998).  Since this accident occurred on private property, neither the statutory rules of the road nor the common law rules pertaining to public roadways are applicable. However, the duties and liabilities of drivers are governed by the basic principles of common law negligence requiring each person to exercise ordinary and reasonable care under the circumstances. The statutory requirements help to determine the minimum standard of care. Miller, 457 S.W.2d at 862-63. Conditions such as those found in a crowded parking lot may require a driver to use an even greater degree of care. Id. The duty of a driver has been summarized as ‘a duty to keep a reasonably careful lookout commensurate with the dangerous character of the vehicle and the nature of the locality….’  Hale v. Rayburn, 37 Tenn. App. 413, 264 S.W.2d 230, 233 (1953).” 87 S.W3d at 499.

 

After an accident, many injury victims and their families want more information on the accident and their legal rights. Consequently, many of them have found their way to these pages. While we are happy you are here, please understand Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law was written to be a quick, invaluable reference for Tennessee tort lawyers. While the book provides the leading case for more than 300 tort law subjects and thousands of related case citations, it is not a substitute for personalized legal advice from a qualified lawyer.

Rather than researching these legal issues alone, we urge you to contact one of our award-winning lawyers who can sit down with you, review your case, answer your questions and clearly explain your rights and your options in a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced attorneys handle all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we win. If for any reason you are unable to come to our office, we will gladly come to you.

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The foregoing is an excerpt from Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law, published by John A. Day, Civil Trial Specialist, Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, recipient of Best Lawyers in America recognition, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, and Top 100 Tennessee Mid-South Super Lawyers designee. Read John’s full bio here.

To order a copy of the book, visit www.dayontortsbook.com. John also blogs regularly on key issues for tort lawyers. To subscribe to the Day on Torts blog, visit www.dayontorts.com.

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