The following section from Day on Torts Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law​​​ is out of date and should not be used. It remains a part of this site for historical purposes only. An updated version of the book is available by subscription at (Additional information below.)

§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.

To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866.812.8787.

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.

The book is now available electronically by subscription at The new format allows us to keep the book current as new opinions are released. BirdDog Law also has John's Tennessee Law of Civil Trial and Compendium of Tennessee Tort Reform Statutes available by subscription, as well as multiple free resources to help Tennessee lawyers serve their clients

Client Reviews
Everything was great. You guys are a great representative. I was satisfied with everything. Truly appreciate John Day and his hard-working staff. Jamar Gibson
We thought that you did an excellent job in representing us in our lawsuit. We would recommend you to anyone. Mitch Deese
The Law Offices of John Day, P.C. is, without a doubt, the best in Nashville! They treated me with the utmost respect and tended to my every need. No question went unanswered. I was always kept informed of every step in the process. I received phenomenal results; I couldn't ask for more. I would definitely hire The Law Offices of John Day, P.C. again. Anthony Santiago
I would definitely recommend to anyone to hire John Day's law firm because everyone was helpful, made everything clear and got the job done. I am satisfied with how my case was handled. June Keomahavong
It's been a long battle but this firm has been very efficient and has done a remarkable job for me! I highly recommend them to anyone needing legal assistance. Everyone has always been very kind and kept me informed of all actions promptly. Linda Bush
I had a great experience with the Law Offices of John Day. The staff was very accommodating, and my phone calls/emails were always responded to in a timely manner. They made the entire process very easy and stress-free for me, and I had confidence that my case was in good hands. I am very happy with the results, and I highly recommend! Casey Hutchinson