Do I Have a Valid Claim if I Was Injured in a Tennessee Bar or Winery?


We all know that accidents can happen anywhere, but even so, we all hope they won’t. We certainly hope to be accident-free when relaxing at a bar or winery. And in recognition of this, Tennessee law holds business owners responsible for providing the safest environment they can. In this post, you’ll learn how Tennessee law protects you when you visit a commercial establishment, particularly somewhere that sells alcohol. If you were injured in a Tennessee business like a bar or a winery, don’t hesitate to contact a Memphis premises liability lawyer today.

Can I Sue If I Was Injured in a Bar or Winery?

Every state has laws detailing the responsibilities of business owners to the public, known as their duty of care under premises liability law. Bars and wineries may be required to conduct proper maintenance, address customer concerns about safety, and warn customers about known hazards.

In Tennessee and many other states, an injury similar to a slip-and-fall case in a bar or winery would proceed under premises liability law. To receive compensation, you would need to prove:

  • The business owed you a legal duty of care
  • The business was negligent in its duty of care; it did not take reasonable precautions against common risks and foreseeable concerns
  • The business’s negligence was the cause of your accident
  • Your injuries are of the type that a Tennesse court can compensate

Duty of care is a key concept in premises liability law, and who owed what duty to whom is frequently the centerpiece of debates. Businesses typically have a duty of care to their customers, but businesses can also employ several defenses. Some of the most common are:

  • Express assumption of risk. If the customer had full knowledge of the danger and still chose to expose themselves to it, the business may not be at fault. A customer who signs a waiver, for example, may take responsibility for any accident that occurs during the activity for which the waiver was signed.
  • Open and obvious. While a danger being obvious won’t magically absolve the business of liability, this is still a factor courts consider. The clearly perceivable nature of the danger cuts against both sides. The customer who was injured may argue that the business had an obligation to fix an obvious problem, while the business may argue the customer should have noticed the problem and avoided it.
  • Modified comparative fault. Tennessee follows a rule called “modified comparative fault.” An injured person who brings a case against the business where they were injured will have their compensation reduced by whatever percent the customer themselves was at fault. If the injured customer is more than 50% responsible, they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Dram Shop Laws

If you were injured in a Tennessee bar or winery (and depending on the circumstances of the injury), you may have another legal option open to you.

Tennessee has what is called a dram shop law, which states that if someone sells alcohol to a very intoxicated person or to a minor, then the seller can sometimes be legally responsible for the injuries the person caused. To be successful, you would need to prove all three of these elements.

Talk to a Premises Liability Lawyer Today

Many people are injured in commercial establishments, and these injuries can have a series of negative consequences, both for the victim and for the victim’s family. Call us today to learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.