Slip and fall accidents look straightforward enough, right? If you have been the victim of such an incident, you know that someone must pay for it. But what happens if you slip and fall on government property? Is the government entity liable for your injuries? Read on to find out more.
First of all, keep in mind that a specialized accidents and personal injury attorney will be able to help in such cases. If it is proven that the governmental institution the accident occurred in was negligent in its upkeep of the property, they can be made liable. However, there are two important limitations on your right to sue a state, federal or government entity.
A few limitations
Most states have strict notice deadlines for making a claim against the governmental units in their jurisdiction.
Generally, federal government and most states place a limit on how much you can recover from the state institutions, if your case is deemed a winner in court.
When a government institution is considered liable?
A governmental entity is only liable for a slip and fall accident occurred on its property if that respective entity or an official employee was negligent and that negligence lead to your personal injury. If you simply happened to fall on government property, this will not give you the right to sue for personal injury damages. Unsafe conditions have to be involved. Additionally, in order to prove that the governmental entity was negligent, you must be able to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that they should have been aware of the particular situation.
What are the US states’ rules on filing a notice?
Almost all US states have strict rules that must be followed if you are looking to file a claim against a government institution. Technically, before you can sue the federal government, you must generally file a formal notice of injury with the proper governmental entity. The federal government and each state might have different notice requirements, but this will include the following information: your personal info, name and address, the date of the incident, a very precise written summary of how the injury occurred, a statement in which you claim the government institution was negligent, a medical paper proving your injuries and a description of your financial losses up to date.
Keep in mind that most governmental institutions will not include more than 30 days on this notice’s deadline.
Who do you send notice to?
As your personal injury attorney will tell you, it is very important that you send the notice to the right office. Otherwise, your claim may be barred. Let’s say, for example, that you slip on the sidewalk in front of a federal government building. You assume that the city owns the sidewalk, and so you give notice to the city, and only the city. But federal law, or the contract between the federal government and city for the use of the building, might state that it is the federal government, not the city, which owns the sidewalk in front of the federal building. In this case, the city would not be liable.