If you slip and fall on public property, you may wonder if you can file a lawsuit against the government to recover damages related to your injuries.
The short answer to this question is maybe.
Whether or not you can file a lawsuit depends on the particular circumstances of your case.
Here’s what you should know:
The Governing Body Must Be Negligent
In order to have a viable slip and fall case on public property, the governing body must have acted negligently, and you were injured as a result. (This stands regardless of whether you’re injured on public or private property.)
You must be able to prove that the government entity or one or more of its employees was somehow negligent.
You won’t be able to file a lawsuit just for slipping and falling on public property. You’ll need to show evidence of wrongdoing in the form of an unsafe condition or another issue that made the area dangerous in that particular situation.
Additionally, you must be able to prove that the governing body knew or reasonably should have known about the hazardous condition and neglected to take the appropriate action to resolve the issue.
Filing a suit against the government is a bit different than filing against a private party. You are unable to sue the federal government, the state, or a municipality unless you file a formal notice of injury with the appropriate governing body.
The governing body you file the notice with will depend on where you slipped and fell. If the local government manages the public property, you’ll file a notice with your local government office. If the state governs the region, you’ll file the notice with the state. If you are hurt on federal grounds, you will file a federal notice.
Each governing body will have its own set of notice requirements, but the general conditions will typically include the following information:
- Your name and address,
- The date of the injury,
- A concise description of how you were injured,
- A statement claiming the governing body was negligent,
- Your allegation regarding how the government’s negligence led to your injury,
- A description of your injuries, and
- A description of your medical bills and other financial losses to date.
Depending on the governing body, you may only have 30 days to send the notice. Once you’ve provided the government with adequate notice of the claim, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the governing body.
Suing the government can be challenging and very nuanced, which is why it’s not recommended to handle a situation like this on your own. Having a skilled Florida personal injury attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim.
Call us today at (866) 675-4427 to have an experienced Stuart personal injury attorney from Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC evaluate your case.