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Slip and Fall Accident Cases against Government Entities

June 21st, 2016
Slip and fall accident on stairs

Can the government entity be held accountable if you slip and fall on a government property? Well, the answer is generally yes, if the government was negligent in its maintenance and upkeep of the property. However, there are two important limitations on the rights of an injured person to sue a federal, state, or local governmental entity.

First, the federal government and mostly all states have strict notices and set deadlines for making a claim against a government entity. Second, there is a limitation placed by the federal government and most states on how much can be recovered from the state or a municipality if the case is won.

When is a Government entity liable for a slip and fall accident?

A government entity is liable for a slip and fall accident on its property if:

  • The government entity or an employee was somehow negligent.
  • Negligence caused the accident.

Just because someone fell on a government property does not necessarily mean that the government authority managing the property can be held legally liable. Also, in order to prove that the governmental entity was negligent, one must prove that the government was aware or should have been reasonably aware of the unsafe condition.

What are the important time and notice deadlines?

There are strict rules set by the federal government and almost all states to file a claim or lawsuit against a government entity. The first rule is a notice requirement.

Before suing the federal government, the state, or a municipality, one must generally file a formal notice of injury with the proper government entity. There may be different notice requirements in the federal government and each state but the notice must typically include the following information:

  • Full name and address.
  • Date of the injury.
  • A brief summary of how the injury occurred.
  • A statement making claim that the governmental authority was negligent.
  • Allegation as to how the government’s negligence caused the injury
  • A description of the injuries, and
  • A description of the medical bills and other financial losses to date.

It is important to note that the deadline for sending this notice could be as short as 30 days, depending on the type of government.

Make sure to send notice to the proper government entity

Send the notice to the appropriate government entity. The claim may be barred if the notice is sent to the wrong government office. Also, make the claim against the proper government entity in the first place.

To ensure that proper notification requirements are met, contact the administrative offices of the relevant municipality. Make phone calls to get the answers in terms of where and when to send notice. You can also contact a personal injury lawyer to help you.

What are the limits on damages in injury claims against the government?

Limits on damages may differ depending on the type of governmental entity. Limits can be as low as under $100,000

How to prove liability for a slip and fall on government property?

Take pictures of the accident scene, clothes, and any bruises. Picture scan play a very important role in a slip and fall case because broken sidewalks or stairs can be fixed, conditions of ice and snow can change within minutes, ice can melt, or it can be cleared away. It will be impossible to win an ice and snow case without pictures as it was at the time of the injury.

Make sure to report the incident immediately to someone in charge at the governmental property and ensure that a report is documented. Try to get the names of witnesses if there were any. Not reporting the accident immediately may result into unsuccessful claim.

Call Dervishi Law Group, P.C. at 917-300-0797/ 718-619-4525

Have you suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident in a government entity? Call the office of Dervishi Law Group, P.C. to see if you have a viable claim.

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