You’re out running errands when you trip on the steps of city hall. While you manage not to hit your head, your wrist does hurt a lot. After enduring the pain for a few hours, you decide to go see a doctor. It turns out, you broke a few bones. Can the government be held liable for your slip and fall accident?
The quick answer is yes, but just like any other slip and fall case, you’ll have to be able to prove that your injury happened because of negligence. But unlike a case against a private individual or entity, you will need to follow the statutes—at the federal, state, and local level—that set forth the standards for filing a claim against a government entity.
Read more about these requirements and what else you should know about getting compensation for your slip and fall accident on government property below.
The Burden of Proof
Before we get into how a case against the government is different from a case against a private entity, let’s look at how they are similar. When you take legal action against the government for your injuries, you will have to prove that your injuries are the result of negligence on the part of the government, just like if you were suing a private individual or company.
You can only hold the government responsible and receive compensation for your injuries if:
- The government or one of its employees directly caused the unsafe condition that led to your slip and fall accident.
- The government or one of its employees knew of the unsafe condition but did not take action to remedy it.
- The government or one of its employees should have known of the unsafe condition.
As the one making the complaint, it is up to you to prove your case against the government entity. You will have to prove the direct correlation between the government entity or employee’s negligence and your injury. The best way to ensure that you can prove your case is to gather and preserve evidence as soon as possible, including physical evidence, photographs, videos, and witness testimony, if available.
Meeting Deadlines and Requirements
The federal government has strict guidelines that you must meet in order to make a slip and fall accident claim against a government entity. The process of holding a state government entity responsible is a little different, so we will cover that in another post.
The first thing you’ll need to do to file a claim is provide the government entity with notice of your injuries. What this notice entails depends on the agency that you have to file the claim against, so it’s important to discuss your case with an attorney so that your case doesn’t get thrown out. Typically, however, notice must include the following:
- Your name and contact information (or the name and contact information of the injured party)
- A summary of the events that took place up to the accident
- The date the accident took place
- A statement by you or the injured party that details how the government’s negligence resulted in the injury
- Details regarding the injury or injuries and any medical expenditures or losses
The deadline to provide notice may be as short as 30 days after the incident took place. For this reason, it is crucial that you contact a slip and fall attorney as quickly as you can.
Need Help with Your Slip and Fall Accident Case?
Pacin Levine Attorneys at Law are slip and fall experts, including cases against the government. Get in touch today to discuss your case.