Slip and Fall on Government Property
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may know that you have the right to file a lawsuit against the property owner if he or she failed to maintain a safe premises. You may not know what to do, however, if you slip and fall on government property. Just like a private property owner, the government has a responsibility to make sure that public or government-owned properties do not contain dangerous conditions. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the government body that owns the property after a slip and fall.
Who Is Responsible for a Slip and Fall on Government Property?
A victim can often file a premises liability lawsuit in California if injured in an incident caused by a dangerous condition on another person’s property. Premises liability law states that you can recover financial compensation for the losses that you suffer from a property owner’s negligence. Negligence is the failure to act with a reasonable level of care, resulting in injury or harm to a visitor.
A property owner in California is negligent if he or she fails to use an appropriate amount of care in the maintenance, use or control of a premises, resulting in hazardous property conditions and injuries. For example, if a property owner allows a staircase to fall into a state of disrepair, the owner could be legally responsible for an injury caused by the staircase collapsing. In general, if a reasonable and prudent property owner would have prevented the accident, you will be able to file a premises liability suit.
The same rules apply to a property that is owned by the federal, state or local government. Government ownership does not change the responsibilities that a property owner has for the safety of the premises in California. If a government agency or employee is negligent in the care or maintenance of a property and this leads to an accident, the agency will be legally responsible (liable) for related damages.
How to File a Slip and Fall Claim Against the Government in Los Angeles, CA
If you get injured in a slip and fall accident on government property in California, you may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit against the entity that owns the building or land where the injury took place. If you slipped on an uneven sidewalk on a public sidewalk in Los Angeles, for example, you may have the right to bring a lawsuit against Los Angeles County for failing to remedy the defect within a reasonable amount of time.
Take the following steps after a slip and fall accident on public property if you wish to pursue a claim:
- Take photographs. Before you leave the scene of the slip and fall, use your phone to take photos of the unsafe condition that caused your accident.
- Report it. Call the entity that owns the property and report that you slipped and fell. Include the exact time, date and location.
- Document the accident for your records. Write down a detailed report of what happened. Be specific in your recollections.
- Keep your clothes and shoes. Keep everything that you were wearing when the slip and fall accident took place. Your clothing may contain evidence, such as traces of a slippery substance that made you fall.
- Go to a hospital. Get medical care for your slip and fall accident injuries without delay.
- Contact a lawyer. Consult with a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer for assistance with the legal parts of your claim.
Bringing a lawsuit against a government agency requires filing the required paperwork with that agency before the deadline. In California, the deadline to file a claim against a government entity is just six months from the date of the accident, in most cases. Act quickly to contact an attorney after this type of accident in LA. An experienced attorney can help you file a claim.