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What Happens if You Get Injured on Public Property?
All property owners are legally required to ensure that their properties are reasonably safe to reduce the risk of injury to people who come to their properties. However, due to various hazards stemming from negligent maintenance or security, many people get injured on private properties every year. Owners of restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, amusement parks, retail stores, and even private residences may be sued if a person suffers injuries on their properties due to their negligence.
But what happens if you’re injured on public property, such as a public playground, the library, a sidewalk, a park, or a government building?
Who Should You Sue If You Get Injured on Public Property?
Just as owners of private properties are liable for accidents that occur on their premises, entities that own public properties can also be held legally responsible for accidents that occur on their properties. The problem is that a government entity usually owns, operates, and maintains most public properties in Florida. But all is not lost. If you get injured on public property that a federal, local, or state government agency owns or operates, you can sue them based on premises liability laws, which are mainly based on negligence.
Government agencies are legally obligated to make sure their premises are reasonably safe for everyone, including visitors and contractors repairing their properties. So when they fail to keep their premises safe, they can be held accountable for damages to people who get hurt due to the dangerous conditions.
What Are Common Accidents That Happen on Public Properties?
People may get injured in public parks, libraries, schools, swimming pools, post offices, and on public roadways, among many others. The most common accidents that usually take place on public properties are:
- Slips, trips, and falls on sidewalks, mass transit systems, slippery floors
- Drowning accidents in public swimming pools
- Assaults in schools by teachers or students
- Accidents due to malfunctioning traffic signals, defective road conditions, or poorly designed roadways
No matter what kind of injury you sustained and where you got injured, if it occurred on government-owned property, you must ensure that you follow very stringent requirements if you are planning to file a claim against the at-fault government agency. Take note that claims involving government agencies are different from the typical personal injury claims. For one, you can’t just file a claim against them. You must send the at-fault government agency a notice to inform them that you intend to file a claim against them.
You will then need to wait for them to respond to your notice to determine whether they will deny or admit liability for the accident. You will obtain financial compensation if they admit fault for the accident, which rarely happens. On the other hand, you must file a personal injury lawsuit if they deny liability.
Due to the tight deadlines, paperwork, and procedural requirements in government claims, it’s in your best interest to discuss your situation with a Tampa premises liability attorney as quickly as possible after your accident.
Get In Touch With Our Skilled Tampa Premises Liability Attorney
Regardless of what kind of injury you suffered, our Tampa premises liability attorney can help you navigate your claim, even if it is against the government. Reach out to Mickey Keenan, PA, at 813-871-1300 or online to schedule your consultation with our Tampa premises liability attorney.