Slip and fall accidents happen in a variety of public and private spaces, including on government properties. Because a building is operated by a government entity does not exclude it from the law or protect the government entity from being sued. However, victims should understand the nuances of how to recover slip and fall-related damages from the government.
How Slip and Falls Occur
People who slip and fall on any property may lose their balance because of problems such as wet or slippery surfaces, obstacles in their path, poor lighting, poorly installed furnishings, or unmaintained items. However, not all slip and falls on government property are the government’s fault. Spilling coffee on yourself and then slipping on it would be considered an accident that could not be foreseen by the government.
Only preventable slip and falls result in recoverable damages. For instance, if government workers do not protect patrons at the post office from electrical cords that are haphazardly snaked across the entrance floor, they are negligent in their duties.
Proving Government Neglect
To recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and similar costs related to slipping and falling, victims must prove the government and its employees neglected their responsibilities. This puts the burden on plaintiffs to show that the reason for their slip and fall was something the government should have known about or could have anticipated. For instance, a government employee who creates the slip and fall danger could be held liable for the accident. The same is true for a government worker who knows about the danger and does nothing. The best way for plaintiffs to prove neglect is to document the scene of the accident with digital images taken immediately after the event, as well as obtain witness accounts.
Timelines for Filing Government Slip and Fall Incident Reports
Victims who suffered slip and fall accidents on government property must file a report or notice of claim within a specific timeframe. Each government entity has its own time frame, which can be as soon as 30 days following an accident. Victims who miss these deadlines and fail to submit a notice of claim quickly may lose their rights to pursue a slip and fall lawsuit.
It is also important to note that recovery amounts may be limited. In addition to damage amounts occasionally being very low, some government entities are only entitled to pay for certain damages and not others. Because this varies on a case-by-case basis, victims should seek help from a knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer immediately after the event.
Cherry Hill Slip and Fall Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Assist Victims in Slip and Fall Accidents on Government Property
If you or someone you know was injured after slipping and falling on government property, you may be entitled to compensation. The Cherry Hill slip and fall lawyers at DiTomaso Law will fight to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 856-414-0010 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Mt. Holly, and Camden County.