Who Can I Sue When Injured on Public Property
We often underestimate the amount of time that we spend on public property. We do everything from commute, relax, eat, work, and play on public property that can take on a number of forms which makes it all the more likely that we may suffer an injury in this setting. Public property may typically belong to the government but that doesn’t mean that if you suffer an injury on public property that you have no way of seeking compensation for any damages you may suffer as a result. Contrary to popular belief, you can, in fact, sue the government or whatever entity is in charge of maintaining a public property that you sustained an injury on because of that entity’s negligence.
Florida Property Liability Claims
When someone suffers an injury on someone else’s property because of that property owner’s negligence then there is a chance that they may have a case for making a personal injury claim. When someone pursues compensation through a personal injury claim in these kinds of circumstances then it falls under the category of premises liability.
The owners of properties that invite people onto those properties have a duty to ensure that the conditions on their land are within reasonably safe expectations. For example, a grocery store’s customers are considered invited onto the property and are therefore expecting the area to be safe. A grocery store owner can be negligent however and not address dangerous conditions that can cause an accident like uneven flooring that people can trip on or spills left uncleaned. Since they were negligent in addressing a problem they knew about that could inflict harm unto those they are expected to keep safe then they can be held liable and be part of a premises liability claim.
Compensation Via Premises Liability Claims
These claims can seek compensation for a number of damages that a claimant suffered because of an accident like a slip and fall, falling debris, assault, etc. Some of the most common damages that a claimant will have as part of their claim will include medical bills for their injury, lost wages, lost earning potential, as well as pain and suffering. Securing compensation for these damages requires the negotiation of a settlement with whichever party is liable. When negotiating a settlement it is integral that a claimant is able to prove that the liable party was negligent in a way that injured them as well as have accurately calculated damages. With the proper leverage and negotiating, a claimant and insurance company or another defendant can reach a settlement that leads to both parties leaving the table happy. Unfortunately, a settlement can’t always be reached so the matter can go to trial where a jury will determine whether a claimant is owed restitution.
How Can I Sue for Public Property Accidents?
There was once a time where people were unable to sue for accidents that occurred on public property owned by the government. This was due to a policy called “sovereign immunity” which gave the government immunity from lawsuits since they were the highest power as far as most people were concerned. Luckily that changed in 1948 when the Federal Tort Claims Act was passed. In addition to this legislation passed on the federal level, states also began to pass their own versions of this act allowing lawsuits against the government in certain situations. So if you have been injured on property owned by the federal or state governments and even just city property, this legislation affords you the right to sue. This also goes for when you are injured because of the acts or directly by employees of the federal or state government.
One key difference between a lawsuit with the government that owns the public property you were harmed on and a case involving private property is that cases seeking compensation form the government have different deadlines for filing a claim. The claim is also not filed through an insurance agency like with a private property case but needs to be filed with the agency responsible for maintaining the private property that you were injured on.
Public Property Premises Liability Claims Have Strict Deadlines
State and Federal governments will each have their own strict deadlines to file a claim which are typically very short. It is also important to know whether the government entity responsible for maintaining the property you were harmed on has its own specific rules and deadlines for filing a claim. Many people realize only too late that they have missed the deadline to file a claim and are now unable to seek compensation from those responsible for their injury.
What Kinds of Accidents Occur on Public Property?
Seek an Experienced St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffered an injury because of an accident, do not try to handle your claim on your own! Working with a lawyer can help increase the amount of your claim, ease your stress, and make it easier for you to handle many of the challenges that come your way as you recover from the accident. Do not hesitate to at least speak with a legal professional about your potential personal injury claim.
Dolman Law Group has been representing injured accident victims successfully for years. Our lawyers have the skill, experience, and resources to help ensure your claim has the best chance possible at getting you the compensation that you not only need but deserve as well. Regardless of the path a case takes, we will always aggressively pursue the best possible outcome. Call the Dolman Law Group in St. Petersburg at (727) 222-6922 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation to learn your rights when seeking compensation through a personal injury claim.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL, 33712