Slip and fall cases on public property carry stricter guidelines than other slip and fall cases. These kinds of accidents can happen in many ways – a fall down the stairs at the DMV, a trip on a wire at the courthouse, a slip on a wet floor at the post office. If you’ve had a personal injury on public property, an injury lawyer can help and it is important to talk to an accident injury lawyer right away.
A “slip and fall” case is any personal injury case that involves a slip or trip on someone else’s property that results in injury. These are also sometimes called “trip and fall” cases. In order to win a slip and fall case, you must first prove that the property owner was negligent. As in most things involving the government, there is extra red tape and stricter guidelines in cases against the city, county, or state. Here are some things you need to know if you’ve been injured on public property in Florida.
Notice of Claim
The very first thing you need to do after being injured on public property is to file a “Notice of Claim.” In Florida, you have three years to do this if it’s a case against the government (for private property, the statute of limitations is four years).
That may seem like a lot of time, but it’s always best to file the notice as soon as you can after the accident occurs – it makes the next steps (proving fault, finding witnesses) much easier. Make sure to follow all the guidelines for the Notice of Claim to the letter, or your case will likely not be heard in court. For example, in Florida, your Notice of Claim must be mailed directly to the Florida Department of Financial Services.
After sending the Notice of Claim, the state of Florida requires that you wait a period of 180 days before filing your lawsuit.
The Government May Have Immunity
Your city, county, and state governments are immune from certain injury claims. Which ones? It’s hard to know. With the help of an accident injury lawyer, you can find out if you have a case.
Government immunity, or “sovereign immunity” is one of the things to watch out for in public property slip and fall cases. Generally, city, county, and state governments have immunity from lawsuits based on acts involving “discretionary” functions. If a city bus driver spills a drink and decides to wait to clean it up causing you to slip on it, that would be a discretionary function. The bus driver made a decision that the government cannot be held responsible for. If there is no judgement or choice involved in the act that caused the fall, and if there is a mandatory regulation that led to the accident, then the government could be found liable for your injury.
What an Accident Injury Lawyer Can Do For You
Personal injury claims for slip and fall accidents on government property involve special guidelines and restrictions. They make proving fault more difficult than if your accident had occurred on private property. Finding a lawyer to help you is the best way to make sure you get your day in court.
If you have injured yourself on public property in Florida an injury lawyer can help, contact us today for a free case evaluation.