If you are injured in a slip and fall accident on government property, there are special considerations. You must determine which government entity is responsible for the property, but you will also need to know what the law requires regarding the deadlines for notifying government entities about accidents.
How to Determine Which Government Entity is Responsible
To file a personal injury claim for an accident that happens on government property, you must:
- know which entity is responsible for the premises,
- notify the correct entity within the timeframe required by law.
Even if the entity responsible for the property seems obvious, you can’t assume anything. This is because many local, state, and federal entities occupy properties that are actually owned, managed, or otherwise the responsibility of another government entity. The agreements these entities have with one another regarding property liability issues determines who is actually responsible for accidents that happen on the premises.
To discover the entity responsible for the property on which your accident occurred, you may need to make several phone calls. Continue investigating until you know for sure:
- which government office is responsible
- what the notification and deadline requirements are for filing an injury claim.
Many individuals find it helpful to enlist a personal injury lawyer that is familiar with premises liability claims involving government entities. Experienced attorneys can often cut through red tape and find answers more quickly, ensuring you meet the appropriate deadlines for submitting a notice to the correct office.
Time and Notice Deadlines
Most states and the federal government have strict regulations about the process and timeframe for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. You must:
- submit a written notice of your injuries, containing specific pieces of information, to the correct government office,
- that notice must be issued within the time limit laid out in local, state, or federal regulations.
A 30-day deadline for submission is typical, but the timeframe varies from one government entity to the next.
How to Provide the Government with Correct Notice Information
The notice you file about your slip and fall accident and injuries may need to contain certain kinds of information, dependent upon the requirements of the government entity with which it must be filed. In general though, any notice must include:
- Your legal name and address
- The date and exact location of your accident
- A detailed summary of how the accident happened
- A compelling explanation of why the government entity was negligent
- An equally compelling argument of how the entity’s negligence caused your injuries
- A detailed description of your injuries
- A detailed outline of your medical bills and the other financial losses you’ve experienced because of your injuries
Keep in mind that the notice you submit is the basis for your personal injury claim and/or lawsuit. It must meet the government’s requirements and must also set up a winning case for you. A personal injury attorney can help you determine the government’s requirements and help you write a notice that establishes your case well.
Limits on Injury Claims Against Government Entities
Local, state, and federal regulations don’t just establish notice and deadline requirements. They also set limits on the amount of damages or compensation that can be recovered in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
These limits are usually fairly low by comparison to damages available in slip and fall accidents that occur on private or commercial properties. Most set the bar at $100,000 or below for total damages.
It’s important to understand that just because your accident occurred on government property doesn’t mean the government entity is legally responsible for your injuries. To have a winning personal injury claim, you must show the government entity was negligent and that its negligence caused your injuries.