Slip and Fall on Public Property

Slip and fall injuries can happen anywhere, on both private and public property. These types of personal injury accidents are complex and fault needs to be established, which is when Jerome Wolfson, Esq. and the experienced accident attorneys at Wolfson & Leon in Miami step in to assist victims. But while a slip and fall personal injury accident on private property, such as a residential home, restaurant, retail shop, or other commercial establishment, may be attributed to the owner or manager’s failure to maintain the property or other negligent actions, an incident that occurs on public property is more complex.

Public property includes sidewalks, parking lots, roadways, and other city or state government establishments that are used by the general public. Each day, thousands of people are seriously injured after tripping on a cracked sidewalk, opened manhole or in a construction area that was not properly warned. In Miami, these types of accidents are extremely common, due to the metropolitan nature of the city. There always seems to be some road that is undergoing construction or expansion, and this can lead to severe – if not fatal – injuries for pedestrians.

Just as with slip and fall injuries that occur on private property, victims who have been injured in public areas are also entitled to seek legal help for their pain and suffering. However, the local government may try to fight back. There are special procedures involved in filing a claim against the city or state government, which often include shorter time limits to present the case. However, there are exceptions to these rules and if an act of negligence did take place, the government may be held liable for the accident.

If you or a loved one were injured on public property, the sooner you obtain legal help the better outcome your case will have. Our Miami personal injury lawyers are ready to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve for your slip and fall. If the government failed to properly maintain the property or premises where you were injured, you may have a valid claim and may be entitled to money damages, medical care and lost wages. Our goal is to secure the maximum possible recovery for your accident and strive to protect your rights.

What Constitutes a Slip and Fall Accident on Public Property?

Whether a property is public or private, there is always someone who is responsible for its maintenance. When property owners or managers fail to do so, they may be held liable when a victim slips and falls in the premises. There are several characteristics that define slip and fall accidents, but it is important to understand that slip and falls are considered personal injury accidents. A personal injury involves harm to an individual’s body, mind or emotions. In the case of a sip and fall, victims can suffer all of the above. Injuries can extend well beyond the scope of physical damage to leave victims in fear and traumatized for the incident. Slip and falls on public property can be extremely severe, especially because they mostly occur out in the open, where if a victim were to trip on an uneven sidewalk, for example, they may fall into the street and be subsequently struck by oncoming traffic.

Public property slip and falls can have catastrophic results, and many victims are seriously – if not fatally – wounded either because of a severe head wound, spinal cord damage or neck injury caused by the fall, or in a domino-effect accident where the victim is further injured by other circumstances, such as being hit by a motor vehicle, falling into a manhole or other tragedy.

Turn to our accident attorneys if you or a loved one were hurt in any of the following public or government-owned properties:

  • Street
  • Sidewalk
  • Parking lot
  • National or state park
  • Public library
  • Public school
  • Public playground
  • Government office building
  • Court building
  • Veterans Administration (VA) hospital or other public health facility
Factors Contributing to Slip and Falls on Government-Owned Property

When a victim slips or trips in a public area, it is usually the result of dangerous conditions, including any of the following:

  • Wet surfaces, caused by rain, pressure cleaning or spilled liquids
  • Poor lighting
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Cracked sidewalks
  • Hidden or unmarked holes
  • Unmarked or un-barricaded construction site
  • Foreign objects left on the ground
Determining Liability for the Accident

After a slip and fall accident on public property, liability must be established in order to ensure the victim’s rights are protected. The government is responsible for maintaining public property safe and free of dangerous conditions that may cause injury. If a dangerous condition does arise, the government is responsible to fix the problem as quickly as possible. If the situation is left unchanged, the government may be found liable for the resulting injuries after a slip and fall.

Public property is used by the general public, which includes young children. Failing to keep premises safe and failure to correct a dangerous situation when it is brought to light can lead the government to be found at fault for the slip and fall injury and the government may be ordered to pay damages to the victim or their loved ones.

Filing a Claim for a Public Slip and Fall Injury

If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall on public, government-owned property, our attorneys will help you obtain the justice you deserve. Wolfson & Leon has been representing victims of personal injury accidents for several decades, paying close attention to every detail and ensuring each case gets the level of care it deserves. We know that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and strive for a swift and favorable resolution for your case.

When working with our firm, you can expect our Miami personal injury lawyers to report the slip and fall incident to the local government immediately upon being informed of your accident. We will handle all the necessary investigations and paperwork required so you won’t have to worry about facing intimidating government agents.

The first step in the slip and fall case will be to file a claim with the government over negligence in properly maintaining the public property where you were injured. If you haven’t already done so, our attorneys will take care of this for you. If the government accepts, a settlement may be reached relatively quickly. However, as with most cases, the government may reject the claim, at which point a formal personal injury lawsuit will be filed in order to attempt to hold the government liable for your slip and fall accident.

If your accident was the result of the government’s direct negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages for medical bills, rehabilitation costs and lost wages. The government may try to fight against bestowing victims with general damages for pain and suffering, but our injury attorneys in Miami will fight until you obtain the maximum possible compensation for the full extent of your slip and fall injuries – including emotional trauma.

For more information on public slip and fall cases and to determine if you have a viable claim, contact Wolfson & Leon in Miami today and schedule a consultation with our attorneys to fight for and protect your rights

or click here to submit your personal injury questions.

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