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Can I Recover Damages if I Slip and Fall on Government Property?

  • Published: November 30, 2021
Can I Recover Damages if I Slip and Fall on Government Property?

What happens if you slip and fall or are injured on government property? In some cases, you may have opportunities to pursue compensation. However, suing the government for a personal injury claim is much different than suing another individual or a private corporation. This is because the government has protections that can prohibit citizens from filing tort claims. This protection is known as sovereign immunity.

Can I sue Pennsylvania for my Injury? 

In the United States, sovereign immunity applies to most federal and state level governments. Sovereign immunity law exempts the government from being sued by private parties. In 1946, the federal government waived rights to immunity in some instances through the Federal Torts Claims Act, allowing citizens to bring some tort suits against the government. However, each state has passed its own legislation regarding tort claims. In Pennsylvania sovereign immunity has been waived in certain circumstances, allowing state citizens to sometimes pursue legal action against the government for their injuries, but not all. 

When Can I Sue Pennsylvania for my Injury?

In Pennsylvania, you can only sue the government for your injuries in a slip and fall case in specific circumstances. The government is only liable if the property that caused your injury was defunct itself and the government was clearly negligent. For example, if you fall on a crumbling walkway that has not been repaired and break your wrist, you may be entitled to compensation. To prove negligence it must be clear that the government knew of the issue and failed to fix it, or that they should have known of the damage because any reasonable person would have. 

Unfortunately, in other situations like poor weather conditions, the government cannot be held liable. Slipping on an icy sidewalk, for example, is not sufficient to hold the government liable because it does not show negligence on their behalf. 

How can I file a claim in Pennsylvania? 

Claims against government entities can be difficult because many state and local municipalities have strict limitations on when, and how, a person can bring a lawsuit against the government.  42 Pa. C.S. Section 5522 of Pennsylvania Statutes outlines the limitations in pursuing civil action against Pennsylvania governments for personal injury claims. The Pennsylvania government requires that before any action can be taken against the government, proper notice must be given to the appropriate offices within 6 months of the sustained injury. Without following filing deadlines, you could miss out on your opportunity to recover damages. Seeking a personal injury attorney who is aware of jurisdictional laws surrounding claims against the government can help ensure your success. 

What Should I Do If I Fall on Government Property? 

If you fall on government property, you should collect evidence of your accident. Take photos of the scene and yourself. For example, if you slip and fall on a deteriorating stair, you should take several photos of the stairs, capturing the particular defect that caused your injuries. You should also record any and all injuries you have. A record of your accident will be useful if you seek compensation. 

If you sustain a severe injury from the scene, it is also important that you seek medical attention immediately. When discussing your injuries with doctors and other healthcare professionals, be sure to describe how the accident happened. Medical records that describe your accident and injuries may be very important in filing a claim later. 

Sometimes, however, your injuries may not be immediately apparent, and you may not seek medical attention until after your injury. This does not mean you are ineligible for compensation! Speak with an attorney to see if you have a viable claim. 

Injured on Government Property? 

If you have been injured on government property, get help filing your claim today to ensure that you can receive compensation for your injuries. If you are facing hospital bills or have been unable to attend work, you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more. Attorney Crichton has extensive experience taking on personal injury claims and reaching several lucrative and fair settlements for his clients. Attorney Crichton will let you focus on recovery while gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and notifying the appropriate government offices. 

All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. That means we don’t get paid until you receive compensation. If we don’t win you money, you owe us nothing! Call (267) 225-3317 for a free personalized consultation with Troy Crichton Esq. today. 

 

 

 

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