If you’ve suffered an injury from slipping and falling on someone else’s property, the property owner is generally the one responsible for paying your medical bills that resulted from the fall, as well as any pain and suffering claims you might have against them.
Of course, accidents happen, and not all of them are necessarily anyone’s fault, but there are times when someone’s negligence results in an injury that could have been avoided. Things like sidewalks that have become icy because they weren’t shoveled properly, or in a timely manner following snowfall, can cause accidents with the potential to result in serious injury.
But what can you do if you fall and hurt yourself on city property?
It depends on the city and its own laws and ordinances, which could be a problem, since the agency against which you might want to file a claim has created the rules that determine when it is liable for damages and how much they can be made to pay.
As with any claim for damages, there’s a procedure you have to follow in order for them to consider compensating you. Pay close attention to the ordinances of the city where you had your fall and do so as soon as possible after your accident because most include a time limit in which you can file a claim – some of those limits are as short as 30 days. It’s important you consult with an experienced attorney immediately after sustaining an injury.
You’ll also need to pay close attention to the form(s) you’ll need to fill out, and the information you need to include on those forms in order to be eligible for compensation. Some of them can take a while to fill out, depending on the amount and type of information you need to include in the form, so again, it is in your best interests to get started as soon as possible.
The forms needed should be listed on the city’s website, but when in doubt, contact the city clerk’s office and they can provide you with the proper forms and let you know about all their requirements.
While the process of filing a claim for compensation for an injury will differ based on the city or state and its own regulations, many elements of filing a claim remain the same as if you were filing a claim against a civilian property owner who failed to maintain reasonable standards on their property. Those elements include proving the city was negligent in maintaining their property, and that your injury was a direct result of their negligence. For example, if other citizens had complained about a physical defect in the property, and you can show a record of those complaints, it will help your case in filing a claim for compensation against the proper entity.
When dealing with a city or governmental entity, it’s especially important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure you preserve your claim and protected throughout the process.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.