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Can the government be liable for a slip-and-fall injury?

Slip-and-fall accidents are a frequent occurrence on sidewalks, in stores and on other types of property that people walk on. If the accident occurs on property that is owned by the government, as opposed to a private property owner, is the injured person able to bring an action against the responsible government entity? If so, what are the requirements of such an action?

If a governmental entity is found to have been negligent in maintaining its property and preventing dangerous property conditions, injured victims are able to bring a legal action against the entity to collect damages for their injuries. However, there are notice and timing requirements that must be satisfied regarding the action, as well as caps on the damage award that can be granted.

Historically, the government had been granted sovereign immunity from such actions, which provided them with total protection from liability in legal proceedings. This immunity has been reduced or negated by most states and the federal government, although the caps on liability still afford these entities certain levels of protection even when liable. As mentioned above, there are notice of claim requirements that must be satisfied to proceed with such a claim.

The required notice may be different depending on the entity involved, but typically must include the name and contact information of those injured, the date the incident occurred, and a description of the incident, among other details. Those injured should also ensure that they have identified the appropriate government body responsible for the premises on which they were injured.

Bringing an action against the government in which they are alleged to be liable for any injuries can be a complicated process that involves additional, more stringent, requirements than those found in typical premises liability actions. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist those injured on government property with their claim and meeting the various requirements involved.

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