Slip and Fall Accidents on Government Property
Slip and fall accidents can lead to significant injuries like broken bones, head trauma, and others that require extensive medical treatment and recovery times. Generally, slip and fall accident victims can hold a negligent property owner responsible for injuries that occur on their property. However, when a fall occurs on government property, the process is more complicated. Miami premises liability attorney Robert Dixon assists victims who have fallen on government property explore their legal options in the aftermath of their injuries. Our firm has experience representing victims in these types of cases and can help you determine what the next proper step is for you and your family. We represent clients throughout the South Florida area, including in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. If you have questions regarding your legal rights following a slip and fall accident, contact the Law Offices of Robert Dixon to set up a free consultation.Slip and Fall Accidents on Government Property
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, and are often due to a dangerous condition of which a victim is unaware. Public, government-owned properties, including sidewalks, parking lots, schools, libraries, public playgrounds, streets, and government offices or buildings are no exception to the existence of such hazards. Dangerous conditions that can lead to a slip and fall accident include:
- Uneven sidewalks or cracks in the pavement
- Broken handrails or stairs in stairwells
- Spills or other slippery surfaces
- Lack of proper lighting in parking lots
- Faulty construction
Owners of business properties who do not maintain their premises in a relatively safe manner can be held civilly liable by a visitor injured due to that unsafe condition. However, government agencies and municipalities have special legal protections from these types of lawsuits. Because of the specialized filing requirements and other issues that can arise in these types of claims, it is advisable to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible following a slip and fall accident on government property.Sovereign Immunity
The doctrine of sovereign immunity shields the government and its agents from liability to the public from civil damages, but there are exceptions. Florida Statutes section 768.28 holds government agencies liable for an injury or death caused by a negligent act or omission by a city employee who was acting within the scope of employment. This also applies to corporations acting as agents for a city.
To file a claim against a governmental entity instead of a private party, a plaintiff must take additional steps. Before filing a formal suit, victims must first file a “notice of claim” with the Florida Department of Financial Services, which provides notice to the government agency. The statute of limitations for these claims is also different than those made against a private party. In Florida, slip and fall claims against a government agency must be filed within three years, versus the four-year time period usually established for these types of claims against private individuals or entities. If a premises liability claim is allowed, the requirements of showing that the defendant was negligent must still be met. This means that a victim must establish that a governmental agency, or its agent, failed to take the necessary steps to ensure an area was reasonably safe for those visiting. Once negligence is shown, a victim can receive damages for medical expenses, any change in earning capacity, and lost income. For claims against a governmental agency in Florida, damages are limited to $200,000 per person and $300,000 per incident.Consult an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney in Miami
Victims of slip and fall accidents on government property can face a difficult and expensive road to recovery. Premises liability attorney Robert Dixon is dedicated to easing the legal burdens that may arise as a part of that process. Mr. Dixon and his staff assist clients in pursuing legal claims for compensation from the responsible parties, even if they are government agencies or municipalities. If you’ve been injured while on government property and would like to find out more about your legal rights, please contact the Law Offices of Robert Dixon at 877.499.4878 or online today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation about your case. We represent clients in areas including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.