No one ever expects to slip and fall or injure themselves on someone’s property, and the experience can be even more alarming when it happens on government property. Slipping and falling is dangerous and can have severe consequences for individuals who sustain injuries. If you have sustained an injury after falling on government property, it is in your best interest to contact a Tampa government premises liability lawyer. A qualified premises liability lawyer can help you pursue your case against the government, and can fight for a positive outcome.
How Liability Differs Between Public and Private Property
Liability is a little different on private property. It is not quite the “they knew or should have known” standard on public property because it is owned by the government. Instead, the standard is a little bit lower, they do not have as high of a heightened duty as the private property owner would be because there is not somebody on the premises at all times inspecting it.
Additionally, public property is vandalized and people do things on public property that they would not do on private property and they have recourse on private property that they would not have on public property. The standard is a bit lower although it is still expected that somebody that would be a controller on the property would keep it in a reasonably safe condition.
Duty of Care
As a Tampa government premises liability lawyer would explain, the Tampa government does have a duty of care to residents to maintain their public property in a reasonable condition. Now, the issue is with sovereign immunity, if something happens or whether it is an act of god, like hurricane or things like that where trees get broken or fall over, there is a different standard that applies to the government because of its sovereign immunity statute, and a person is not able to sue them for the same things that they are able to sue a private company for because they have sovereign immunity.
In order to file a claim against the government, a person has to first send them notice that they are going to file a claim, they do some inspection period in a pre-suit process and then they can file a lawsuit just like any other lawsuit. There is a form that a person fills out and a person sends it to the county or the city, whoever they are suing. That puts the person being sued on notice, letting them know that the plaintiff is planning on filing a lawsuit against them. A Tampa government premises liability lawyer can help their client send out the notice to the government.
If a person is suing a private property, they do not necessarily have to put them on notice, they can just file the lawsuit right away, they can also send them a demand letter saying that they are trying to settle it without going through a lawsuit, just letting them know what injuries occurred on their property and what they believe their theory of liability is as to why they are liable for the client’s injury.
Role of an Attorney
A Tampa liability attorney will gather all the evidence, interview all the witnesses, analyze and synthesize all the medical records and medical bills, keep it all together when they put it together for a person’s claim that they assert in a demand package, and then also draft and file the lawsuit, take depositions, interview experts, hire experts, and go through the all expert testimony if it is clear for trial.
A lawyer’s most important role is to take all of these off of the plate of the injured party so that they can focus on treating and getting better physically. An attorney also is the one that notifies the defendant that they are filing a claim, they gather insurance information to make sure the owner or controller has proper insurance, and if they do not then they have to find another avenue of how to collect these damages for the injured party. If you have sustained an injury while on government property, your next step should be to call a Tampa government premises liability lawyer who can do all of this and, can advocate for you.