Who is Responsible for a Slip or Fall on Government Property

Slips can happen anytime anywhere to anyone and when they involve a fall, serious injuries can occur. From twists and sprains, broken bones, pulled muscles, bruises, and more serious injuries like head trauma, these injuries can cause a lot of pain and suffering and can cause problems for years after the initial fall. Falls often happen at home, visiting other friends and families, or while at work.  However, when a slip and fall incident occurs on city property or on some other government property what can you do to get the compensation you deserve? “In order to hold a city or town liable for your injuries if you slip (or trip) and fall on a public street or sidewalk, as in almost any personal injury case, there must be negligence. Municipalities in most states are liable for their negligence in maintaining public streets and sidewalks, but there are two important limitations on an injured person’s right to sue a city, county, or other municipality” (AllLaw).


Slip and Fall Statistics

According to studies conducted by National Floor Safety Institute:

  • Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, 12% of total falls.
  • Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.
  • Slips and falls do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, but represent the primary cause of lost days from work.
  • Of all fractures from falls, hip fractures are the most serious and lead to the greatest health problems and number of deaths. The following statistics describe the slip-and-fall crisis affecting our nation’s elderly.
  • Each year in the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Half of which are repeats.
  • According to the CDC In 2005, more than 15,000 people over the age of 65 died as a result of a fall. Up from 7,700 a decade earlier.
  • The CDC also reports that approximately 1.8 million people over the age of 65 were treated in an emergency room as a result of a fall.
  • Occupational fatalities due to falls are approximately 600 per year down from 1200 during since the 1970s.
  • Total injuries due to falls estimated at $13-14 million per year in U.S. Falls are the number one cause of accidental injury, resulting in 20.8 percent of all emergency room visits in 1995. (Motor vehicle accidents accounted for 11.9 percent of ER visits.)
  • Disabling (temporary and permanent) occupational injuries due to falls are approximately $250,000-$300,000 per year.


Legal Responsibility in a Slip and Fall Case

To be legally responsible for the injuries sustained as a result of slipping or tripping and falling on someone else’s property, there are certain things that have to be shown and demonstrated. The owner/possessor of a store, restaurant, or other business has to be shown to have done one of the following:

  • Been the one that caused the condition that lead to the dangerous surface or situation that was the reason for the fall;
  • Must have known about the threat and the dangerous situation but despite that knowledge did nothing about it; and/or
  • Should have known there was a need to do something bout the dangerous situation and neglected their responsibility.


Government Property

In a situation where someone slips and falls and ends up being injured on property that is owned by a local, state, or federal government entity, there are some special rules will apply. Local codes and regulations will come into play during the course of the trial and will affect the final ruling on who ultimately is to be held responsible for the injury. “The federal government and almost all states have strict rules that must be followed if you wish to file a claim or lawsuit against the government. The first rule is generally a notice requirement. So, before you can sue the federal government, the state, or a municipality, you must generally file a formal notice of injury with the proper governmental entity. The federal government and each state (may) have different notice requirements” (Nolo). If you have experienced an injury due to a slip or fall while on government property you need a skilled and experienced attorney who has experience with this specialized type of personal injury case.


Contact Us Today For a Consultation

Having a skilled and experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference in the world for your case so make sure you are prepared and are working with the best of the best! If you have dealt with any of these common situations in your home, workplace or any other situation and it has resulted in an injury, give us a call. We would be glad to review your case with you and help you determine if a personal injury case is the right option for you! Contact us today to get started and to fight for your rights and your compensation!