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What Happens If You Slip and Fall on Government Property?
If you slip and fall at someone’s home or business, you may be eligible for financial compensation. In cases where someone’s negligence caused the accident, you have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the liable party.
When you slip and fall on government property, however, your case becomes more complex. Claims against the government follow different rules and procedures than claims against private citizens in Washington civil court. In these situations, it is important to work with an attorney who can represent your case.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can occur due to a number of hazards. Uneven surfaces poorly maintained walkways, and loose clutter can pose a serious risk to visitors, residents, and passersby.
Other causes of slip and fall accidents include the following:
- Unfastened cords and wires
- Wet and slippery floors
- Spilled liquids and other substances
- Cracked concrete and pavement
- Inadequate lighting
- Damaged handrails or banisters
Filing a Slip and Fall Claim Against the Government
If you slip and fall on government property, you could file a lawsuit against a government agency. Through your claim, you could recover compensatory damages for medical care, lost wages, and other losses.
To secure compensation in your case, you will need to prove that the entity or an employee was negligent and that the negligence was responsible for your accident. You must also prove that an unsafe condition caused your slip and fall and that the entity failed to fix the problem.
For example, say that you are visiting the Washington State Department of Licensing when you slip and fall on cracked concrete. The agency was aware of the issue but failed to fix it or warn visitors. If the agency had fixed the issue, your accident would not have occurred.
Important Rules and Requirements for Government Claims
Claims involving government agencies have different requirements than personal injury lawsuits against private property owners. Before you can pursue a claim against a federal, state, or municipal government agency, you must first file a notice of injury.
The information that you supply in your notice may vary depending on whether you are filing a federal or state claim. However, you will typically need to provide the following information.
- Your name
- Your address
- The date of your injury
- A summary of how the slip and fall accident happened
- How the government’s negligence caused your injuries
- A description of your injuries
If you are filing a claim against a Washington state agency, you must file your notice within three years from the date of your slip and fall accident. Then, the state will review your claim and you will have 60 days from the date that you file your claim form to file a lawsuit.
In cases involving local government agencies, you will need to check the rules and requirements for the municipality. Many of these entities follow similar procedures to state agencies.
Speak to a Washington Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Filing any type of claim against the government can be a challenge. Many victims experience undue scrutiny and struggle to recover compensation. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident on government property, you need a lawyer who can represent your best interests.
A Washington slip and fall accident lawyer can fight for your right to compensation and guide you through each stage of the claims process. Contact an attorney as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your next steps.