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Premises Liability Lawyers in St. Pete and Pinellas Park

Injury on public property

Injuries can occur anywhere that safe conditions are not maintained. This occurs not only at businesses, private residences, but also on public property. Hazards or unsafe conditions on public property lead to complicated claims. The government agencies and employees in general have immunity defenses that must be overcome and there is a specific process in Florida for seeking damages.

A public property injury may occur on sidewalks, paths, parking lots, government buildings (including county or city buildings), public schools, libraries, playgrounds and parks, streets, and more.

Dangerous conditions on public property commonly include:

  • Cracked and uneven sidewalks or steps
  • Missing handrails, or broken handrails
  • Slippery surfaces near public pools
  • Poorly lit parking lots and pedestrian areas
  • Curbs without adequate warning
  • Grates or covers in a footpath

What is government immunity and how does it affect my case?

Generally, under the doctrine of “sovereign immunity” the government and its agents cannot be liable to the public for civil damages. However, exceptions are also written into the law so that in some cases, injured persons can recover their damages. These exceptions provide the special process for recovering damages.

First, your attorney will collect evidence and conduct research on your case to ensure this is the proper claim. Sometimes what appears to be public property may actually be privately owned, or the government’s role may be so minimal that negligence is unlikely to be found on their behalf. Once it is determine that the government is the party liable, or one of the liable parties, there are additional steps. Before proceeding with a lawsuit against the government for your injuries on public property, a notice must be provided to the agency. There are required notice periods as well as caps on damages. At this phase, a satisfactory settlement may be obtained. If not, once these requirements are fulfilled can a lawsuit be filed.

Call us to discuss your case

Premises liability on public property can be a complex area of law and this is not the type of claim most consumers can handle alone. The attorneys of Oldham & Delcamp have experience dealing with the type of research, procedural requirements, negotiations, and trial preparation which are necessary to ensure you receive adequate compensation.