Injured on Government Property: What to Do Next

Listen to this article

Slips and falls are common accidents on someone else’s property when property owners or managers negligently fail to remove potential hazards. But filing a personal injury claim against the government after a slip and fall incident on government property can be complicated.

You must prove the government’s negligence in the upkeep and the maintenance of a public property. What’s more, the government isn’t always responsible for the losses and injuries sustained on its property.

Yet, here are some of the steps you can take when you are injured in a government-owned venue.

Follow the Correct Filing Procedures

The law requires a person injured on public property to file an injury claim within two years of the incident. Any lawsuit against a government agency must include all the necessary evidence to prove the government’s negligence.

Pinpoint the At-Fault Government Agency

A government agency is assumed to be at fault when someone gets injured or dies on public property due to its staff’s negligence. However, the government agency or department held liable depends on where the incident took place. For example, claims filed by people injured in a public park will be handled by either the federal, state, or local government, whichever is the government agency responsible for overseeing the park.

Counties and city councils are often responsible for injuries sustained on sidewalks. Simultaneously, accidents and financial losses due to road hazards will be handled by the federal, state, county, city, or the government agency that oversees the building or park where the accident took place.

Prove the Accident Occurred on a Government-Owned Property

You are entitled to file a personal injury claim against the government and get compensation after slipping or falling on a property owned and maintained by a government agency.

However, the accident must have occurred in a park or building where a government entity is responsible for its upkeep. Complainants must prove that the injuries occurred while on public property and that their own negligence hasn’t caused the accident.

Gather Evidence Against the Government

No injury claim against the government can be settled in your favor unless you can provide proof of its negligence. The complainant must prove that they or their loved ones were injured because of the government’s negligence. The evidence must show that a government entity or agency failed to keep a public venue free of slip-and-fall hazards.

The evidence may include eyewitness testimony or video surveillance showing how the park maintenance staff failed to set warning signs around hazardous spots. You can also use photographs of a collapsing footpath or cracked sidewalk as evidence. Either way, the evidence should clearly illustrate how a government agency’s negligence caused the accident.

Understand the Process of Suing the Government

Filing a property liability claim isn’t easy. The claim can get even more complicated when a government agency or government entity is involved, given that sovereign immunity protects all government entities against lawsuits.

But each government agency or political subdivision is liable for any injuries or loss on or within the properties under their watch. Government agencies are also responsible for injuries that occur due to their employees’ negligence.

For example, the city council will be liable for an injury due to physical hazards on a property it manages. So, the city council could be held responsible for any slip and fall on that property.


The first step after being injured on public property should be contacting a personal injury attorney in your area to see whether you have the grounds to sue the government. Due to their sovereign immunity, government agencies cannot be sued unless there is a law saying that you could sue. Usually, the government is responsible for any negligent act on property it owns or manages, and slip-and-fall accidents are no exception.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.