When heading out for a relaxing day at the park, sustaining a serious injury is the last thing you expect to happen. Unfortunately, there are a number of ways for a public park accident to occur, especially if the property isn’t cared for or faulty equipment is in use. In fact, each year over 200,000 children under the age of 14 are treated for playground-related injuries.
In the state of Florida, you have a right to seek compensation if you’re injured as a result of negligence on someone’s property. However, what if you’re on public property owned by the city or the state government? In this case, the rules are a little different.
Common Injuries Sustained in Public Parks
Both state and local governments have the responsibly of making public parks safe for citizens. This involves maintaining playgrounds, pools, and trails. They must also take measures to ensure visitors are safe from crime by providing adequate lighting and establishing park rules and regulations. However, when a government fails to take these measures, injuries can result. Common accidents include:
- Slip and falls on trails or walkways
- Injuries sustained on playground equipment
- Injuries sustained from fallen branches
- Pool-related injuries
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries due to a public park accident, you’ll need to hire a personal injury attorney to seek compensation from the government agency that oversees the park.
Suing a Government Entity for Negligence
In many states, the government has immunity from being sued unless a certain procedure is followed. However, in Florida statute 768.28, the state waives its right to immunity. This means you can seek compensation from the agency that governs the park. If you choose to do this, you must notify the agency along with the Florida Department of Financial Services of the claim. This must be provided in writing and presented no more than three years after the accident. After notification, a 180-day investigation period will begin. The lawsuit cannot be filed until the end of this period. This is a complex process involving a number of forms, all which must be filled out correctly. That’s why hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial.
Proving a Personal Injury Claim
The more evidence you have pertaining to your accident and injuries, the better. Your attorney will need to prove a certain level of negligence took place on the part of the agency that oversees the park. Evidence that will help your case include:
- Statements from witnesses of the accident
- Photos of the unsafe conditions in the park
- A police report
- An incident report created by a park employee
- Medical records pertaining to your injury
- A property record proving the agency oversees the park
Similar to a premises liability case involving private property, an attorney can either negotiate a settlement on your behalf or take the case to trial. They’ll be able to guide you in the right direction, so you get proper compensation for your injuries.
Contact a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a public park accident, you need an experienced attorney who understands what it takes to bring a case against a government agency. You also need someone with intimate knowledge of premises liability issues. At Fetterman & Associates, PA, we can help you navigate the legal process and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (561) 983-4584 to set up a consultation.