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Injured on Public Property? Can You Sue the Government?

March 13, 2020


When you get injured on private property, getting compensation is usually straight-forward. After all, all private property owners and businesses have a duty to provide for the care of individuals who are invited onto their land.

What happens if you get injured on public property, though? Is it the government’s responsibility to keep public property safe? Can a government entity be held liable through a personal injury claim in the same way that business could? Get the answers to these valid questions below.

What Types of Injuries can Happen on Public Property?

Public property describes any type of public park, local roadway, public museum, sidewalk or other location that the government controls. There are a lot of ways that you could get injured on public property, but here are a few of the most common types of accident that occur on public land:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Car collisions caused by government workers
  • Injuries that occur on public transportation
  • Drowning in a public pool
  • Faulty playground equipment
  • Faulty or defective handrails

Depending on your situation, your accident and injury could lead to significant losses. You could incur medical bills, lose time from work or suffer emotional distress. If the injury occurred on public property, then the government might be held liable. The government is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that public land is safe for anyone who visits it.

How Are Claims Against the Government Different Than Private Claims?

While the government has a duty to provide for your care, they also have some form of immunity due to their status as a government. When you seek out a personal injury claim against a private person or entity, you are typically eligible to seek compensation for pain and suffering or other forms of emotional distress.

Government entities, though, put strict limits on these types of compensation. In many situations, the government entity may only pay you compensatory (financial) damages and refuse to pay you anything for your emotional losses. They also will not be held liable for any form of punitive damages, which usually arise when the negligent party was particularly careless or reckless.

On top of that, the monetary compensation you seek will have a set limit. You won’t be able to seek out more compensation than the law allows. You will have a very small window of time to pursue your claim. When you’ve been hurt on public property, you often only have about 30 days to notify the government entity. Otherwise, you’ll lose your right to seek out a claim.

Contact a Morristown Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Government Property Injury Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries on public property in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive New Jersey personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Hoyt & Hoyt, PC, represent clients injured on government property in New Brunswick, Edison, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 718-7744 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 67 East Park Place, 5th Floor, Morristown, NJ 07960 and we also have offices in New Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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