When you trip and fall on private property, the concept of premises liability attaches and allows you to seek compensation for damages from the property owner. However, when you’re on public property and the city holds responsibility, you might find it much more difficult to seek damages and compensation for your injury.
Cities have special rules that come into play and it’s important to take the right approach. Explore what it takes to file an injury suit against a city when you’re hurt on public property and why you need a Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer.
Suing a Government Entity
Whenever you get hurt in public and want to sue a government entity, you can run into major complications. In some specific situations, the entity you are trying to sue might have certain immunities or caps on the lawsuits you can file. These immunities and caps can even be difficult to find on city municipal websites and may be buried in local or even state law. This can make it exceedingly difficult to even understand if you have a case.
How to Preserve Your Right to File
The first thing you need to do, if you suffer an injury on public property, is file a notice of claim with the city. This notice is in writing and must contain very specific information about your case.
In Colorado Springs, for example, a notice of claim must contain any police case number applicable to your case, the date and time the incident occurred, the location of the accident, a description of what happened, the amount of damages you are seeking, along with any official estimates you may have, and your name, address, phone number, and any suggested remedies you want the city to take.
After filing your notice, the city will review the claim and inform you on a case-by-case basis whether they will pay out your claim or take your suggested steps. Often, they will simply refuse the case. If this happens, you’ll need to pursue legal action by filing further claims, and this is where things can get complicated. The city may claim immunity, they might try to shift responsibility to you, or they might deny that they had responsibility for maintaining the area where you fell.
To get compensated for your injury, you’ll need to support your claim with any evidence you can, including doctor’s reports about the harm you’ve suffered, copies of your bills, and even testimony from eyewitnesses who may have been at the scene.
Work with a Colorado Springs Personal Injury Attorney
Your best bet, in the end, is to sit down and discuss your case with a Colorado Springs personal injury attorney. The right lawyer can guide you through the process and help you take all the right steps to preserve and pursue your case. They can protect your rights as a victim and give you the best chance of getting a payout for the injuries you’ve suffered. If you need help with a claim against a city, call the attorneys at Heuser & Heuser for help today.