Slip and Fall Accident Common on Government Property

Slip and fall claims are always challenging. There are a few more hurdles in such claims against the government.

State, county and local governments have a vast array of real property and governmental buildings and offices.  These include everything from schools, colleges and universities, to clinics and hospitals, to playgrounds and public parks, to a vast array of governmental offices and agencies.

Among the most common slip and fall or premises liability claims are those against governmental entities. Personal injury claims against the government come with a number of unique requirements including some very short deadlines.

Due to these requirements, it is important to immediately seek the advice of a personal injury attorney experienced in both premises liability claims and claims against the government.

Slip and Fall Type Accidents on Government Property Give Rise to Standard Premises Liability Claims

Other than the deadlines involved, claims for injuries on government properties are are treated much the same as those on private private when it comes to premise liability claims.

When a member of the public is injured on governmental property, there is always the question of premises liability which would allow the injured person to seek recovery from the governmental entity for his or her injuries.   The laws of premises liability will in many situations hold owners and occupiers of property legally responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on the property.

Due to the large variety of governmental property, there are countless ways that the governmental entity might be responsible for accidents and injuries occurring on the property.  These range from standard slip and fall accidents arising as a result of a failure to keep walkways clean and free of obstacles.  No different than a private business, governmental facilities simply may fall into disrepair with defective walkways, poorly maintained equipment, dangerous condition of facilities and so on.

Comparative Negligence in Premises Liability Claims Against the Government

If negligence is found, the governmental entity may be held liable and subject to personal injury claims for any injuries resulting from negligence.  Keep in mind the premises liability doctrines require visitors including the public to also behave responsibly.  This means being alert to the surroundings and protecting oneself from obvious hazards.

For instance, if box is left in hallway and the hallway is obstructed, a visitor might be largely or least partially at fault if he or she falls attempting to step over the boxes rather than taking an alternative route.  On the other hand, the governmental entity might still face liability under New Mexico comparative negligence standards.  In other words, the government might be held liable in relation to its share of the fault.

New Mexico Tort Claims Act and Premises Liability Claims

The New Mexico Tort claims Act provides protections for both the public and the governmental entities.  The Act makes exceptions to “sovereign immunity historically enjoyed by governmental entities.  This means that the government can be sued for negligence resulting in personal injuries.  However, there a number of provisions put in place by the Act to protect the government as well.

Under the New Mexico Tort Claims act, a person seeking to sue the government must give notice within 90 days of the incident.
One of the most important provisions and the one that most frequently will bar a personal injury claim against a governmental entity is the Tort Claims Notice Requirement.  In short, an injured party has only 90 days to put the appropriate governmental entity on notice of possible personal injury claims.  For cases involving wrongful, death the Notice requirement is only 180 days.  There is also only a 2 year statute of limitations on suits against the government in contrast to the 3 years provided for cases against private entities.  Missing any of these deadlines will bar the claims completely.

Slip and Fall Injuries Against the Government have Strict Deadlines 

Because of these deadlines, if you or loved one has been injured on governmental property, it is important to immediately seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Missing a deadline, no matter how short and unfair they may seem, will bar your claim completely.