Not all slip and fall accidents occur at someone’s home, business, or other commercial property. If you were hurt in a fall at a school, local governmental office, federal government building, or other government property in Norfolk, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, your claim for compensation can be more complex, and you will need to follow special rules when pursuing your legal rights.
Can the Government Be Held Responsible for Your Injuries in a Slip and Fall Accident on Governmental Property?
In Virginia, a governmental entity may be held responsible for compensating the victim of a slip and fall accident on their property. Like a private property owner or business, it is not enough to simply prove that you fell in order to be entitled to compensation. You must prove that the governmental entity or its employee was negligent and that this was the cause of your injuries.
Special Notice Rules Must Be Followed When Filing a Claim Against the Government
If you fell on federal, state, or local government property, you will have to comply with strict rules on notifying the government of your claim in order to have the right to file a lawsuit against them. Each entity may have their own notice requirements that must be complied with.
In Virginia, you must file a claim in writing with the state Department of Risk Management within one year of the date of your accident if your claim is against the Commonwealth. If your fall occurred on local government property, you would need to file this notice with the city, county clerk, or other appropriate governmental department. The deadline to file your claim with them may be shorter than one year.
Information That Should Be Included in a Notice of Claim
You will need to comply with the specific requirements of the governmental agency that you are filing a claim with as to the information that you must provide in your written notice. However, generally you should include these details:
- Date of your accident
- Your name and address
- Summary of how your accident occurred
- Description of the injuries that you suffered
- A statement that includes your belief that the government was negligent
- Your claim as to how the government was negligent and how this caused your injuries
- Details concerning the medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses that you suffered to date
Given the added complexities of filing a claim for compensation against a federal, state, or local government, it is essential to retain an experienced slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible after your fall. To learn how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office today to schedule your free consultation.