Slip or Trip and Fall in a Public Park

Lever & Ecker, PLLC July 15, 2015 Slip Trip & Fall

A beautiful day in the park can suddenly turn tragic in the event of a slip and fall.  There are many things in a public park that if left unmaintained can turn into a hazard and cause serious injury to people enjoying their day in the park.  This article will cover potential slip and fall hazards in a public park, what to do after a slip and fall accident, and information about who may be responsible.

Potential Slip and Fall Hazards in a Public Park

There can be many slip and fall hazards present in a public park, some that you might not even notice.  Here is a short list of examples of things that could be hazardous in a public park:

Tree Roots

What park would be complete without a bunch of tall, leafy trees to provide shade?  Unfortunately, if a tree is not properly maintained, its roots can become a serious tripping hazard.  As the tree gets older, their roots can begin to grow above ground and stretch far awayfrom the trunk of the tree.  This can create a tripping hazard and it is important to stay vigilant for tree roots even if you are not very close to the visible tree trunk.

Insufficient Outdoor Lighting
Poor outdoor lighting can be the cause for a slip or trip and fall accident because it keeps people from being able to see any potential hazards in their way.  Without proper lighting, especially around parking lots and sidewalks, it becomes difficult for people to see curbs, cracks or holes in the sidewalk, or tree roots that may be in their way.  Inadequate lighting is dangerous for everybody but is especially dangerous for people who may have vision problems.

Sidewalks
Sidewalks in a public park see much wear and tear and can become dangerous if not well cared for.  Constant foot traffic of pedestrians, joggers, and bikers can cause cracks in the sidewalk, as can temperature changes that cause the cement to expand and shrink.  Unkempt tree roots can also crack the sidewalk and push the cement up to create a serious tripping hazard.


Playground Equipment

A public park with a playground in a busy neighborhood probably sees a lot of use, so it is expected that equipment will break every now and then.  Broken equipment that is not moved out of the way or replaced quickly creates a serious hazard for both adults and children.

 

Parking Lots
If the park has a parking lot attached to it, the property owner may be responsible for the parking lot too. Cracks in the asphalt, pot holes, and uneven pavement all make for dangerous parking lot conditions and can cause injuries if one trips and falls because of them.

What Do I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?

Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are all too common and are the most frequently reported type of premises liability accident.  If you slip and fall, keep the following steps in mind.

Regain Your Composure
The first thing to do after you slip and fall is to try to regain your composure.  Take detailed notes of your surroundings and exactly what caused your trip and fall.  If you have a camera on your cellphone, it will be helpful to take some pictures if you are capable.  If it is possible, file a report at the scene of the accident to document your fall and get information from any witnesses.  All of these things will be very useful in proving the cause of your injuries.

Seek Medical Attention
If you are seriously injured, seek medical attention right away.  If you are not seriously injured, it is still very important to see a doctor immediately because they will be able to detect any minor injuries and provide official documentation of the incident.  This documentation will be very important when you take your case to an experienced slip and fall lawyer.

Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney
A slip and fall attorney with experience will be able to guide you through the next steps and ensure that everything is taken care of correctly.

Pursuing Slip and Fall Lawsuits Against the Government

If the park was a public space, then it is most likely that the government is responsible for maintaining it.  If the government was responsible for maintaining the park and providing a safe environment for the community who uses it, then they are probably at fault and could be held responsible for your injuries.

Experienced Attorneys Are Crucial

Pursuing a slip and fall case against the government can be very difficult and should not be done so without the expertise of a professional slip and fall attorney.  Filing a lawsuit against the government will require a serious attention to detail and knowledge of procedure that only an experienced attorney will have.  Government agencies can be very slow in responding to paperwork, which will slow down the entire process and make settling the case or even just pursuing the lawsuit difficult.

There are also strict timelines that one must adhere to when filing a lawsuit against the government and missing any of these deadlines could mean that you will lose any chance at compensation.  Certain branches of the government can also claim immunity to lawsuits and the conditions for filing lawsuits and claiming immunity will differ drastically among the different branches.  An attorney with experience filing lawsuits against the government, such as Lever Ecker, will be able to navigate this process easily and guide you on the steps to seeking justice and compensation.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation or consultation.