Personal Injury Liability: Public Parks

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Can Local Governments Be Held Liable for Injuries That Occur in Public Parks?

The majority of states consider public parks to be part of the local government's job of promoting the health and welfare of the general public. As a result, these states consider public parks to be a government activity, which prevents liability for any injuries that occur on the premises.

Federal, state, and local government entities protect themselves from personal injury claims through sovereign immunity. Under this immunity, the government cannot be held liable for injuries on public property. However, some states have created laws that allow people to bring a claim against the state or city for personal injuries that occur on public property such as a park.

Can State Laws Affect a Local Government's Liability for Injuries in Public Parks?

Many states have specific laws in place that make local governments liable for injuries in public parks due to negligence. This is even true for some states that consider public parks to be a government activity. Federal, state, and local government have a duty to make the government safe for visitors. When the government agency fails to keep the property they control in a safe condition, the government must pay for a person's injuries.

What Areas of a Public Park Does a Local Government's Liability for Injury Extend To?

A local government can be liable for anything within the park grounds. Various cases have found liability for injuries occurring on playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball fields, skateboard parks, and even public pools. Common injuries that occur in public parks controlled by a government agency includes:

What Is Government Negligence in Public Park Accidents?

The courts have said that a government agency has to exercise the same level of care to protect public parks and property from dangerous conditions as any private party would. When government fails to provide safe parks and maintain a safe property, they will be liable for any injuries that are suffered by those legally on the premises.

How Can I Prove Government Negligence in a Public Park?

If you were injured in a public park or property that is maintained and controlled by a government agency, you must show:

How Can I Prove My Personal Injury Claim against the Government?

The proof that is required to win your claim is similar to any other personal injury claim that is brought against a private entity. The more evidence you have gathered to prove the government was negligent, the more probable your chances of success are. Some strong evidence you can provide in your claim are:

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

If you suffered injury while using facilities in a public park, you should contact a personal injury attorney to learn about any possible legal options you may have. Because public park liability laws differ from state to state, a lawyer is essential in determine what laws apply to your case. In addition, an attorney may be able to refer to cases similar to yours, and gauge the possible success of your claim.

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Last Modified: 03-11-2015 04:43 PM PDT

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