In 2012, a senator made headlines when he complained about a bill that was passed in the senate. His complaint wasn’t necessarily with the bill itself. His complaint was that the bill was 600 pages long, and they had only been given the 600-page document the day before the vote. How could they pass a bill that no one had time to read? A better question might be, what kind of bill could possibly be important enough to require 600 pages? The entire constitution of the United States is only six pages long!
Unfortunately, it seems that today, anytime the government gets involved, things get more complicated. This is even true in premises liability cases. If you slip and fall on someone’s property, the owner of the premises can often be held liable. But what if the owner of the property is the government? What if you slip and fall on city property? Can you bring a premises liability case against the government?
The answer is yes…but it gets more complicated. In a normal premises liability case, you must prove duty, breach, causation, and damages. In other words, you need to demonstrate that it was the property owner’s duty to provide reasonable care in keeping the premises safe, and that there was a breach in the reasonable care expected. You must also prove that the breach was the cause of the accident and that you suffered damages as a result.
With the government, there are some strict procedures and timelines that you must adhere to when bringing a premises liability case against them. Here are a few.