Filing a Claim for a Public Place Injury

Train on elevated tracks within buildings at the Loop, Glass and Steel bridge between buildings - Chicago City Center - Chicago, Illinois, USA  W

When injuries occur in a public place due to negligence, the injured party has rights. Premises liability applies to businesses, private property, and to public spaces maintained by government entities. Let's take a look at what you can do if you are injured due to negligence in a publicly-maintained area.

What should I do if I'm injured in public?

Seeking medical attention is your first priority, of course. But it's also crucial to gather as much information about the situation as possible, though this might not be possible until after you've received medical care. Documenting the surroundings can be helpful if you make a claim. If you are with others, they can do this important job for you and serve as witnesses if needed later.

You may need to contact authorities and/or whoever is tasked with managing the area in question in order to file a report. This is an important step toward documentation.

Next, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Not only will they be able to give you instructions about the next steps, but you’ll also have a limited amount of time to take legal action due to statutes of limitations, which vary from state to state.

What kinds of injuries occur in public spaces?

Any kind of injury that stems from negligence can be considered for premises liability cases. However, some types of injuries are more common than others. These include slip and fall injuries, traffic accident injuries due to public transportation or malfunctioning lights or other equipment, and injuries due to ill-maintained structures or landscaping.

Of course, every case is different, and injuries can be sustained for a number of reasons. The limits to compensation will vary as well, but almost everything depends on showing negligence in order to pursue claims.

What types of compensation can victims receive?

Typically, compensation from injuries on public spaces can include:

  • Medical expenses, including ongoing therapy as needed
  • Any other out of pocket medical expenses
  • Lost wages or loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering

Your attorney will talk with you about the different types of compensation that are possible.

What should I know about hiring an attorney for a public place injury?

Because these types of claims are so complex, and because they are quite different from a typical insurance claim, hiring an experienced attorney is a must. Your attorney will help you navigate the ins and outs of pursuing damages resulting from your injury, and they'll be able to tell you your rights and offer support along the way.

Many of these types of cases have tricky components, such as transitory elements like ice or standing water, or filing deadlines to adhere to. It can be difficult to go up against government entities alone, so having a lawyer to help will make a huge difference in your experience.

If you have more questions about injuries in public places, or you'd like to learn more about a free case evaluation, please call Cooney and Conway today.