You may be aware of the concept of premises liability, which states that when you get hurt on someone else’s property, they are liable for any injuries you suffered. That is, the homeowner or business owner or tenant must pay for your injuries unless the accident was your fault.
What about when you get hurt on public property owned by the city, however? Can you file a lawsuit against the local municipality to get your injuries covered? The answer is that you can, but it may not be as easy as you think. Explore the complications of suing a city when you get injured on public property, and how a Nashville personal injury lawyer’s advice can help.
Why Filing against the City is Difficult
Filing a suit against any government entity is more difficult than filing one against a private entity. There are multiple reasons for this. The most basic one is that many cities have immunity against certain types of lawsuits, so depending on what kind of injury you have, you may not be able to file a suit.
At one point in time, in Tennessee, cities were protected from injuries proximately caused by negligence, but later amendments to the code removed this general protection. However, certain specific conditions may still be protected by a concept of sovereign immunity. There may also be a cap on the amount of damages you can recover, which can limit the upper amount of your lawsuit.
If you are injured on public property — a sidewalk in a park, for example, or in front of a municipal building — you’ll need to prove negligence on the part of the city in order to file a lawsuit. The first step in this is demonstrating that the city had a duty of care to provide a safe place for you to walk.
This cannot be assumed. Did the city bear responsibility for maintaining the sidewalk on whose crumbled pavement you tripped? Sometimes a municipal agency will contract with a third-party for these things.
Assuming that the city did bear responsibility, you’ll also need to prove that they failed to uphold their duty. Have they had adequate time to address the situation? Were there warning signs posted regarding the dangers? All of these questions could come into play.
Finally, you’ll need to prove that the city’s negligence was the direct cause of your injury, or at least directly related to you getting injured. If you can establish these three elements, you may have a case.
Call a Nashville Personal Injury Attorney
If you think you may have a case for an injury suit against the local municipality, your first step should be to call on the services of an experienced Nashville personal injury attorney. A lawyer can inform you about immunities and damage caps and can help you determine the best way to proceed. They provide you the best possible chance at getting compensated for the injuries you’ve sustained.
If you’re in Nashville and find yourself in this situation, call the attorneys at Mitch Grissim & Associates for help today or complete our online contact form.