Injured In A City Park? Here's What You Need To Know
A day at the park is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but that can quickly change if an injury occurs. This can lead to ongoing pain and suffering along with high medical bills. In some cases, the city or municipality that owns the park may be responsible for you injury and losses. The following guide can help you determine whether to pursue a claim.
Was the injury due to negligence?
For any injury claim, it all begins with negligence. A broken swing that the city failed to inspect or repair in a timely manner may be considered negligence, but a falling tree limb that may have been weakened in the previous night's storm may not. The reason for this is because it is reasonable to assume that the city was aware or should have been aware of the swing. On the other hand, the tree damage was new enough that it isn't reasonable to assume that the city was aware.
Were there extensive damages?
Your injuries have to be more than a bruised ego or small scrape. Injuries that heal quickly without problems and that don't require medical care aren't considered damages, so you will have no suit even if the city is to blame. You must demonstrate real damages. This means keeping a record of your injuries, all medical treatments, and any lost work.
Did you collect proof?
Proof is necessary if you ever plan to hold the city responsible. Begin by documenting the issue in the park that lead to the damages. Photographic or video evidence is preferable, although you should also make a written account. Do this before you file any type of suit and as soon after the accident as possible so that you can capture the evidence before the city has a chance to correct it.
Do you know the laws on suing your city?
You may not be able to sue the city outright, depending on both state and local laws. Many cities require that you first file a claim for your damages, and you are usually under a time limit. For example, in Milwaukee, you must file your claim with the clerk within 120 days of the accident. Only if the claim is denied may you be able to file against the city. In most cases you will be filing a tort, as opposed to a lawsuit. This means that you can seek financial redress from the city, but that you can't file any criminal charges or hold a specific person responsible. This can vary by state, so it is best to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as you decide to file a claim.
For more information, contact a personal injury attorney in your area.