What If You Got Hurt on Government Property in Texas?
In Texas, the lawsuit game changes when you’re injured on government owned property. Find out how to get fair compensation.
You’re walking down the street to nearby city hall. As you go, you cross over from private property to government-owned property. Even though you’ve only moved a few feet, your slip, trip, or fall accident occurred while on their real estate, not on private property.
Now the rules change a lot. Texas has written itself special rules to reduce liability in such cases. You could make the argument this reduces the burden on taxpayers. But it also means you will have a much harder time recovering fair compensation.
About Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents on Government Property
Here’s What’s Different
There is Much Less Time to File Your Claim
Called the “statute of limitations,” you have two years to file your claim when injured on private property. However, when you suffer an injury on government-owned property, this falls to 6 months maximum.
And, local jurisdictions can also set even lower limits, including 45 and 90 days. It’s important to report your injury immediately and seek legal help quickly so your claim remains valid.
This is How Your Compensation Gets Reduced
When you slip and fall on private property in Texas, insurance policy limits become subjective and are much higher. In general, you can recover full compensation for economic damages (income loss, medical bills, lost capacity to earn, damage to your property) with no limit.
On private property, you can also recover damages for non-economic harm (emotional pain and suffering, lost companionship, and others), although that is rare and harder to prove.
The same goes for punitive damages, which are also rare because they aim to punish the institution or individual for their grossly negligent behavior that causes severe injury.
Here’s What You Can Recover for Injury Claims Against a Unit of Local Government
- $100,000 per person
- $300,000 per occurrence
- $100,000 for property damage
A “unit of local government” is a county.
Here’s What You Can Recover for Injury Claims Against a Municipality
- $250,000 per person
- $500,000 per occurrence
- $100,000 for property damage
Sovereign Immunity Protects the Government
In England, prior to the formation of America, you could not sue the king or government for any reason. Ever. That’s where “sovereign immunity” comes from. And that’s what feeds this greater difficulty in suing government bodies in Texas.
However, they don’t have total protection like old England. A government entity does not have sovereign immunity when performing functions that benefit only its citizens.
But it does have sovereign immunity when performing functions that benefit both citizens and non-citizens. So, slipping and falling on government property makes your situation more complex, but not impossible.
The bottom line, remember to report your accident to the entity ASAP, and get in touch with a qualified attorney to make sure you protect your rights.
Consultations Are Free. Talk To A Lawyer Today.
No Dallas lawyer practicing Personal injury can give you a guaranteed estimate of what you may be able to settle your slip and fall case for with the government. There are too many external factors which are not in their control. This includes the attitudes of the other parties involved.
However, a good accident attorney knows how to navigate the messy Texas legal system in order to get you the most financial compensation possible for your injuries. Consultations are free, so you would be wise to speak to one now so you can get educated on your rights and options before the window of opportunity closes.