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Legal options when you slip and fall in a public park

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Slip/Trip & Fall Accidents

Whether you enjoy a leisurely walk or picnicking with friends, a slip-and-fall accident can turn a pleasant outing into a distressing experience.

If you fall and get hurt while in a public park in New York, it is important to know your legal rights. Understanding your options under the law can help you get compensation for your injuries.

File a claim

In a public park, the city or municipality responsible for the park’s upkeep may be liable for your accident. If you can demonstrate negligence, you may be able to file a claim against the city. However, proving liability can be complex, as it requires showing that the government entity did not maintain the park properly or failed to address known hazards.

The state has strict deadlines for filing these types of claims.

  • Notice of claim:You have 90 days from the date of the accident to file this notice
  • Lawsuit:If the city denies your claim or offers a settlement lower than your damages, you have one year and 90 days from the date of your fall to file a lawsuit

If you miss these deadlines, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for damages.

Document the incident

Your first step is to record what happened. Take pictures of the area where you fell, including any hazards such as uneven pavement or slippery surfaces. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. Having this evidence is valuable if you decide to pursue a legal case.

See a doctor

Seek medical care, even if you think you are not hurt badly. Sometimes, damages like concussions or internal bruising may not be obvious right away. A doctor can check you out and document your injuries. These records can be helpful if you seek compensation to pay for your medical bills or other related expenses.

Report the accident

Notify the local city or town government about the incident as soon as possible. Appropriate authorities may include park rangers, maintenance staff, the Parks and Recreation Department or another local government entity.

Know the specific requirements for reporting accidents on government property. Provide detailed information, including the location, date, time and potential causes. Thorough information can help establish the circumstances surrounding your fall.

You must understand New York laws, court processes and deadlines to protect your rights and hold negligent parties accountable when you slip and fall in a public park.