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Can you be compensated for injuries on government property?

When you suffer an injury on a government premises, how can you move forward with a claim? It's a common situation to come across, and there are a few things you can choose to do.

First, you have to identify that the location is indeed government property. For example, if you're walking along the street on the sidewalk and fall because of you tripped on an uneven piece of concrete, you could pursue compensation for your injuries. Determining the persons or entities to name as defendant(s) is usually left up to an attorney. Some areas may be under the jurisdiction the federal government, too, so finding out who is the direct owner of the premises is key to the case.

Can you sue the government? Isn't that illegal?

Typically, government agencies have sovereign immunity. This means that the government is protected and unable to be sued. This immunity has been reduced over the last several years, though, so there's a chance that with a solid case, you can sue for your injuries. If you sue under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which was enacted in 1946, you may be able to recover damages for a personal injury, property damage or wrongful death.

Does the government have to meet a high standard of care, like any other business would?

If you want to try to bring a lawsuit against the state or municipality, remember that the agencies may not have to meet a high standard of care, which makes them less likely to be liable for injuries you've suffered. A premises liability attorney would know which party is most likely to be liable and which laws best apply to your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability Claims Against the Government," accessed Oct. 04, 2016

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