Premises Liability and Public Parks: Determining Liability

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on January 09, 2019

Lounging in a public parkPremises liability laws apply to homes and businesses, as well as public parks. These laws are in place so that property owners adhere to a legal duty of care. That is, the owner must ensure that the premises stay reasonably safe.

At Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton, we handle premises liability cases of all kinds. If you suffer an injury in a public park, find out if you have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit by scheduling a case review at our Provo, UT office.

An Overview of Premises Liability Law

In short, premises liability law is designed to keep people safe. These laws are implemented to ensure that property owners, whether it is a homeowner, private property owner, or government entity, take reasonable precautions to keep visitors safe.

If a property owner is or should be aware of a hazard, the hazard should be eliminated. Or, at the very least, adequate warnings should be provided so that the hazard can be avoided.

Though it is true that you can slip, trip, or fall just about anywhere, parks are no exception. While parks are designed to be a place to relax, enjoy time with friends, or stay active, they can also have dangerous areas.

While the injuries that occur in parks generally do not result in as many fatalities and life-altering injuries as car accidents, they can still lead to serious injuries, hefty medical costs, and lengthy recovery periods.

Types of Injuries that Occur in Public Parks

Slip and fall accidents are the most common types of injuries in public parks. These may occur for a number of reasons:

  • Poorly installed or maintained children’s playsets
  • Cracked or uneven sidewalks
  • Slippery surfaces due to improper removal of snow or ice
  • Poorly maintained grounds
  • Obstructed walkways
  • Lack of warning signs

In addition, poor lighting or inadequate security can result in an increase in crimes at public parks, leading to injuries caused by theft or assault.

Determining Liability in Park Accidents

The safety of public park visitors is the responsibility of federal, state, and local government officials. When a government agency fails to uphold its responsibility to keep parkgoers safe, it may be considered negligent.

If injuries occur, the victim may receive damages that include medical expenses, lost earnings, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering.

Recovering Damages in a Public Park Injury Premises Liability Case

To recover damages after suffering an injury in a public park, the victim will need to file a claim. However, these can be complicated for a variety of reasons including:

  • Immunity: Unless certain procedures are followed, government entities may be entitled to immunity from lawsuits.
  • Notice: Notice of the claim must be provided before suing in order to bypass that immunity.

It must be demonstrated that the injury you suffered resulted from negligence, meaning that the person or entity in charge of the park knew or should have known about a hazard and did nothing to protect you from it.

If you suffer an injury in a public park, contact an experienced premises liability attorney to walk you through your options.

Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer

The premises liability attorneys at Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton handle all types of premises liability cases. Contact us online or call (801) 370-0505 today to schedule a case review.

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