Can you sue a city for a fall on a right of way?

by Donnie
(Dillon, SC)

I had a nasty fall last week when a rotted root from a tree that was cut down 8 years ago caused the path to collapse. They used a stump grinder to grind what I thought was all of the roots out of the ground - they were not visible at all.

Then last week while I was picking up trash on the city right-of-way I walked across the spot and it caved in on me. I'm wondering if I can sue the city for the fall on the right-of-way? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Can you sue a city for a fall on a right of way?":

Donnie (Dillon SC):

You may have a legitimate case against the City of Dillon. Filing a claim against the City or the State of South Carolina is different than filing a regular personal injury claim.

With a personal injury claim an injured party can usually directly contact the at fault party's insurance company in an effort to initiate a claim for reimbursement and compensation for injuries, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

It's different with a governmental entity. For the City of Dillon and the State of South Carolina you will have to file what is called a "Tort Claim". To do that you should refer to

From there you will be able to search and gain entry to the 2011 South Carolina Code - Title 15 - Civil Remedies and Procedures Act. From there go to Chapter 78 - the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.

You will file a claim through the Tort Claims process. Once you do you will be on your way toward receiving personal injury compensation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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