Visitor Question

Fall in a crosswalk due to tripping on a Parks & Recreation stand…

Submitted By: Odell (Concord, CA)

During a local parks and recreation event, there were several barricades, cones and a city “parks and recreation” banner (on a 4 legged stand) in the crosswalk obstructing the pedestrians’ path.

I tripped and fell because of the banner’s stand, which was virtually invisible due to the fact it was very narrow and chrome plated (which reflects everything around it), and 2 of the 4 legs were sticking out even more in the pathway of pedestrians (the other 2 legs were underneath the barricade).

My question is, is the City (i.e. parks and recreation department) liable for my injuries? How do I go about getting compensation? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Odell,

Traditionally, states and other governmental entities are immune from civil lawsuits under the legal theory of Sovereign Immunity.

However, over the years many states have gradually eroded this immunity and have since enacted legislation permitting persons injured as a result of the negligence of government entities (or their employees) to receive compensation for their injuries. California is one of those states.

According to the California General Code Statute, Section 815.6:

“… the public entity is liable for an injury of that kind proximately caused by its failure to discharge the duty unless the public entity establishes that it exercised reasonable diligence to discharge the duty.”

While the city may take the position they are not liable because they “exercised reasonable diligence to discharge (their) duty” you still have every right to file an injury tort claim.

To file an injury claim against the state of California go to this page on CA.gov

To file an injury tort claim against the city in which you were injured will require you to contact the city and ask their procedure for filing an injury tort claim. Don’t wait to do this. Some municipalities have a time limit of as little as 30 days after the injury to file a claim.

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

Best of luck,

Published: August 15, 2016

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