Visitor Question

Victim of Slip and Fall in Jail…

Submitted By: Doug (Bloomington, IL, USA)

I was a trustee, working in the kitchen of the county jail. There weren’t enough slip resistant boots in my size so I was told to work in my shoes. Water was sprayed on the floor to slide trays in stacks of 25 to the back to be washed.

I slipped on the water causing my legs to come out from under me. I landed on my back and slammed my left elbow and head on the tile floor, it knocked the breath out of me. I was made to stay in the kitchen, and the cook didn’t call for help for over 1 hour.

The all happened at approximately 5:30 and I was taken to the nurse at 7:40. There’s much more to this story involving nurses.

Please let me know if I “have a leg to stand on.” Can I sue a county jail for a slip and fall, along with the sub-contractor kitchen cook? 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.


Dear Doug,

There are methods available to sue governmental entities. Suing them is more difficult than suing a private a person or a business. The State of Illinois has something called a Tort Claims Act. That means a person can’t just file a lawsuit. You must first file what is called a “Notice of Claim” which is a way of telling the governmental agency – in your case the County Jail – of your intention to sue. There are more regulations related to the filing of such a suit but suffice to say the path to the courtroom is long and difficult.

You referred to your hard fall in the kitchen. It seems to have been pre-determined by the nurses you did not suffer sufficient injuries to merit a ride to the local hospital. That is completely and medically inappropriate. Any head injury should be examined by a qualified physician and not a nurse, especially a “jailhouse nurse”. From the facts you present, especially because your head hit the ground, you should have been taken to the hospital for an MRI or CAT Scan.

Jails are strange places where inmates are often treated less humanely than ordinary citizens. In your case especially as there always remains the possibility you may have suffered a brain injury which might not manifest symptoms until years later, you would be well-served to speak with a Personal Injury Attorney at your earliest convenience.

As you may know most Personal Injury Attorneys do not charge a fee for the initial office consultation.

We feel you really should pursue your case, whether to bring to the public’s attention the sub-standard medical treatment made available to inmates, or because you are concerned about future medical problems related to your fall. Either or both of those reasons are sufficient for you to take action now.

Learn more here: Jail and Prison Inmate Injury Claims

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Victim of Slip and Fall in Jail…

  1. Eugene says:

    I was arrested and placed in Fulton county jail. Because of over crowded conditions, I along with approximately 50 others were taken to closed down indoor recreation room, a part of the jail where they stored mattress. We were told to get a mattress and wait.

    While trying to sleep, water got under my bed and when my name was was called to get classified, I slipped in the water and landed on my head and back. When I regained consciousness, I was at Grady hospital going through a CT scan.

    I had a concussion injury to my shoulder and back. I stayed in the county jail for two weeks in pain before I was released. Now I have headaches and unbearable neck, back and shoulder pain. This happened on 4/12/2019…I was released on 4/27/2019

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