Can You Sue The Government For An Injury?

man tripping over wires in warehouse

Tripping, falling, or slipping accidents are some of the most common personal injury claims filed in California. Oftentimes, private businesses or parties fail to maintain their spaces. When a private business fails to properly maintain their businesses and a private person slips or falls due to improper maintenance, that private business is held liable. But what happens if the slip occurs on public government owned property? Is the government liable?


The short answer is yes! In California, government entities can be sued for negligently causing a person to slip, trip, or fall on government property. HOWEVER, suing a government opposed to a private party is much more complicated.

Before filing a claim against the government…

The most important difference in suing a government party is that you must file a formal notice of injury with the government party within six months of the accident. A person may only proceed with their lawsuit against a government party after they receive adequate notice of the claim.


Typically “formal notice” to the government party includes:


  • Name and address
  • Date of injury
  • Description of injury
  • Description of how government negligence led to your injury
  • Description of medical bills and financial losses

Depending on the government party, the requirements of the formal notice may vary. Each government entity has their own process and designated departments to handle formal notices and complaints. Normally, the government entity has 45 days to respond to the complaint before you may file suit against them.

Recovering from a government entity…

Another key difference in suing a government entity involves the recovery process. Generally, anyone can recover compensatory damages in a lawsuit against the government.


Compensatory damages include:


  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

However, punitive damages may not be recovered when suing a government entity.


  • Punitive damages do not compensate a victim for their losses. Instead, they are made to punish wrongdoers and encourage them from behaving similarly in the future.
Contacting An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Lastly, it’s extremely important to contact an attorney to help you file your complaint and lawsuit. Government entities are not lenient with mistakes in paperwork or failing to meet deadlines. Our attorneys are here to help you recover compensation and make this process easier for you. Call us anytime to discuss your case. Remember, Justice Starts Here.

The materials on this web site have been prepared by Hariri Law Group for informational purposes only and are not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it be considered an offer to represent you. Internet users, subscribers and readers should not act upon the information on this website, or decide not to act based upon the information on this website, without first seeking appropriate professional counsel from an attorney licensed in the user’s jurisdiction. This website may contain links to third-party websites or other content for informational purposes only. Hariri Law Group cannot control these third-party links or the content found therein. Hariri Law Group is not responsible for the content of any third-party website, and the inclusion of any links to such third-party websites does not constitute or imply any recommendation, approval or endorsement of such third-party websites.

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