Woman Dies at Park When Palm Tree Falls on Her
According to reports from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a woman relaxing in a hammock under a palm tree at the Egmont Key Park died when the tree toppled to the ground and crashed on top of her. Her death does not appear to be suspicious according to officials.
With Florida’s beautiful climate there are plenty of attractions for people to enjoy. One of those things is a variety of nice parks, such as the Egmont Key Park where the accident occurred. However, when visiting a park, it is important that you pay attention to safety. In the event that you or your loved one does suffer a serious injury at the park, it is important that you contact a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.
Understanding Parks and Premises Liability
In Florida, all owners and managers of property have a legal responsibility to maintain their property in a safe condition. So, if you are injured due to the presence of unreasonably safe conditions, you may have a legal claim. However, liability for park injuries can sometimes be complex if the park is publicly owned. Here is what you need to know about the difference between public and private parks.
- Public Parks – Claims against public parks are much more challenging. Government entities, including city and county level entities, have sovereign immunity. This means that if you choose to file a lawsuit, it will have to be done under different conditions. You typically have much less time to take legal action, as few as 30 days after your injury, making it imperative to talk to a personal injury attorney
- Private Parks – If you are injured in a privately-owned park, you will be able to file a claim under traditional premises liability laws. If you can prove that the property owner or manager was negligent, and it contributed to your injury, you may have a claim. The legal standard to which they will be held liable will depend on your relationship with the park. For example, did you have to pay to enter? If so, they have a heightened duty to protect you.
As a general rule, local, state, and federal entities are protected by sovereign immunity. In the past, this meant that individuals wouldn’t be able to file a claim to collect damages from them. However, there are a few exceptions, and one of them may include a personal injury that takes place at a state park.
To obtain compensation for injuries, you must prove that the park’s negligence led to your injuries. While it may be easy to prove that a government agency owned the state park, if the injury was due to a natural hazard, it may be difficult to receive damages. Therefore, you must be able to prove that the government agency knew about the natural hazard but did nothing to correct the condition.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or your loved one was injured at a park, especially if the accident occurred at a public park, it is imperative to speak to a Florida personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. The attorneys at the Leifer Law Firm have years of experience helping protect our clients’ rights and get them the compensation they deserve, and we can help you too. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.