Dangerous Conditions of Public Property
Serving Oxnard & All Of Ventura
At The Law Offices of Schurmer & Wood we regularly receive calls from injured individuals who believe a state or local government agency may be responsible for the injuries they have suffered as a result of an accident. In cases involving dangerous conditions on public property it is extremely important for you to work with an experienced and talented litigator as there are a number of legal nuances your attorney must be aware of to successfully present a claim against a public entity.
What is a Dangerous Condition?
According to Government Code Section 830
A ‘Dangerous condition’ means a condition of property that creates a substantial (as distinguished from a minor, trivial or insignificant) risk of injury when such property or adjacent property is used with due care in a manner in which it is reasonably foreseeable that it will be used.
Or more simply put, a dangerous condition exists when there is a considerable risk of injury when the property is used as expected. This code section applies specifically to governmental bodies including the City, County, State or other public entities. (See Governmental Liability)
The following are examples of different types of situations that might constitute a dangerous condition on public property case:
- Uplifted, uneven and cracked sidewalks and pathways caused by tree roots and other items. (See Slip/Trip Falls) Occasionally these cases can be pursued as cases against the responsible public entity and as well as against the private home or landowner.
- Negligent ownership, maintenance and control of recreational areas such as lakes, sand dunes and other similar areas.
- Negligent ownership, maintenance and control of public property that leads to dangerous conduct from third persons.
- Dangerous design, maintenance, repair and control of public roadways and intersections.
- Dangerous street and road drop offs like cliffs and ravines
- Defective or missing guardrails
- Improper drainage that can lead to ponding and hydroplaning
- Dangerous and blind curves from inappropriate design
- Lack of, inappropriate, or poorly placed warning signs
- Potholes, subsidence and road cave-ins
- Visibility restrictions due to improper design or other hazards
Public Entity Claims
In personal injury cases, you typically have two years to bring a claim against the responsible parties. In any public entity claim you are subject to much shorter time frames and must file a claims notice with the responsible government agencies within 6 months of the injury. If you fail to file your claims notice, your claim may be permanently barred. As a result of the shortened time frames it is extremely important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
Many clients find that trying to file the claim with the appropriate government agency can be very difficult because determining who is responsible for the area in question isn’t always easy. At The Law Offices of Schurmer & Wood we will help you determine who the responsible government agency (or agencies) is and will file the claim on your behalf. If your claim is denied, we will move forward with litigation and will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
At The Law Offices of Schurmer & Wood we have handled a large number of cases involving dangerous conditions on public property and will help you through every step of the claims process. We will ensure that timely notice is provided to the responsible government agencies ensuring your right to bring a lawsuit if necessary.
Types of Recovery
After suffering an injury as a result of a dangerous condition on public property many of our clients are understandably concerned about whether or not they will be adequately compensated for their injuries. While every case is different, if you have complied with the notice requirements and we are able to prove that the government agency is responsible for your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses related to your injuries
- Any time missed from work
- Your inability to return to your previous work
- Disfigurement and permanent scaring
- Pain and suffering as a result of the accident
Each case involving a dangerous condition on public property involves its own factual scenarios requiring the attention of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. At The Law Offices of Schurmer & Wood we have over twenty years of experience handling these types of cases and understand the challenges our clients face pursuing a claim against the government.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a dangerous condition on public property, we encourage you to give us a call to discuss your case.
Our firm's personal promise and commitment to you is to make sure that we care about you as a person. Every client who has been injured deserves the proper representation and our goal at Schurmer and Wood is to ensure that they get that.
They made me feel like my case was their number one priority.- Scott C.
I appreciate the professionalism and courtesy I received from the staff.- Tammy G.
The office staff was extremely helpful!- Elisa D.
Hands down the best law firm in Ventura County!- Jonathan W.
Thank you Mr. Schurmer and Ms. Wood for all of your help, wisdom & fairness.- Christopher C.
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