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If You Are Injured in a Park, Can You Sue?

By Kelly Balamuth on May 25, 2018

City parks are a valuable public resource that allow anyone in the community to enjoy outdoor spaces and recreational facilities. They can come in many different shapes and sizes, with fun options for families and individuals of all ages. Unfortunately, every year, park visitors get hurt in awful accidents. Many of these injuries could easily have been prevented with proper supervision and maintenance.

For example, earlier this year, a Los Angeles boy fell into a drainage pipe in Griffith Park when the board he was standing on broke. In this case, the story has a happy ending, because the boy was successfully rescued 12 hours later. But this could have just as easily ended tragically, as he was actually found trapped a mile away from where he fell into the pipe. The cause of the accident was reported to be a poorly cordoned-off sanitation facility that was no longer in active use.

The types of city-run parks that can be found in the Bay Area show a great deal of variety. They include public playgrounds, sports facilities such as basketball and tennis courts, public pools, wharfs and beaches, running and cycling trails, and more. What they all share is they are run by the city, and city departments are responsible for maintaining them in a safe manner.

If you or a loved one has been injured at a city park, you likely will have to file a complaint within a short amount of time. You could have grounds for seeking compensation based on several different legal principles. If the city has failed to properly care for the facilities or has been negligent in removing a hazard, then your case would fall under the legal umbrella of PREMISES LIABILITY. This means that an owner or landlord has a duty of care to protect visitors and users against accidents.

Certain park facilities have active supervision. For example, swimming pools are watched over by lifeguards. If the personnel responsible for looking after park users behave in a careless manner, especially if children are involved, it could be a case of negligence.

Even if the accident might seem to be the result of natural causes, an experienced attorney could find that there was some form of negligence involved. For example, if a storm has caused damage to trees, leading to falling branches, you may assume that there’s nothing that could have been done to prevent this. However, city maintenance crews are responsible for trimming dead branches and cleaning up storm damage. If this is not done within a reasonable time, the city could be held responsible for your accident.

If you’ve suffered an injury while enjoying one of our region’s many municipal parks, you should consult with an attorney immediately to learn what type of compensation you may be entitled to. The legal team at Balamuth Law is passionate about representing people who have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. Call one of our experienced Walnut Creek premises liability attorneys today at (925) 254-1234 to schedule a free consultation.

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Posted in: Premises Liability

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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