McKinney Public Property Liability Lawyer
All cities in Texas, have a duty of care to their residents, as defined by the Texas Tort Claims Act. While this act limits a city’s liability, the government is responsible for any injuries to residents for which it is responsible.
If a person suffers harm on public property caused by negligent maintenance by the local government, the injured party could potentially have grounds for a civil claim. By working with a McKinney public property liability lawyer, they could determine if they are eligible for legal restitution. However, filing a claim against a government entity can be difficult on your own, so do not hesitate to seek guidance from a seasoned injury attorney.
How Does Liability Differ Between Public and Private Properties?
Public property is anything that is owned or occupied by a governmental entity. This does not include private property or commercial property that is used for public purposes because the same rules do not necessarily apply. Government entities have certain immunities and liabilities in Texas, that place an additional set of rules on top of premises liability cases.
General Versus Special Defects
To be successful in a premises liability case against a government entity, a local attorney has to show that there is what is called a special defect in the property and not a general defect. However, it is very difficult to determine the difference between a special defect and a general defect.
If a case relies on a general defective property, the governmental entity has no liability. General and special defects can be compared to the difference between a pothole in a rode and an excavation across the road.
A pothole is considered a general defect, and is something that that the government entity has no responsibility for. On the other hand, if the road was excavated and not fixed properly, a government entity could be liable for any accidents that result.
In addition to differentiating general and special defects when filing against public entities, claimants are required to give additional and earlier notice of their case. Due to this, it is highly advisable to speak with a McKinney attorney as soon as possible when filing a property liability case against a public entity. Claimants only have within six months of the injury occurring to give notice.
Liability Laws for Public Property Accidents
Liability laws are primarily determined by the state of Texas: negligence laws and Tort Claims Act. These bodies of law determine whether the city of McKinney can be held responsible for any accidents that occur on public land. However, there are other jurisdictions that may have rules and ordinances that can affect the ultimate responsibility for what occurred.
The county judge can issue court orders in certain situations. Those court orders could be evidence of negligence if they otherwise have an action against the county, a city within the county or against the private individual. In the same manner, an ordinance of the city can also serve as evidence of negligence.
Most cities in North Texas have ordinances that apply when there is to be construction of a pool, such as requiring it to be fenced. Additionally, the fence has to meet certain criteria, such as being gated so as to keep unsupervised children out.
Often, a local attorney may look at those ordinances and court orders to determine if there is evidence of negligence based on a violation of a court order or ordinance. If a lawyer determines that the city of McKinney failed to uphold the ordinances regarding fencing a public pool, for instance, they could use that as evidence in a premises liability case, provided the claim could meet the waiver requirements of the Texas Tort Claim Act.
Discuss Public Property Liability with a McKinney Attorney
There are a lot of nuances in premises liability law when it involves a government entity. Therefore, handling a case on your own can be a substantial challenge. If a government entity failed to keep a public space safe for residents, it should be held legally responsible for the harm caused.
Speak with a McKinney public property liability lawyer if you were hurt by a negligent government entity. Your first consultation is always free.