August 29, 2014
Can I Sue after a Slip and Fall Accident in a Post Office?
Data published by the National Safety Council (NSC) indicates that slip and fall accidents are responsible for 8.9 million emergency department visits per year. These incidents can happen almost anywhere and are capable of causing a wide variety of injuries, some of which can result in long-term complications. When slip and fall accidents occur on property owned or maintained by the government, victims may be able to obtain compensation by filing a personal injury claim. It is important to note, however, that legal claims against the government are subject to special legal rules, so it is highly advisable for people injured in slip and falls that occurred on government property to consult with an experienced attorney.
With their often busy environments, slip and fall accidents can easily occur at post offices around the Philadelphia area. As federal property, any legal claim after a post office accident would need to be asserted against the federal government, which is immune from lawsuits unless specifically authorized by law. Fortunately for victims, the Federal Tort Claims Act does exactly that, but the procedure for filing such a claim is significantly different than in other types of claims not involving the federal government. For one, an injured party may not simply go to the courthouse and initiate a claim. Instead, he or she must first file an administrative claim with the post office. If the post office ultimately denies the claim, you may file a lawsuit against the post office, but you must do so within 6 months of the denial of your administrative claim or will lose your right to sue.
There are many types of conditions that may result in a post office slip and fall, some of which may indicate negligence on the part of postal employees. Some the more common include the following:
- Liquid spills
- Debris on floors
- Exposed electrical wiring
- Failure to warn about a slippery surface
- Unreasonable accumulations of snow or ice in or around entryways