Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)/slip/fall
I was at a state park recently preparing to enjoy a favorite recreational activity, fishing. In order to keep from getting any dirtier/muddier than necessary, I stayed on the sidewalk. Walking across the sidewalk, I came to a small, but uncleaned section of sidewalk. The section was no more than 2 1/2-3 feet across so with my mind more on fishing than anything else, I just took a large step, which could have been closer to a small hop....again, no big deal. My attempted hop failed with the heel of my left shoe landing in the mud causing me to do the splits, tearing a tendon which runs from my hamstring to my tail bone. I will be off work tentatively for 3 months and closer to 6 months if surgery is required.
In summary, I walked across the sidewalk which was not cleaned off. I slipped in the obstruction, did the splits, my leg/hip was damaged.
Is there any legal liability on the part of the state for improper maintenance which resulted in my injury?
Everett: The general legal principle of landowner liability is that the landowner must use REASONABLE CARE to prevent foreseable accidents to visitors. Viewed a different way, the landowner in almost all cases is not required to GUARANTEE to visitors that everything is perfectly safe. And visa versa. The visitor is not entitled to assume that every (in this case) walking surface is perfectly dry, smooth and has no debris on it. The visitor does not have a right to presume that the landowner has crews out 24/7 cleaning and drying off every walking surface. That would be an unreasonable expectation would it not? And it would place an UNREASONABLE duty on the State, correct? Such things must be viewed in context. The owner of a retirement home surely must keep the floors and walkways cleaner and safer than say the owner of a public park, don't you agree? The walkway in the park is probably near water........hell, you were going fishing.............there are probably trees and in the Fall especially there are probably leaves everywhere. You as the park visitor do not have a legal right to expect that the State will have crews contantly cleaning off park walkways. Afterall, it's a park. Parks are outside, in nature and wouldn't be parks if they were treated like the lineoleum floors in a hospital. Furthermore, you saw the problem on the walkway and decided to HOP over it. You assumed the risk of doing that didn't you?? You could have walked around it couldn't you?? You could have chosen to dirty your shoes a bit and walk safely through the area, correct? Do you believe the State has a legal duty to keep every walkway in every park in the entire State clean of any debris, water, etc.? Well, do you? Sorry about your injuries but even if you fell on your head and were in a vegetative state as a result I would tell you (or in that case, your family), that you had no case against the State, at all. Hope you found this helpful.