Jun 10

Injuries in Texas’ Public Parks—Who’s to Blame?

by Tate Law Offices, P.C.Injury Claims, Unsafe Property

Public park

Throughout Texas’ urban areas, there has been a significant increase in the number of public parks that are used by members of the community. While public parks are definitely a great benefit to those who utilize them, public parks also often serve as a location where injuries occur. The following details types of injuries that can occur in public parks, as well as who is liable in these situations:

Types of Injuries in Public Parks

Injuries on public grounds, like public parks, can occur for numerous reasons. The most common types of accidents that occur are slip and fall incidents. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, injuries that commonly occur as a result of a slip and fall are:

  • Minor abrasions, cuts, or bruises
  • Fractures of bones other than the hip
  • Broken bones
  • Injuries to internal organs
  • Hip fractures
  • Injuries to the lower extremities
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Death

Amongst older adults, hospitalizations were responsible for two-thirds of the costs of non-fatal fall injuries.

Causes of Accidents in Public Parks

As stated above, slip and fall incidents are the most common type of accident to occur in a public park. In the majority of cases, slip and fall accidents are the result of wet or slippery surfaces; snow cover or ice that hasn’t been properly removed; inadequate maintenance of the property, such as a tree branch or root that hasn’t been cut; objects that have been left out that obstruct a walkway; and defective conditions such as a broken and unrepaired staircase or handrail. A lack of security, such as adequate lighting or a lack of a warning sign about potential dangers, may also result in injuries.

Who’s liable for accidents in public parks?

In Texas, premises liability protects people who are harmed on property other than their own, whether this be private or public property. Whether it is a personal homeowner, a business owner, or a public park, those who own the property have a responsibility to ensure that it is safe and hazard-free for those who enter it. In the majority of cases, the law maintains that the owner of the property must keep his property reasonably safe. In the case of a public park, it is the responsibility of the municipality, state, or even federal government (depending upon who’s jurisdiction the park falls under), to maintain that same reasonable standard of safety. If a reasonable standard of safety was not maintained, then the property owner (city, state, etc.) may be considered to have been negligent, and therefore will be responsible for the injury that occurred.

Under Texas law, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a reasonable amount of time to be aware of and repair the hazardous situation. In the case that criminal activity was being committed at the time of injury, the law varies slightly.

If an accident was sustained as a result of a variable that was not related to the location of injury, such as an assault or dog bite, compensation for these injuries can be sought after under Texas personal injury law.

If you’ve been injured in one of Texas’ many public parks contact Tate Law Offices by calling 888-662-3892 today for a free review of your claim.