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What Happens If You’re Hurt on Public Property

Updated February 27, 2019 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

It’s a property owner’s responsibility to mark hazardous areas to warn people of possible danger. You see “wet floor” signs in businesses and orange or yellow barriers around construction sites. When it comes to hazards on public property, the government entity responsible for the property should also warn people of danger. This responsibility includes potential hazards on sidewalks and roads as well as in parks and other publicly owned areas.

If you’re injured in a public space, such as a shopping center, restaurant or other business, can you sue for damages? If so, against whom do you bring a claim?

Failure to Warn of Hazards: Can You Sue?

The two key elements that make up a valid personal injury claim are losses and negligence. That is, you have to suffer some sort of loss, such as medical expenses, lost pay, or pain and suffering. Furthermore, the losses have to be because of someone’s negligent behavior; in other words, someone’s reckless or careless disregard for your safety.

Losses Due to Injury

All but the most minor injuries will cause the victim a financial loss of some kind. Sometimes, other losses, such as a loss of enjoyment of life or a missed event, can be more abstract and difficult to assign a monetary value, but they are losses just the same. If you suffered a loss because of someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, you deserve to be compensated.

Compensable losses may include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy or other rehabilitation
  • Nursing care
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Medical equipment, such as crutches
  • Home modifications made necessary by temporary or permanent disability
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of future earning potential

These are just some examples. Every case is different, and you may suffer additional losses for which you could collect damages. Your personal injury attorney will help you list and quantify the losses you’ve suffered.

Negligence that Causes Injury

The other element of an injury claim is an identifiable party whose negligence caused your injury. For injuries in a public place, this party can be anyone who was careless or showed some lack of regard for your safety. In most cases, this would be:

  • Property or business owners whose premises are unsafe
  • Individuals whose reckless actions endanger others
  • Manufacturer of a dangerous product

Your lawyer can help you to identify the negligent party who caused your injuries and guide you through the steps of making your claim.

Contact a Premises Liability Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured on public property as a result of a negligence, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Premises Liability Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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