This week, Mary from Portola Valley asks whether she has a legal recourse after a bicycle accident that she got into with Samuel P. Taylor Park while on her way to Point Reyes. She hit a bump on the road and was thrown from her bicycle. She says that she landed on her head, broke her forearm, and suffered quite a few serious cuts on her shoulder and face. After she fell, the police arrived, and Mary was approached by the park ranger who told her that she was not the only person to have fallen on that spot.
The truth is that Mary’s question does not have an easy answer as there is not much information. Information is extremely important as legal success in this case would rely heavily on facts, such as whether she fell inside or outside of the boundaries of the park. This is a fact which would determine both— which relevant agency might be responsible, and which rule would evaluate its responsibility. Regardless of whether the fall occurred inside or outside the park or on the highway, Mary was injured on public property, which means that the injury is subject to the doctrine of the “dangerous condition of public property” – codified in the California Government Code. This is a doctrine that addresses injuries that are sustained on public property, including roadways, highways, sidewalks, etc., and limits the situations under which liability may go to the government for any dangerous conditions.
If Mary was already within the boundaries of the park, the application of the Government Code Section 831.4 would apply. Under this rule, the government cannot be held liable for injuries that are caused by the condition of any unpaved road that is not a federal, state, county or city street or highway, and provides access to outdoor activities like hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, riding, etc. as well as water sports, scenic or recreational areas, vehicular riding of any sort, etc.
In Mary’s case, if she was within the park when she fell, and sustained her injury, it can be argued that the trail immunity does apply. This means that since the ranger was aware that other people had also fallen there before, the entity had an obligation to provide adequate warning of the danger of the condition.
Get Help for Personal Injury Cases
If you have been injured in a public property, you should immediately seek the help of a reputed auto accident attorney in Santa Rosa. You should contact Debra A. Newby Law Offices for the best legal services for your personal injury case. For more information or free consultation, get in touch with us at 707-526-7200.