Did you slip and fall on Washington State or other governmental property? Learn about their liability for compensating you and notice rules you must follow.

Your Right to Compensation If You Suffer an Injury in a Slip and Fall Accident on Government Property in Washington State

Not all slip and fall accidents in the Seattle area happen on private property. You could suffer serious injuries in a fall on government property. In Washington State, you have the right to pursue a claim against a governmental entity in a similar fashion as you would against a private property owner or business. However, you must comply with special notice requirements before filing a lawsuit.

What You Must Prove in a Slip and Fall Accident on Government Property

Slip and fall accidents on government property can happen at many locations, including the post office, Washington State Department of Licensing office, state park, and your local government office. As with claims against an individual or company, you must prove the government’s negligence in causing your slip and fall accident. There had to be some dangerous condition, such as torn carpeting, water on the floor, or potholes in a parking lot, that caused your fall. In addition, the governmental entity must have known or should have known about the hazard and taken no actions to correct the problem or warn you of the danger.

Special Notice Requirements When Pursuing a Claim Against a Governmental Entity

Before you file a lawsuit in a slip and fall accident on government property, you must file a notice of your claim with the governmental entity that was negligent and follow their special rules for doing so. The federal government, Washington State government, cities, municipalities, and other governmental agencies will have their own forms and procedures for notifying them of a claim. Generally, the process begins by filing a tort claim.

Washington State and many cities and municipalities in the state provide information on how to file a tort claim on their websites. Here is some information on doing so with our state government and Seattle:

  • Washington State. If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of Washington State, its employees, officers, or volunteers, you would need to file a Washington State Tort Claim with the State of Washington’s Office of Risk Management. You can get a downloadable claim form and instructions on filing it on their website. You can file your completed Tort Claim electronically or by fax, e-mail, mail, or personal delivery to their office.
  • Seattle. The City of Seattle also provides details on how to file a Tort Claim and the forms you need on its website. You can complete the Washington State Tort Claim or the City of Seattle Claim for Damages Form. You must mail or hand deliver your completed form to the City Clerk’s office.

If your claim is against the State of Washington, state officer, employee, or volunteer, you must wait 60 days from the date you filed your complaint to file your lawsuit. You must also comply with the state’s statute of limitations, or time limit, for filing a slip and fall complaint.

A slip and fall accident claim is more complicated when it involves a state or local government agency. You need the assistance of an experienced slip and fall accident attorney to be certain that you follow the notice and other rules for filing your claim. To learn how we can help you, call our Bellevue office to schedule your free consultation today.


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Bellevue Office
11900 NE 1st Street
Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (425) 289-1990
Fax: (425) 289-1991
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Bellevue Office
11900 NE 1st Street
Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (425) 289-1990
Fax: (425) 289-1991

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