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Slipped leg into open manhole on a college campus, sustained injuries. Can I file a claim with the city or campus, or sue?

Austin, TX |

I have now crutches and injured leg unable to do normal everyday activities. On medical leave, unable to work/school.

Attorney Answers 7

  1. You must keep a record of your injuries and treatment, and file a complaint with the campus police to document the injury. Most importantly, hire a personal injury lawyer to prepare any notice of suit, particularly if the college is a state school, or if you need to put a municipality on notice of your intent to pursue a claim. Many states have notice statutes that require notice to the town/city/state within a VERY short period of time.

    Good luck.

  2. Consult a local atty asap. The entity (ies) that could be liable are the college, the city (if it owns that road), a utility company whose manhole it was. You need to find out which entity owns and or controls the road. Get an atty right away, as some times states have special rules when suing public entities that require pre suit claim notices, that need to be served on the entity in a short window of time after an injry.

  3. Both attorneys are correct in that state colleges and universities are governmental entities with their own rules and statutes that govern liability and notice requirements. If you want to give me a call I can discuss your case with you at no charge. 512-708-1650.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. I hope my information is helpful to you. If you think this post was a good answer, please click the "Good Answer" button below and/or designate my answer as the "BEST ANSWER". Thanks. This is a general response to a question for basic information and is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be given when all of the facts of your situation are discussed with a lawyer, which we have not done.. If you reside outside the State of Texas please understand that the laws may be different from the laws that I may cite in a my comment. This comment is not to be construed as legal advice to your particular situation because there are many factors that influence legal counseling- this is simply a comment. Response to an email does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C., nor any of its attorneys. If you send us an e-mail, or call us, and we do not already represent you, neither your e-mail inquiry nor telephone call will create an attorney-client relationship. E-mails cannot necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Only entering into a written legal services contract with the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C. will create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for one-on-one legal advice and you are urged to meet with an attorney and discuss your case, personally, with an attorney in the state in which you reside or your case occurred. Thank you. Kevin R. Madison. Visit our website at and Kevin Madison, Austin, Texas- representing injured persons in motor vehicle collision, truck and motorcucle accidents and representing victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical assaults, and representing victims of sexual exploitation committed by doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy, counselors, priests, and rabbis. Visit our sexual harassment/sexual exploitation blog at

  4. I agree with the answers my colleagues provided.

    Mike Walker
    Walker Law Group

  5. political entities have governmental immunity and prior to being able to sue them, if this is viable, they have to be put on notice (Texas Tort Claims Act) of the fact they there is a claim, that you were injured, the date of unjury, etc. BUT you need to hire a Texas Licensed personal injury attorney preferably in your own neck of the woods who can diligently represent your interests. You also need to have no gaps in treatment and carefully document the injuries, the dangerous condition, ie manhole but a competent personal injury attorney will be help you to navigate these complicated matters. You can call me for a free consult or some of the other competent colleagues by I recommend you find someone in your own area, just look for personal injury attorney, preferably a Board Certified one or someone with experience.

  6. These are all great answers. Cases under the TTCA are tough, you prob need to show actual knowledge and there was a Texas Supreme Court case where a city knew a water main cover had come lose a dozen times and injured two people. The court found the city did not have actual knowledge it came loose on the one occasion it hurt the plaintiff, none of the prior occasions supported actual knowledge. Of course this is the same Supreme Court where one of the "in-justices" was hurt on a college campus with facts that would have barred his recovery...he got paid big $$ anyway.

    This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

  7. You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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