Public Liability Claims – Summary

A Public Liability claim for personal injuries is one that involves an injury or illness occurring on public or private property as a result of fault or negligence by the authority responsible.

Examples of such claims include claims arising as a result of injuries or illness due to:

  • a slip, trip and fall
  • physical or sexual assault
  • accident at a school, college or a university
  • a fire or explosion
  • animal attacks
  • food poisoning
  • recreational accidents
  • accidents at a construction site
  • accidents at the premises of a company or other organisation
  • accidents at someone else’s home

Your claim will start with completing a Notice of Claim form pursuant to the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act which is required to be served on the at-fault party. Usually, the at-fault party has insurance and the insurers will engage lawyers to oppose your claim and attempt to negotiate a settlement to prevent you from filing in court.

Roche Legal represents injured clients with valid public liability claims on a no win no fee basis.

Frequently Asked Questions – Public Liability Claims FAQ

No Win No Fee Public Liability Claims

Yes. Roche Legal offers No Win No Fee representation to everyone with a qualifying public liability claim. Contact us for a free initial consultation. We have offices in Brisbane, Springwood, and the Sunshine Coast.

Public Liability Claims in Queensland

In Queensland, people who slip, trip, or fall in public places (and even private places) and injure themselves might have a public liability compensation claim to assert under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld). The most common type of claim arises from slipping over on spilled liquid on a shopping centre or supermarket floor, however claims can also be made if the injury occurred at a private facility or residence (other than your own residence). Most public venues and private places have public liability insurance in place to cover claims for compensation. Our practitioners know how to calculate and maximise your damages for your public liability claim.

Your success depends upon whether or not the accident or injury occurred as a consequence of the fault of someone else.

If your injury is serious enough, you may also be able to make additional compensation claims through your TPD insurance or life insurance policies, if you have any.

Public liability claims are generally made against the ‘occupier’ of the property (usually the owner of the building or the commercial tenant). The occupier usually holds public liability insurance to cover claims made by people who were injured on their property.

If you were injured on someone else’s residential property, there is a reasonable chance that they also have public liability insurance as a requirement of their mortgage.

Compensation Payable From Public Liability Claims

Your compensation amount from a public liability claim depends on a number of factors, including your age and work situation. Generally speaking, compensation can be claimed for:

  • pain and suffering.
  • loss of enjoyment of the amenities of life.
  • any past loss of earnings.
  • any future loss of earnings as a result of lost capacity to work.
  • past and future medical expenses.
  • paid or gratuitous care and assistance by family, friends or hired help.

Compensation payments are usually at their highest when the injured person is in their late 20s or 30s, married rather than single, and gainfully employed in a manual labour style occupation.

In contrast, compensation payments are often on the lower end of the scale when the injured person is over the retirement age of 67, single, and unemployed.

How To Win A Public Liability Claim

To win a public liability claim in Queensland, the following three things must be proven:

  1. You were owed a ‘duty of care’ by whoever was at fault.
  2. The person or organisation at fault failed to provide this duty of care.
  3. You suffered injury and loss as a consequence.

A duty of care is an obligation that an organisation or individual has to take reasonable steps to prevent injury and loss. A successful compensation claim requires proof that not only were you owed a duty of care, but this duty was breached by the occupier of the property. Further, as a result of the occupier’s breach, you need to have unfortunately suffered an injury and loss.

Time Limits For Public Liability Claims in Queensland

Yes, in Queensland there are important time limits for making a public liability claim. From the date you suffered your injury, you must:

  • serve an appropriate claim notice on the at-fault party within 9 months (or 1 month from the date you first consulted a lawyer about making a claim – whichever is earliest); and
  • file a formal court action within 3 years.

If the 9 month limitation date has already passed, you may still make a claim if you have a reasonable excuse for the delay. Roche Legal has successfully made “out-of-time” claims for many clients – however it is important to act fast.

The courts are more strict about the 3 year time-limit and if you are out of time to file your formal court action, a special application needs to be put forward to the court seeking permission – which is not often granted without a very good reason.

The amount of compensation you can claim for public liability claims in Queensland depends on a whole range of factors including the seriousness of your injury, your age, any past loss of income and your future prospects.

Essentially, you can claim for the loss you have suffered as a result of the injury.

If a public liability lawyer agrees to represent you in your claim for personal injuries in Queensland, chances are your claim is worth at least $50,000.

The Civil Liability Act (‘CLA’) applies to public liability claims in Queensland. Section 47 of the CLA sets out that your claim value will be reduced by 25% if you were intoxicated when you suffered your injury on account of contributory negligence. If your blood alcohol content was more than 0.15% the amount of contributory negligence applied increases to 50% unless you can satisfy the court that the intoxication did not contribute to you sustaining your injuries.

Who pays public liability compensation?

We seek to claim compensation from the insurance company of the party, organisation, or public body that’s at fault. Most parties or organisations in such situations have public liability insurance to cover this situation. If the organisation does not have public liability insurance, they will be required to pay you compensation directly.

Public Liability Claims – Process Duration

Generally speaking we strive to complete Queensland public liability claims within 18 months if we’re able to settle out of court, or 2 years if we have to go to court.

The duration of a public liability claim may be impacted by the seriousness of your injuries, the claim’s complexity, and the tactics employed by the other side.

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