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Public Liability & Other Accidents - Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a public liability claim?

The Law provides that the “occupier” of property owes a “duty of care” to others. This duty includes ensuring the premises are safe, have no obvious defects and are properly maintained. A claim can arise on public (e.g. parks, beaches, roads) or private property (for example a home, pub or other entertainment venues).

A public liability claim can also extend to injuries suffered as a result of a physical or sexual assault, injuries caused by animals (i.e. dog attacks or horse riding accidents) and those injuries which have occurred as a result of recreational or sporting activities (i.e. bike riding/walking tracks or where the oval, arena or court has fallen into disrepair).

In what circumstances can I claim for compensation?  

There is an unlimited range of circumstances in which you can claim. If you have been injured as a result of the “occupier” breaching their duty of care, compensation may be available.  

Some common examples include:

  • Injuries, slips, trips and falls in public places (i.e. parks, roads or footpaths);
  • injuries, slips, trips and falls in private buildings (i.e. homes, apartment blocks).
  • injuries at rental premises;
  • injuries caused by animals (i.e. dog attacks or horse riding accidents);
  • physical and sexual assaults; and
  • injuries as a result of recreational or sporting activities (i.e. bike riding/walking tracks or where the oval, arena or court has fallen into disrepair).

If you believe you have been injured as a result of another’s fault, we recommend you contact National Compensation Lawyers to discuss the incident with a lawyer.

What can I claim for?

Compensation may cover:

  • past and future medical expenses;
  • past loss and future loss of income;
  • home help and attendant care provided by family, friends or professionals; and
  • pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Each claim is different. Please contact National Compensation Lawyers to discuss your injuries and the type of compensation you may be entitled to claim.

What is the first step?

After suffering injury, you should, as quickly as possible:

  • seek the appropriate medical treatment;
  • keep records and receipts of medical expenses and details of when treatment was received;
  • keep records and details of lost wages;
  • report the incident in writing to the appropriate body (i.e. Police, Road Authorities, Supermarkets or Shopping Centres);
  • take photographs of the incident site, location or the product which caused the injuries;
  • take photographs of your injuries;
  • contact this office on 1300 FEARLESS (1300 332 753).

As soon as possible after the incident, we recommend you contact National Compensation Lawyers to discuss your claim with a lawyer so that the matter can be properly prepared to enable you to receive your maximum compensation entitlements.

Are there any time limits I should be aware of?

Yes.

In most cases, a claim for compensation/damages must be made within 3 years of the date of your injury or recognition of such injury. After this time your rights may be extinguished and you may not be able to make a claim.

Accordingly, it is important legal advice is sought as soon as possible. We recommend you urgently contact National Compensation Lawyers to discuss your claim with a lawyer so as to ensure you are not prevented from claiming your maximum compensation entitlements.

What if my property or I was injured by a faulty product?

If you suffered loss as a result of a faulty product, you may be entitled to a product liability claim under the Australian Consumer Legislation. In this regard we refer you to our property damage section. (hyperlink to property damage).

Claims generally fall into three categories, including:

  • manufacture defects/mistakes;
  • dangerous/improper product designs; and
  • a failure to warn.

Given the complexities with product liability claims, we encourage you to contact National Compensation Lawyers as soon as possible.

How do I know if I have a claim?

Every State has its own legislation covering these types of claims. There is often a significant difference between States as to whether you can claim, how you claim and what you can claim.  

Accordingly, it is extremely important that you urgently contact National Compensation Lawyers to discuss your claim (or potential claim) with a solicitor.

What is an injury threshold?

In a number of States, it is necessary to prove your injuries are such that you meet the legislated threshold. Your injuries are assessed by doctors who then decide in accordance with the relevant Guidelines. In Victoria, the relevant Guidelines are contained in the American Medical Association Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment 4th Edition.

Given the different threshold in each State, we recommend you urgently contact National Compensation Lawyers to discuss your claim and injuries with a lawyer.

For more information, contact National Compensation Lawyers on 1300 FEARLESS or (1300 332 753).