Public Liability

Many accidents occur away from the home. You could, for example, be injured in a public place, such as a park or a shopping mall, or even on private property, such as in a shopping centre. If your accident is caused by negligence, then you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation.

Many people think that in order to claim, their accident has to occur on public property. However, the word ‘public’ in the term ‘public liability’ actually refers to members of the public, not simply ‘public place’. If you can prove that a duty of care is breached through negligent action, then you can seek compensation regardless of whether your accident occurred on public land or private property.

It isn’t the case that accidents are simply a part of modern life and, if you’re injured due to the negligence of someone else in a public place or on private property, then you should speak to us about a public liability claim as soon as possible. We can then discuss your legal rights with you.

Where Can I Get Injured and Lodge a Public Liability Claim?

Public liability claims can be brought after a wide variety of accidents. This includes but is not strictly limited to:

  • Falls at shopping centres
  • Falls on footpaths or in car parks, including slips, trips and falls
  • Assaults or accidents or injuries that occur in hotels, clubs or entertainment venues
  • Sporting and recreational injuries
  • Defective or faulty products
  • Physical and/or sexual assaults
  • School based injuries
  • Dog attacks
  • Boating accidents
  • Injury at a gym or recreational facility due to malfunctioning equipment
  • Fall on stairs, verandas or balconies due to poor lighting or maintenance

If you’ve suffered an accident on public property or on private land but it is not covered on the list above, then this does not mean that you cannot lodge an accident injury claim. Please contact us to discuss your case.

What Do Accident Compensation Claims Allow Me to Claim For?

If you lodge an accident compensation claim, then you’re able to claim for losses that have occurred as a direct result of the accident, these include:

  • Pain and suffering – if you injured yourself and the recovery process was lengthy and painful
  • Rehabilitation – any costs incurred from undergoing rehabilitation to recover from the accident
  • Past and future treatment expenses – this covers any expenses as a result of the accident, including any future treatments or operations you may require in order to make a full recovery
  • Loss of income – this includes any income you have lost to date plus any future income you may lose as a direct result of the accident
  • Assistance with daily living – such as if you’ve had to pay for a cleaner or a dog walker because you’ve been unable to carry out activities in your daily life that you otherwise would have undertaken

If you’re considering lodging a public liability claim, you should seek legal help as quickly as possible.

Public liability claims are generally governed by the terms of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act and as such, there are certain steps that need to be taken to ensure a person’s rights are fully protected. There are also a number of legislative provisions that you’ll need to comply with in order for a claim to proceed.

Are there Time Limits for Injury Compensation Claims?

If you’re injured in Queensland, there are strict time limits that apply to making a personal claim. If you’re making a claim for an injury (or injuries) as part of a public liability claim, then you must notify the party that you consider to be at fault within nine months of the injury occurring or within one month of your consultation with an accident lawyer, whichever of these is the earliest.

These time limits are incredibly strict as they’re set by statutory law, so if you miss these time limits, you’ll have to provide a very good reason why your claim should proceed.

How Much Money Will I Receive for my Personal Injury Claim?

The amount of money you will receive for your personal injury claim will vary based on a range of factors. For this reason, there’s no set pay out amount for each injury, as it will depend on how that injury impacted on you.

The amount of money you will receive will depend on the impact the injury had on you specifically. In assessing a pay out, factors considered include:

  • Your age
  • The injuries you sustained
  • Your employment status
  • Your occupation
  • The circumstances surrounding the injury
  • Your health at the time of the injury
  • Your pre-injury lifestyle

Before you sign any documentation or respond to any settlement offer you may be sent, you should speak to a lawyer about your rights.


Am I eligible to make a public liability claim?

Whether or not you’re able to make a public liability claim will depend on the exact circumstances that surrounded your accident. Each claim is unique and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Should you have significant evidence (such as photos or videos) that prove negligence or a failure to provide a duty of care, then you will usually be able to make a claim.

Whether or not you’re able to make a claim can also be influenced by your physical injuries or psychological damage.

When should I speak to an accident lawyer about my public liability claim?

You should speak to an accident lawyer about your public liability claim as soon after the accident as is possible. Once you have instructed us with your claim, we can ensure that all deadlines are met.

How is past and future economic loss calculated for my accident injury claim?

If your ability to earn an income to support yourself or your family is reduced due to an accident or injury, then you’re entitled to proper compensation in order to support yourself financially.

To calculate present and future economic loss, a court will look at the future for that person if the incident hadn’t occurred and will then compare that to what their income has been since the accident and what it is likely to be in the future. The difference between these two figures will be the basis for the compensation offered.

Does it matter who was responsible for my injuries?

You could be eligible for compensation even if your injuries were not directly caused by the organisation (or an individual) your claim is against.

For example, if you slip on a spilt drink in a supermarket, you can still claim against the supermarket even if another customer spilt the drink. This is because that supermarket owes you a duty of care while you shop there and is responsible for creating a safe environment for you to shop in. If a worker ignores the spill or there isn’t a system in place for preventing slippages, then the supermarket may be liable. Contact us to discuss your claim.