Public Liability

Public Liability

Public liability claims are typically injuries suffered on public or private property including assaults, slips, trips, falls or even drownings caused by the negligence of others.

These injuries can occur, for example, in shopping centres, sporting and other public venues, home unit complexes, on footpaths, at business premises and worksites and at private houses.  A claim for damages may include compensation for pain, suffering and impairment, loss of income, medical expenses, out of pocket expenses and domestic assistance provided by your friends and family.

Below for your general information are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions.

If you want to investigate your rights regarding a public liability claim click the “Need to Know More” box to the right or you can contact us for personalised obligation-free advice regarding your particular circumstances using one of the following methods that is most convenient to you:

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 Call Us Today

Call us on (07) 3001 2999 or use our Toll Free number on the right.

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Talk to our Live Chat operator using the Chat box below.

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Complete the on-line enquiry form here.

  Email us now

Contact or email any one of our specialist personal injury lawyers below.

Bennett & Philp Lawyers act in personal injuries claims for public liability accidents on a no-win, no fee basis.

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Commonly Asked Questions

  • What if I am a subcontractor who was injured at work?

    If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of the head contractor, another subcontractor or their employees or someone else, on a building site or other workplace, you will likely have a claim for damages which will be covered by their public liability insurance.

    It is important that you seek early legal advice as strict  time limits apply for lodging a claim.

    To protect your interests, we need to conduct early investigations into the circumstances of your injury and preserve relevant evidence.

    You may be entitled to claim for:

    • general damages (pain and suffering);
    • out of pocket expenses (medical, pharmaceutical, hospital, rehabilitation and travel expenses which you have paid for yourself);
    • past and future loss of income and superannuation entitlements;
    • future medical, pharmaceutical, hospital, rehabilitation and travel expenses which you could reasonably expect to incur (this may be determined in light of expert medical opinion, for example by an orthopaedic surgeon); and
    • costs of providing past and future care (this may also be determined in light of expert medical opinion, for example by an occupational therapist).

    Your damages are generally tax free.

    Contact us for obligation-free advice about your injury claim today.

  • What if I have been injured on commercial premises?

    If you were injured on premises which are owned or maintained by someone else, for example a shop, restaurant or other business, you may be entitled to claim for compensation against the owner or occupier of the premises.

    It is important that you:

    • take a photograph of the hazard which caused you to sustain your injuries (or otherwise identify the hazard);
    • notify the manager of the commercial premises and complete an Incident Report;
    • Keep a copy or photograph of the incident report;and
    • make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible after the incident so that your injuries can be documented and treated.

    If you have been injured on commercial premises, contact us for legal advice specific to your circumstances.

  • What if I have been injured in a rental property?

    Whether renting or visiting you may be entitled to claim compensation from:

    • the landlord – if you were injured by a defect at the rented premises which the landlord knew, or ought to have known, about;
    • the Body Corporate – if you are injured on common property which had a hazard or defect which caused your injury, or
    • a contractor working at the premises – if he or she has completed work which was defective or dangerous and caused your injury.

    These parties generally have public liability insurance which will insure them for your claim.

    Contact us for obligation-free advice relating to injuries you’ve sustained on a rental property.

  • What if I have been injured in a shopping centre?

    People are often injured in a shopping centre as a result of a slip and fall incident. These accidents are often caused by a liquid or some other obstruction or product on the floor.

     

    You should report the injury to the store manager, or centre management, so that there is a proper record of the incident.

     

    It is important to consult us as soon as possible after an accident so that:

    • the circumstances of your injury can be investigated;
    • witness statements can be taken, and
    • steps can be taken by us to ensure the CCTV footage (if any) and incident reports/statements are preserved as evidence.

    Contact us for obligation-free advice in relation to your shopping centre injury claim today.

  • What if I have been injured on a footpath?

    If you have slipped or tripped on a public footpath, you may have a claim against the responsible council or adjacent property owner.

    These claims involve legal technicalities and require early investigation and legal advice.

    To be successful in claims against local councils, it needs to be shown that the council was aware of the hazard which caused your injury or that it was caused by faulty workmanship in the construction of the footpath.

    It is important to take photographs of the hazard that caused your injury as soon as possible after the accident and before it is repaired.

    Contact us today to discuss your particular circumstances.

  • What if I have been assaulted by an individual?

    If you have been assaulted, you can sue for compensation or possibly claim for government-paid criminal compensation under the Victims Assist Scheme.

    Under the Victims Assist Scheme, you may be entitled to:

    • limitedcompensation for your pain and suffering and permanent impairment;
    • limited loss of wages, and
    • payment of some or all of your medical and rehabilitation treatment.

    You may also be able to pursue a public liability claim against the individual who assaulted you, provided they have sufficient assets to pay any award of compensation (damages) in your favour.

    If you have been assaulted, contact us to today to discuss your circumstances.

  • What if I have been assaulted by a hotel bouncer?

    Hotel “bouncers” and security staff often cause serious injuries to patrons of hotels and licensed premises.

    If a dispute arises with a bouncer, he/she should only use reasonable and lawful force to settle a dispute or to escort a patron from licensed premises.

    If you have been assaulted by a bouncer, you should consult with us as soon as possible to enable us to:

    • take witness statements;
    • investigate the circumstances of the assault, and
    • preserve CCTV footage of the incident (if any).

    If you have been assaulted, contact us to today to discuss your circumstances.

  • What if I have been assaulted or falsely imprisoned by Queensland Police?

    Queensland Police have an obligation to only use reasonable force when effecting an arrest.

    If police officers use excessive force and cause serious injury, this can result in a claim for significant compensation.

    If you have been wrongfully and unreasonably arrested and held against your will (detained) by Queensland Police, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss of liberty.

    Contact us today to discuss your particular circumstances.

Want More Information? 

Public liability and occupiers liability laws protect you if you are injured in an accident that occurs on public or private property.

Public Liability claims cover a multitude of accident scenarios and are typically injuries resulting from assualts, slips, trips, falls or even drownings caused by the negligence of others.

Most companies, organisations, businesses, shopping centres and private home owners have public liability insurance cover.

Many people are unaware of, or misinformed about, their rights to lodge a claim to recover lost income, or compensation for any serious suffering they experience.

Bennett & Philp have the resources and experience to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to from any liable party, including local authorities, business owners or individual property owners who may be found negligent.

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Commonly Asked Questions

  • Why do I need a law firm like Bennett & Philp?

    Public liability law is a very complicated area of law. If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of others you will:

    • want help from our expert lawyers at Bennett and Philp to give you personally relevant advice about your prospects of success and whether your claim is worth pursuing
    • want help from our expert lawyerss at Bennett and Philp to determine who you should make a claim against so you are fully reimbursed for your loss
    • want help from our expert lawyers at Bennett and Philp to claim compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of income and superannuation entitlements, medical expenses and rehabilitation expenses including future expenses you could reasonably expect to pay
    • want help from our expert lawyers at Bennett and Philp to give you detailed advice about how much you can claim
    • want help from our expert lawyers at Bennett and Philp to relieve the stress and burden involved in initiating and running your claim professionally and efficiently
    • want a law firm you can rely on which knows how to properly liaise with insurance companies to ensure that you receive maximum compensation and your interests are protected
  • Am I eligible to make a claim?

    Circumstances where you may have a public liability claim include:

    • if you have suffered either physical or psychological injury through the fault of another party, even if that other party is only partly at fault.
    • if you have been injured as a self-employed subcontractor. Sometimes the party at fault may even be liable for the negligent action of others under their control.
    • if you have been injured at a rental property or someone else’s property
    • if you have been injured as a result of:
      • falls on public or private property;
      • accidents due to the condition/state of the road;
      • accidents resulting from fallen debris on roadways, pathways or other areas;
      • accidents that occur in swimming pools, fitness centres, solariums, gymnasiums;
      • accidents that occur at amusement venues;
      • food poisoning;
      • a boating accident;
      • animals (e.g. dog attacks, horse-riding accidents);
      • attending parks or other public places (e.g. slips, trips and falls);
      • attending shopping centres, supermarkets or other retail outlets;
      • attending rental premises;
      • attending sporting activities/events;
      • labour-hire accidents on the premises of the host employer;
      • physical or sexual assaults by individuals, or playground and schoolyard accidents.
  • Who do I claim from?

    Although a claim will be directed towards an individual in certain circumstances, it is most likely they will have some sort of public liability insurance cover even if they don’t realise it.

    For example, if a person has contents insurance (if renting) or home insurance (if they own their home), they may unknowingly have automatic public liability cover attached to those policies.

    Most shopping centres, schools, businesses and organisations also have proper public liability insurance cover.

  • Important time limits

    1-9 months to lodge a claim with the person/insurer at fault

    In an ordinary case, you are required to lodge a claim form with the person at fault/public liability insurer within 9 months of the accident or within 1 month of instructing a lawyer to represent you (whichever is earlier).

    It is still possible to pursue a claim after that, but an explanation for the delay needs to be given (and usually there are good reasons for that delay).

    3 years to commence court proceedings

    In Queensland, you also need to commence legal proceedings within 3 years of the date of your injury. In most cases, you won’t be able to make a claim after this time.

    If legal proceedings are not commenced within 3 years of the date of the accident, you will lose your right to bring a claim. It is important to consult a lawyer to make sure your interests are protected in that regard.

  • What do I do after I have been injured?

    You should:

    1. take some photos of the location of the incident or the hazard as early as possible
    2. obtain names and contact details from witnesses before they disappear. Ask some witnesses if they have witnessed any prior incidents
    3. do not discard any evidence (e.g. shoes or clothes you were wearing at the time of the incident)
    4. seek urgent legal advice from our expert lawyers at Bennett & Philp lawyers for assistance in lodging a claim form with the person at fault/public liability insurer.
  • The compensation calculation

    There are many variables which impact on the amount of compensation you can receive, however it largely depends on:

    • the severity of your injuries and the impact those injuries have on your life and your ability to work;
    • any previous injuries or pre-existing medical conditions that have been aggravated by the accident (including psychological conditions);
    • your age, your loss of earnings and likely loss of earnings in the future;
    • your out of pocket expenses;
    • the amount of care you need or may need, and
    • any future expenses incurred as a result of your injuries sustained from the incident.
  • How long will it take to finalise my claim?

    Depending the severity of your injury, it may take 12-24 months to resolve your claim.

    The time taken for a settlement to be reached will depend on the severity of your injury.

    If your injuries are minor and you make a speedy recovery, then your claim will likely be settled relatively quickly. If you take longer to recover from your injuries, then it is important to wait until your injuries settle or stabilise to better determine the long-term nature of the impact of your injuries.

     

    One of our expert personal injury lawyers will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the likely duration of your claim.

Call us for expert personal injury advice 

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