Can I sue the person responsible for my injuries?

Yes. Broadly speaking, if you sustain an injury as a result of the negligence of another, you can sue them for the injury and its consequences.

The law is different depending on the circumstances in which you sustain an injury.

If you sustain an injury at work you can sue your employer however this is modified by the Workers Compensation Act (NSW) 1987.

If you are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident then this is modified by the Motor Accidents Compensation Act (NSW) 1999.

Other circumstances where you may wish to sue for injuries might be as a result of:

  • An assault by another person
  • Negligence of a doctor
  • A slip and fall when you are on someone else’s premises
  • An injury sustained whilst on public land
  • Injury at work where it was caused by someone other than you employer

These claims are now in a large part modified by the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW). The Act sets out three conditions that must exist before negligence can arise. A person is not negligent in failing to take precautions against a risk of injury unless

  • It was a risk of which the person knew or ought to have known
  • The risk was not insignificant
  • A reasonable person in the circumstances would have taken those precautions

When considering these matters the court must take into account the following

  • The probability of the harm occurring if care were not taken
  • The likely seriousness of the harm
  • The burden of taking precautions to avoid the risk of harm
  • The benefit to society of the activity that creates the risk of harm

Each case is determined on its own facts and circumstances applying the principles as outlined above.

The law of negligence is complex and you will need the assistance of a Lawyer who is an expert in personal injury law to advise you whether or not you have a claim for compensation under the Civil Liability Act.

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