Public Liability Claims
If you sustain an injury because of another person’s negligence (other than your employer), you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries in accordance with the Civil Liability Act 2002 (CLA).
Types of Public Liability Claims
Public liability refers to any injury sustained in a public place. This includes;
- Injuries at schools
- Injuries in parks or other public places (slips, trips and falls)
- Injuries on council owned land (fall on footpath or council caused danger)
- Injuries on rented premises (landlord/tenant)
- Injuries caused by animals (like a dog attack)
- Recreational and sporting injuries
- Boating accidents
- Food poisoning
Negligence in a Public Liability Claim
To make a liability claim you will need to establish that the person you believe to be in the wrong was negligent. You will need to prove:
- Whether the defendant owes you a duty of care, and
- Whether they have breached that duty of care
Most of the time a duty of care is easily established. For example, if you are at a supermarket and you injure yourself, the owner of that supermarket owes you a duty of care because you are on their premises.
It is more difficult however to establish that the duty of care was breached. The test is whether it was reasonably foreseeable that someone could sustain an injury and whether the defendant did what was reasonably necessary to prevent such an injury. If the injury was foreseeable and the defendant failed to do what was reasonably necessary to prevent the injury, then breach of duty would be satisfied.
What compensation can be claimed?
If negligence is established, you will be entitled to compensation for the following types of damages:
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, a lump sum payment for the injury sustained and the effects on you;
- Out of pocket expenses: includes past and future medical expenses, as well as any other injury related expenses incurred due to the injury
- Loss of income: past and future loss of income
- Care and assistance: domestic assistance from family, friend, or commercial care
The public liability compensation is payed as a once off lump sum amount at the conclusion of the claim by way of agreement or determination by a Court.
You can only claim compensation for your injuries once, it is important to maximise your entitlement to compensation as once the claim is finished you will be responsible for all future medical treatment and any ongoing loss of income.
Each claim is different and success depends on the circumstances of how the injury happened.
It is important to speak to an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law as soon as possible after an injury to see if you may have a right to make a public liability claim.
If you need assistance or would like further information on public liability in NSW, please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers as follows;