No Win No Fee on all compensation claims

Gaius Whiffin featured on 2GB discussing personal injury claims - 24 July 2021

Gaius Whiffin providing Q & A on the 2GB Chris Smith Show discussing Personal Injury 24 July 2021


CS – Chris Smith/GW –Gaius Whiffin /C1,2,3, etc – Callers


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Read the transcript below:

CS       Now, Sally our listener has emailed a question to us, can she make a public liability claim against her local council after she fractured her wrist and needed surgery following tripping on the footpath.

GW     Well, the real element in public liability cases is you have to prove negligence on the part of the council. Now if for example where she’s tripped is something which it clearly should have been fixed it then comes down to a particular section in the Civil Liability Act that gives the council an immunity if they, unless they have actual knowledge of the risk of injury. So unless someone else has told the council about the fractured nature of the footpath, then she could have some difficulties. From her perspective she should definitely contact the council or someone else might, if it’s that bad a tripping hazard, someone else might have that tripping hazard and if she’s contacted them, council does nothing, next person might be in a better position than she is. So it’s actual knowledge that’s needed.

CS       Okay so off the back of that, assuming she can make a claim, what sort of compensation could she receive?

GW     Well in New South wales, there’s a, there’s what we now call non-economic loss, it used to be called pain and suffering, it deals with those sorts of aspects. There’s a schedule and she needs to found to be at least 15% of a most extreme case of injury to be entitled to compensation for non-economic loss. She would however, even if she wasn’t, be entitled to compensation for her time off work, any potential future time off work too, all her medical costs and if there was, you know if she perhaps needed some surgery sometime down the track, which a lot of these injuries do, she’d be entitled to an amount for the future costs there too.

CS       Okay, so worth pursuing that and at least asking the right questions. Alright that brings me to Paul’s question in an email here about how legal costs are paid in public liability claims and could he be out of pocket if he made a claim?

GW     Well, the, generally most solicitors that act for injured persons will act on what they call a no win, no pay basis. Now that largely means that the solicitor has to be satisfied that there’s a reasonable case there otherwise they’re not going to get paid but in those circumstances the payment would be at the end of the day once the case is successful, there’d be no ongoing payments but the important thing and what a lot of people don’t realise is that they can sign up to a no win, no pay agreement if they actually take court proceedings against, for example the council and they lose those proceedings, yes they don’t have to pay their solicitor anything but they certainly will generally be liable 99% of the time for the costs of the council. So you’ve got to be very careful in that regard.

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