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Home | Compensation Law | Public Liability Claims

Accidents in a Public Place

A public liability claim may arise in a wide variety of circumstances where a person suffers injury as a result of the failure of another person, government authority or business operator to take reasonable care for that person’s safety. It is necessary to be able to prove that the injury was caused as a result of the negligence of another although legislation has been passed to eliminate the need to prove fault in some circumstances and to restrict the availability of claims in negligence in others.

Any court proceedings must be commenced within three years from the date of the accident.

The most common form of public liability compensation claims would be against a shopping centre, supermarket or department store; where high volume pedestrian traffic result in injuries from a slip, trip or fall; or food poisoning in areas where there is a food service.

The availability of these claims is governed to some extent by the civil liability legislation.

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What is the fee policy in public liability claims?

What is the fee policy in public liability claims?

No Win No Fee Personal Injury Lawyers | Turner Freeman NSWFor personal injury claims in the state of New South Wales we act for our clients on a ‘No Win-No Fee’ basis. So in other words unless we recover compensation for our client, we will not charge for our work. Be sure to ask one of our lawyers if you have any questions regarding our fee policy, as conditions do apply.

What do I do first if I am injured in a public place?

What do I do first if I am injured in a public place?

You should immediately seek to report the incident to the owner, store manager,  centre management, or government authority/council. This might involve completing an incident report or form.  You should also consider taking photographs of the area where you were injured. Of course you should also immediately seek medical attention. It is also important that you contact a lawyer for some preliminary advice about your rights and what you should do going forward.

What can I claim?

What can I claim?

If you are successful in a claim, you will be awarded damages representing your loss of income and possible loss of future income, reimbursement of your treatment expenses in the past and an amount for likely future treatment expenses, an amount to cover the care or domestic assistance you may have required and might need in the future and also in some cases, for your pain and suffering.

Does it matter if the injury happened in a public place or on private property?

Does it matter if the injury happened in a public place or on private property?

It shouldn’t. A claim can be made if you have been injured on private or public property. In most cases, the owner of the property (private or public) will have a policy of public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance or some other relative business insurance for these types of accidents.

Do time limits apply?

Do time limits apply?

Yes. In most cases proceedings are required to be commenced in court within 3 years from the date of the incident. In some circumstances, you can seek to bring the case outside of this 3 year period with leave of a Court.

If I go ahead with a claim, how long with it take and how much will it cost?

How long does a public liability claim take?

If we advise that you have reasonable prospects of success and that the claim is economically worthwhile to purse, we will send you a proper written advice and proposal. Our proposal will set out, in plain English, a realistic estimate of how long we believe your case will take to resolve and the likely cost.

Generally speaking, most product or public liability claims are resolved within 6 to 18 months from when the claim starts. If the case goes to trial (which is highly unlikely) this can add a further 6 to 12 months to the time estimate.

How much does it cost to make a public liability compensation claim?

If your case has to go to court, it will cost more than if it settles at an early stage. The more work which is done results in higher fees; however, we always do whatever we can to keep costs as low as possible. All of this is explained in our written advice along with realistic and reliable fee estimates.


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