Many people do not realise that they may be entitled to compensation after sustaining injuries that are included in what is described as a ‘public liability’ claim.
If you have sustained a personal injury in a public place like a shopping centre, restaurant or pub it can be quite traumatic, particularly if the injury sustained keeps you out of work and renders it difficult to remain active and on top of that is painful and restricts your mobility.
What is commonly called a public liability claim
In this article we will explain the types of incidents that commonly fall within what could be called a ‘public liability’ claim.
A claim for personal injury due to this type of claim is governed by the Civil Liability Act 2002.
The owner of the shopping centre, pub or restaurant or the concerned local authority should ensure the safety of the general public from such accidents by adopting appropriate measures to minimise risks. If they fail in this obligation, they may be legally liable for the injury.
Typically, these claims include (but are not limited to):
- Slip and fall accidents in clubs, pubs and restaurants;
- Slip and fall accidents in public places such as footpaths, parks, roads etc
- Slip and fall accidents in retail premises such as supermarkets, food courts, car parks or other retail outlets;
- Sporting injuries sustained due to faulty or defective playing surfaces;
- Trip accidents;
- Injuries sustained in public buildings or private premises;
- Golf course injuries;
- Injuries whilst using a lift or escalators or stairs etc.
- Animal attacks including dog bites;
- Boat accidents; or
- Food poisoning.
The important thing for you if you are a victim of this type of accident is to make sure you know what your legal rights are if you feel you might be entitled to make a claim.
What can you claim?
If the other party is found to be negligent then the person sustaining or suffering an injury owing to slip, trip or fall in public places, may be entitled to claim monetary compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering from the injuries sustained;
- Cost of domestic assistance:
- Care and help provided by friends or family
- Nursing care and other paid care including lawn mowing, cleaning/ domestic assistance;
- Past and future medical expenses, including
- Doctor’s fees;
- Cost of surgery,
- Nursing and attendant care;
- Past and future loss of earnings (including loss of superannuation)
What are the time limits to make a claim?
A Public Liability claim should be commenced in court within three years from the date of the accident. The court case does not have to be completed within three years.
What you should do if you have had such an injury
Try and get the name and contact number of any witnesses to your accident;
- Take a photo of the scene of the accident;
- If you are badly injured, call an ambulance – the paramedics will properly record your accident.
You should report the accident and the injury sustained either to the owner or to the concerned person of the business place where the accident took place. Ideally this should be done at the time the injury occurs or as close as possible.