Published 24 Apr 2018
Practice Area: Slip & Fall / Public Liability Claims
Proceeding with a public liability claim is a big decision, and people often want to know how long their case is likely to take before it reaches a conclusion.
Unfortunately, this is always a difficult question to answer because of the unique factors affecting each claim. If the individual or organisation admits liability for your injuries, a settlement may be reached in just a few months, while other claims may not be resolved for several years.
Here are a few factors that could have an impact on the duration of your claim.
1. When did you first lodge your claim?
In Queensland, you must notify whomever you think is responsible for your injuries that you intend to claim within nine months of the accident occurring. However, you have three years from the date of the incident to actually lodge the claim.
The longer you take to begin the process, the longer you must wait for a resolution. Witness recollections of the accident will also fade with time, so it’s important to start proceedings as soon as possible.
2. Has the organisation or individual admitted liability?
Not all public liability claims end up in court. There are a number of pre-court processes that must take place first, and it’s possible the organisation or individual you believe was negligent will admit liability.
You will typically be offered a settlement in these circumstances. If you accept, your claim will be resolved far more quickly than if you turn it down.
However, the respondent may choose to fight the claim, which is likely to result in the case going to court via mediation. This is a longer process and will result in delays.
3. How complex is the claim?
There are many reasons why some public liability claims are more difficult to resolve than others. These include:
- The need for professional expertise, such as in medical negligence claims;
- The possibility of multiple negligent parties;
- An extended appeals process; and
- Difficulty in accurately assessing injuries, including psychological disabilities.
Judges are also required to make a ruling on causation in public liability claims. This means they must find a link between the defendant’s negligence and the injuries for which you are claiming.
How can I find out more about my claim?
No two public liability claims are the same, which is why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long your particular case will take to resolve.
Please contact a personal injury specialist at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to discuss the details of your case. We can analyse the events leading up to your claim and provide a potential timeline based on your situation.