Published 06 Nov 2017
Practice Area: Slip & Fall / Public Liability Claims
Slips, trips and falls are common among Queenslanders. More than 13,000 employees suffer this kind of accident in the workplace each year, according to state government statistics.
People who are injured while performing their job have access to workers compensation payments, but what about if you hurt yourself somewhere else? Are you still covered for your injuries?
The Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (PIPA) sets out the laws by which you can pursue compensation claims for these non-employment related slips, trips and falls. The legislation also covers other areas of public liability, such as medical negligence and faulty products.
What does the PIPA say?
PIPA does not apply to all personal injury cases – there are separate pieces of legislation to cover motor accidents, discrimination cases and criminal compensation.
Nevertheless, the Act outlines the various processes, policies and restrictions plaintiffs and respondents must follow when pursuing a slip, trip or fall claim.
For instance, there are specific time limits within which you must begin proceedings, and you are required to comply with various pre-court procedures.
A mandatory step is to notify the individual or organisation, known as the respondent, that you intend to make a claim. This must take place either:
- Within nine months of the date you sustained the injuries; or
- Within one month of instructing your lawyer to pursue a claim.
The respondent has one month to tell you whether they accept your notice of claim, at which point you are required to participate in compulsory conference. This involves the parties coming together to try and settle a claim before it goes to court.
What if a settlement can’t be agreed?
Court proceedings typically take place 60 days after a failed compulsory conference. A judge will hear your claim and the defence’s version of events before coming to a decision.
PIPA does not govern this part of the process. Instead, the Civil Liability Act 2003 (QLD) is used to judge whether negligence has occurred and what damages you should be awarded if successful.
Winning your claim typically requires you to prove that the organisation or individual you are suing not only owed you a duty of care but also breached this obligation due to negligence.
You must show the circumstances surrounding the slip, trip or fall were foreseeable and the risk of injury was obvious, among other stipulations.
Please contact an experienced public liability lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for more information on pursuing a payout.