What constitutes a public place for liability claims in QLD?

Published 10 Apr 2018

Public liability claims enable you to pursue compensation for injuries that you sustain due to someone else’s negligence.

But what does the ‘public’ part of a public liability claim mean? Some people believe that accidents must happen in a public place, such as a shopping centre or supermarket. This isn’t quite right.

The reality is that you are eligible to claim damages for injuries that occur across both publicly and privately owned spaces. The public actually refers to members of the public, to whom individuals and organisations may owe a duty of care.

When this duty of care to the public is breached through negligent action, injured parties are entitled to seek compensation to cover a range of expenses, including lost income, medical bills and other care costs.

Where can I make a public liability claim?

Compiling a complete list of scenarios where public liability claims may arise is difficult, but cases commonly involve:

  • Slips, trips and falls in supermarkets, shopping centres and other retail outlets;
  • Injuries sustained on council-owned property and land, including schools, car parks, footpaths and playgrounds;
  • Accidents in rental properties and other private residences where the building owner has public liability insurance;
  • Medical negligence claims; and
  • Incidents on commercial property.

Public liability claims can also cover various circumstances under which someone is injured, such as animal attacks, physical assaults, boating accidents and more.

However, these examples are by no means comprehensive and you should always contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to see whether or not you are entitled to pursue damages.

Does it matter who is responsible for my injuries?

You may be eligible for compensation even if your injuries weren’t caused directly by the individual or organisation that your claim is against.

For example, a supermarket can still be liable for your injuries if you slip on a drink that another customer spilled onto the floor. This is because shops owe you a duty of care to take reasonable precautions to ensure your safety while on the premises.

If workers ignore a spillage or fail to implement a system to prevent slips, trips and falls occurring, their employer can be liable for these mistakes.

Do you believe you are entitled to compensation for injuries sustained in a publicly or privately owned space? Please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for a free consultation.

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