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Public Liability claims

Any injury can be traumatic, particularly if the injury sustained renders it difficult to remain active, restricts your mobility and keeps you out of work.

If you have sustained a personal injury in a public place like a shopping centre, restaurant or pub you may be entitled to make a claim against the premises. This type of claim is considered a ‘public liability’ claim.

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.

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 retail premises such as supermarkets, food courts, car parks or other retail outlets;
  • Slip and fall accidents in clubs, pubs and restaurants;
  • Slip and fall accidents in public places
  • Sporting injuries sustained due to faulty or defective playing surfaces;
  • Injuries sustained in public buildings;
  • Golf course injuries;
  • Injuries whilst using a lift or escalators or stairs etc.
  • Animal attacks including dog bites;
  • Boat accidents; or
  • Food poisoning.

If you sustain an injury in a manner listed above, it is important for you to understand your legal rights, and if you are entitled to make a claim.

What can you claim?

It is important that you seek legal help from a specialised practitioner in this field so you gain an understanding of the chances of success and whether you have a right to make a claim or not.

If the other party is found to be negligent then the person sustaining or suffering an injury 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 family
    • Care required for the future
    • Nursing care and other paid care including lawn mowing, cleaning/ domestic assistance;
  • Past and future medical expenses, includingDoctor’s fees;
    • Cost of surgery,
    • Physiotherapy;
    • Psychologist treatment;
    • Nursing and attendant care;
    • Medication
  • Past and future loss of earnings (including loss of superannuation)

What are the time limits to make a claim?

Any claim for personal injury needs to be made in the court within 3 years of the date of the accident. This means that proceedings need to be commenced within 3 years, but do not need to be completed within that time frame.

If you think that you may have a public liability claim, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible so that you can put your best case forward before the 3 year period expires.

What you should do if you have had such an injury

  • If you are badly injured, ask someone to call an ambulance.
  • Report your fall to the shopping centre/ pub and ensure that they complete an ‘incident report’. If possible, ask for a copy of this report. If you are not able to make a report at the time, ensure you call them and make one as soon as possible. Take note of your conversation.
  • Try and get the name and contact number of any witnesses to your accident;
  • Take a photo of the scene of the accident ie. what you tripped or slipped on, the surface of the ground. If you are unable to take photos at the time of the incident, visit the premises when you are feeling better and take some then.
  • If you cannot take a photo, make a mental note of the surface and any foreign substances that you see and write it down when you get home
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible and ensure you tell your doctor what happened.

What we will do for you

  • We offer a free first interview
  • If we believe you have a viable claim and you instruct us, we will act for you on a “no win/no pay” basis.
  • We will properly investigate the case.
  • We will obtain all necessary evidence in support of your claim.
  • We will endeavour to resolve your case outside of court .
  • If the case cannot be resolved outside court, we will represent you in court and seek the best possible outcome for you.

For a no obligation, free first interview please call us on 08 8210 5400 or email

We are very experienced in public liability claims. If you think that you may be entitled to make a claim, contact us as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.

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