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Public Accidents

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Public Liability Claims against Local Government

An injury or loss caused to you if you are injured in a public place (where you have the right to be safe) may entitle you to receive compensation. A & E Legal can assist.

Our experienced solicitors will engage on your behalf (by submitting a claim) with the owner, occupier and/or organisation and/or their insurers for the compensation that you deserve resulting from your personal injury or loss, which should ultimately resolve by settlement or progression to a trial.

Our solicitors will fight for your rights and entitlements.

Who Can Claim?

Anyone who has been injured as a result of someone’s negligence in a public place can lodge a claim for loss and damages. Injuries sustained vary from case to case, but they may include one or more or all of the following:

  • bruising;
  • puncture wounds;
  • lacerations;
  • nerve and muscle damage;
  • scarring and disfigurement;
  • broken or fractured bones;
  • emotional and psychological trauma.

When can I claim?

The law covers a variety of circumstances that may allow you to claim for compensation, a few examples being:

  • playground injuries;
  • play park injuries;
  • slip and falls on Local Government property e.g. office of your local Shire;
  • tripping on pavers, pavements and sidewalks belonging to the local Shire;
  • falling into unmarked or exposed inspection holes or on excavation sites on Shire property

What can I claim?

You can claim for all loss and damage suffered by you, i.e.:

  • past and future loss of earnings;
  • pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life;
  • past and future medical expenses;
  • hospitalisation expenses; and
  • home assistance.

Can I claim for damages if the injury was partly my fault?

Yes, you may claim for damages suffered even if you were partly to blame for your own injury, provided that your action was not illegal at the time. Your claim settlement will be reduced proportionately depending on the percentage of fault attributed to you.

Who can I claim from?

Anyone who causes or contributes to your injury may be found legally liable and may be required to pay you compensation due to their breach of a duty of care towards you. Normally a Shire, responsible for public places, will also be responsible for the acts and/or omissions of its employees. This is called vicarious liability. There is no doubt that all Shires will have insurance to cover them in the event of a person lodging a public liability claim for personal injury.

What is the duty of care?

A Shire will have a duty of care towards all persons who they can reasonably foresee will come onto their property and be harmed in any way.

What do I do if I think I have a claim?

You should immediately do the following:

  • seek First Aid or medical treatment;
  • keep record of all medical attendances and receipts of medical expenses incurred by you;
  • take photographs of your injuries and the scene of the accident;
  • try and obtain the contact particulars of anyone who witnessed the incident;
  • contact us at A & E Legal

Are there time limits?

There are strict time limits and normally, if you are an adult, you have 3 years from the date of the personal injury or from the date when you first noticed clinical signs of an injury.

If your child has been injured due to a breach of the Shire’s duty of care, different time periods exist and we recommend that you contact us immediately.

Do I have to go to Court?

Most claims are settled without having to go to Court on trial. However, pre-trial conferences are held at the Court building in a more informal basis and we will be there to represent you through this process.

How long will it take and how much does it cost?

We will attempt to get through the claim procedure as quickly as possible by seeking the relevant expert medical advice from your doctors to ensure that your claim is settled at the right time. We will answer all your questions about legal costs at the first free consultation with you. However, in the event of a successful resolution of your claim, the owner or person in control of the dog or their respective insurers will cover most of the costs.

Is the first consultation free?

The first consultation is free with no obligation on your part to proceed.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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