Public Liability Injury Claims in Perth, Western Australia
Public liability claims arise when a person suffers an injury due to the negligence of another party in a public place or on private property. These claims cover a wide range of situations, including slips and falls, injuries caused by defective products, and accidents involving animals. In Western Australia, victims of such incidents have the right to seek compensation for their injuries.
1. Understanding Public Liability
Public liability refers to the legal responsibility of individuals, businesses, and organisations for the safety and well-being of others in public spaces or on their property. Public liability claims arise when a person is injured due to the negligent actions or omissions of another party, and the injured person seeks compensation for their injuries.
To succeed in a public liability claim, the injured person must prove that:
The negligent party owed them a duty of care;
The negligent party breached that duty of care;
The breach caused the injured person's injury; and
The injured person suffered harm or loss as a result of the injury.
2. The Legal Process for Public Liability Claims
a) Gather evidence and attempt to resolve claim informally
Before commencing legal proceedings, the injured person will gather evidence and submit a claim to the at fault party in the hope of resolving the claim cost effectively and expeditiously.
b) Commencing legal proceedings
If their claim cannot be resolved informally, the injured person may commence legal proceedings by filing a Writ with Indorsement of Claim or Statement of Claim in the District Court of Western Australia.
c) Time limits for public liability claims
In Western Australia, public liability claims must be commenced within three years from the date of the injury or the date when the injured person becomes aware of their injury. In certain circumstances, the court may grant an extension of time, but it is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline.
3. Types of Damages Available in Public Liability Claims
In a public liability claim, the injured person may seek the following types of damages:
General damages: Compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-financial impacts of the injury. This category of damages is subject to statutory caps.
Loss of earnings: Compensation for past and future lost income, as well as the loss of earning capacity.
Medical and rehabilitation expenses: Compensation for reasonable past and future medical and rehabilitation costs related to the injury.
Gratuitous assistance: Compensation for the cost of care and assistance provided by others, including both paid and unpaid services.
4. Public Liability Claim Recommendations
A successful public liability claim requires careful planning and execution. We provide some recommendations below which should hopefully ensure that your claim proceeds smoothly and you receive the compensation that you are entitled to:
Report the incident: Inform the negligent party of your injury as soon as possible and ensure that they record the incident in their incident register.
Gather evidence: Collect evidence at the scene of the incident, such as photographs, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation.
Seek medical attention: Obtain medical treatment as soon as possible and follow your doctor's advice. This will not only help your recovery but also provide crucial documentation as evidence in support of your claim.
Keep records: Use a folder for safekeeping of all relevant documents, such as medical reports, receipts for expenses, and correspondence with the negligent party and their insurer.
Be proactive in your recovery: Participate in rehabilitation programs and actively work towards returning to employment, as this can positively impact your claim. Be aware that you have a duty to mitigate your loss.
Seek legal advice: Consider engaging the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer who specialises in public liability claims in Western Australia. They can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure you receive the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to.
5. Public Liability Insurance and Public Liability Claims
Most businesses and organisations in Western Australia are required to hold public liability insurance, which covers them in the event of a public liability claim. This means that when you make a claim for compensation, it is usually the negligent party's insurer who will pay the damages. The involvement of insurance companies can make the claims process more complex, but it also ensures that there are funds available to compensate injured persons.
6. Common Public Liability Claim Scenarios
Public liability claims can arise in a variety of situations. Some common scenarios include:
Slips and falls: Injuries caused by wet or slippery floors, poorly maintained walkways, or inadequate lighting in public spaces or on private property.
Defective products: Injuries caused by faulty or defective products, such as malfunctioning appliances, contaminated food, or dangerous toys.
Animal attacks: Injuries caused by attacks or bites from domestic animals, such as dogs, or injuries sustained while visiting zoos or wildlife parks.
Recreational and sporting accidents: Injuries sustained while participating in recreational activities or sports events, particularly if the organizers or facility operators have failed to provide a safe environment or proper supervision.
Injuries on public transport: Injuries sustained while using public transport, such as buses, trains, or ferries, due to the negligence of the operators.
7. Summing Up
Public liability claims in Western Australia can be a complex and challenging process. It is crucial for injured persons to understand their rights and entitlements, as well as the steps involved in lodging a claim and pursuing compensation. By following the tips provided in this article and engaging the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can improve your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
Remember that time limits apply to public liability claims, so it is essential to seek legal advice and act promptly if you have been injured due to the negligence of another party.