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Every day, people in Queensland suffer an injury while they’re using public footpaths. Many injuries are simple cuts and bruises, but others are more serious – broken bones, or even brain or spinal injuries.

It’s important to know whether you can make a compensation claim if you’re injured on a footpath in Queensland. Let’s look at a few scenarios.

Injury caused by a footpath

If you trip and fall on a public footpath due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation for injury and loss. This is a public liability claim.

Your local council is responsible for maintaining footpaths, laneways and nature strips in your area. They keep these safe for the public to use. 

To successfully claim compensation from the council, you need to show that the council was negligent in its responsibility. For example, was the council aware of the problem with the footpath and failed to fix it? This makes it even more important to know what to do if you’re injured in a public place as making a claim against the council isn’t always easy.

Who is liable for footpath slip and fall injuries?

An important aspect of making a claim is determining who is at fault.

Council fault

You need to show that another member of the public had previously:

  • suffered an injury in the same way on the same footpath
  • complained about it to the council.

This will show that the council knew about the problem and either didn’t fix it or didn’t fix it properly.

Injured on a footpath in Queensland

Partial fault

If your own behaviour contributed to your injury – e.g. looking at your mobile phone while walking – but the other party was still partially responsible, this is called ‘contributory negligence’.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have a case! But you may receive only a portion of the compensation owing, depending on what percentage of the injury was your fault.

Note: If your fall was caused by something unexpected on the path – such as a child’s scooter or toy left on the path – you may need to sue the owner of the object personally. Contact a legal professional to discuss this situation before taking action.

Hit by a car while using a footpath

Sometimes pedestrians can be injured by cars while they’re walking on a public footpath. For example, when a car backs out of a driveway or mounts a kerb.

Whether you’re walking, running, in a wheelchair or mobility device, or on a skateboard – you’re considered a pedestrian when you’re using the footpath. If you’re injured by a car, you may be able to claim against the driver’s Compulsory Third Party insurance.

Generally pedestrians have right of way, but a pedestrian is often partially at fault. If you were distracted, intoxicated or using your phone at the time, contributory negligence might apply in this situation too.

Additionally, the car might’ve been hit by another car and ended up on the footpath. Or they may have been forced to mount the footpath to avoid an accident. The situation could be more complex than it seems. So it’s important to get advice if you’ve been injured by a car while using a footpath.

Note: CTP insurance covers injury but not property damage. If your bike, scooter or other property was damaged in the accident, you’ll need to make a claim for costs against the driver. 

Get expert help with your claim

If you’ve been injured on a footpath in Queensland then it’s important to discuss your rights with a public liability lawyer who can assess your claim and ensure you receive what you’re entitled to.

Determining and proving fault is key to making a successful claim. Our personal injury experts at Main Lawyers can help – ensuring you have the evidence you need to ensure the best outcome.

Our team offers a no-win no-fee consultation to help you know your rights when it comes to making a claim.

Contact us for a free consultation to get started!

Lachlan Main from Main Lawyers