What to do if you’re injured in a public place

Whether you’re in a car park, church or music festival, or just walking along a footpath, someone is responsible for ensuring these areas are safe.

Commercial premises have a duty of care to protect your health and safety. Local and state government agencies must maintain roads, footpaths, parks and other shared-use areas to keep you safe.

Unfortunately, accidents still happen and Queenslanders are injured in public places every year. If you’re seriously injured, you might lose income while you recover and have to pay medical bills for treatment and rehabilitation.

If you have been injured in a public place, but are not sure what to do if you’re injured in a public place you may be eligible for compensation from the other party’s public liability insurance. This is known as a public liability claim.

What is public liability?

Commercial and government agencies take out public liability insurance to cover them if someone gets hurt in areas they are responsible for due to their negligence or oversight.

You don’t need to be injured out in the open to be eligible for public liability compensation. You could be on public transport or in a shop.

These incidents don’t fall under workers’ compensation, medical negligence, or road and vehicle accidents.

Common slip and fall injuries

Many types of injuries can occur in a public places, including broken bones, cuts and grazes, spinal injuries, head injuries and more.

They are often called ‘slip and fall injuries’ and may occur due to:

  • cracked or broken concrete on pathways
  • spilt liquids or foods on floors
  • lack of warning signs, barriers and safety rails
  • loose electrical cords and hazardous objects like mats and rugs
  • poor or no lighting
  • lack of adherence to safety policies and procedures.

Determining fault for injury in a public place

You can’t necessarily make a public liability claim just because you hurt yourself in a public area. You need to prove that:

  • The other party had a duty of care towards you
  • Your injury or loss occurred because they breached that duty of care
  • You were unable to prevent the incident from occurring.

What you need to make a claim

When making a public liability claim, provide as much evidence as possible, including:

  • medical assessment of your injuries
  • receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, like hospital visits and medication
  • witness statements and photos
  • records of communication with the other party, such as emails.

Compensation for public liability

If your public liability claim is successful, you could receive compensation for medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, domestic assistance and related out-of-pocket expenses.

The compensation amount would depend on factors like the extent of the other party’s negligence and the effect your injury has had and will continue to have, on your life.

How to start your claim

Now that you know what to do if you’re injured in a public place, the first step in making a claim is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, as there are time limits for public liability compensation. At Main Lawyers, we will help you work out whether you have a case.

With our ‘No Win, No Fee’ policy, you won’t pay any legal fees unless your case is successful and you receive compensation.

Ready to get started?

For expert advice, contact our public liability lawyers for a no-obligation discussion about your case. If you can’t get to our offices on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane, we are happy to come to you.

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