Public Liability Claims Gold Coast, Tweed Heads & Coolangatta
These are cases involving injuries sustained to persons on public grounds whereby the owner or occupier has been negligent. They most commonly include slip and falls in shopping centres, supermarkets and other retail stores. They might also include assaults both security guards or other persons.
Public liability claims also include any actions for assault most commonly brought against security guards or police officers.
In certain circumstances, it can also include injuries caused by negligence in recreational or sporting activities.
Can I make a claim?
If you have suffered an injury in a public place you may have an action. It is not enough that you have suffered serious injuries in the public domain. To pursue an action, you will need to prove that somebody was negligent.
Establishing whether somebody is negligent can be complex and you should speak to a Lawyer as to whether you might be able to pursue an action.
Will I end up in a Courtroom?
In Queensland, Public Liability matters have a pre-court procedure that must be complied with before attending before a Judge in a Courtroom. Such a process will involve you attending various medical professionals, depending upon the number, and extent, of your injuries. The pre-court procedures conclude (after the parties have obtained their necessary evidence) with the parties attending a compulsory conference. Such a compulsory conference, may involve an insurer attending for the Public Liability insurer (or their representatives). You are required to participate and attend in such a conference, but will generally not be required to speak. That is our role or, in some instances, the role of a Barrister who we will brief in your matter.
Over 50% of all Public Liability matters would settle at Compulsory Conference. This is primarily due to most client’s being reasonable and the Public Liability insurer making a fair and reasonable assessment of the claim and the parties making offers accordingly. Sometimes, as with anything in life, two sides cannot agree on the evidence before them and in those cases the parties must seek a Judges intervention. It is only after the Compulsory Conference is unsuccessful that the parties commence Court proceedings.
Only a small percentage of Public Liability matters end up before a Judge (less than 2% of all matters).
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How long will this take?
There are timeframes that expedite Public Liability claims to the Compulsory Conference relatively quickly. Assuming that all your injuries are stable and stationary (That is, not likely to improve or worsen with or without treatment) the claim may take approximately 12 – 18 months to proceed to compulsory conference. That is because we are able to have you medically assessed by appropriate specialists almost immediately to have the specialists assess the damage you have suffered. We cover those legal disbursements for you until the conclusion of your claim.
If you have injuries (or all injuries) that have not become stable and stationary, then the timeframe may take longer.
An estimated timeframe can be given to you at your first consultation.
Are there time limits that apply to Public Liability claims?
There are strict timeframes (known as limitation dates) that operate on any action in Queensland. For Public Liability claims that is three (3) years from the date the incident occurred, except in some circumstances. The best advice is to seek legal advice as early as possible following a Public Liability incident.
How much will all of this cost?
It all depends upon the complexity of your case, the number of injuries you have sustained and the number of specialists we will need to have you assessed by. In some circumstances some legal costs are paid by the Public Liability insurer. Those costs can be 50% – 70% of your final legal bill with us.
An estimated range of our costs is given to you at our initial consultation after getting details of your claim and assessing the complexity of the matter. Public Liability matters are time costed. That is, we charge for the amount of time we put into your claim.
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland and/or New South Wales compensation law and is current at time of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 314 761 for a free discussion of your matter with one of our experienced lawyers.
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