Lawyers for Injuries in Public Places
Whether you’re injured or hurt at a shopping centre, on private property or while volunteering, what to do next can be confusing. Quite often it is possible to claim compensation for your injury, which can help in your recovery.
You might have family and friends giving you different advice about your possible entitlement to compensation and how to go about making a claim.
During this difficult period, you need clear and easy to understand advice.
Ryan Carlisle Thomas has successfully resolved hundreds of public liability cases. We pride ourselves on being able to give sensible advice that is free of legal jargon.
When considering whether you might have a claim, it is important to remember that there is a difference between accidents where another party is at fault and those accidents where there is no fault.
Where there is fault, you may be able to sue the negligent party for damages. If the incident occurred in circumstances where there isn’t a negligent party, you would only be entitled to cover for out of pocket expenses if insurance is held by the other party to cover accidents.
Injury in Public Places
Injuries related to footpaths and other public property are unfortunately common. While compensation is not available in all circumstances, it is worthwhile speaking to a lawyer to assess your options.
Sometimes, severe injuries are sustained due to falling branches in State or National Parks or at public pools or popular diving spots. You should consult a lawyer if you or a family member is injured in these circumstances.
Injury in supermarkets or shopping centres
People are frequently injured by slipping on hazards like food or liquid on the floor. This can often occur in food courts and grocery sections of supermarkets. We recommend noting what you slipped on, and take photos if possible. You should notify the manager of the business where the incident occurred if you can, even if it is in the days after the accident.
If your injuries are ongoing, getting legal advice can be a good idea.
Injury on private or rental properties
If you are living in a rental property or are invited onto a private property and injured due to unsafe building works or a poorly maintained property, you may be entitled to bring a claim against the property owner. Common examples include injuries due to unsafe decking areas where building codes have not been complied with in relation to railings, lighting or flooring or as a result of pool fencing not being maintained.
Injury on business premises
These types of public injuries are similar to those sustained on private property or in supermarkets and shopping centres. You should report an injuryn to the business manager without undue delay and seek legal advice if you have ongoing issues as a result of the injury.
Injury at school and on school trips
Injuries caused by unsafe premises or other breaches of a school’s duty of care to a student may create an entitlement to compensation depending on the severity of the injury.
Psychological injury from prolonged bullying may also be considered a breach of the school’s duty of care in some circumstances, such as when the school was well aware of the problems and didn’t take adequate steps to stop it.
Physical or sexual abuse by staff or other students can be compensated in certain circumstances. The police should be contacted where appropriate and you should seek legal advice as soon as you can.
Injury in the playground
Authorities that control playgrounds, including councils, have a responsibility to properly maintain public facilities. The recent popularity of trampoline centres has also resulted in an increase in injuries. If you believe the injury was caused by unsafe or faulty equipment and the injury has long term effects, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
In situations where you are injured due to an assault outside the normal course of the game, or by unsafe facilities or equipment, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
An assault may occur behind play or after a game has concluded. Potentially, a victims of crime claim or civil claim against the offender may be possible.
For injuries due to unsafe equipment or facilities, a civil claim against the controlling body is possible.
In limited circumstances, some clubs or organisations will have insurance to help with medical expenses, like ambulance bills, when an injury occurs while playing sport.
Injury and volunteers
The law surrounding people injured while volunteering can be complicated. Certain volunteers are covered by WorkCover laws, where others may be covered by policies held by the organisation. For some volunteers, there may be no insurance policy at all to cover injuries.
For example, SES volunteers, volunteer school workers and people performing jury duty will be covered by WorkCover if they are injured. Importantly, WorkCover also covers volunteer firefighters in the CFA.
You should consult a lawyer who is experienced in advising volunteers on injury claim matters to check what cover may be available.
What should I do if i'm injured?
- Report the incident to the person you think is responsible
- Ask witnesses for their names and addresses
- See a doctor for medical treatment and explain how the injury happened
- If safe to do so, go back to the scene of the incident and take photos of the area, noting the date the photos were taken
- If you have ongoing injuries, consult a lawyer within a year of the accident happening.
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During an extremely stressful period, I have found my WorkCover lawyer to be incredibly supportive, understanding and professional. This gave me the reassurance and confidence I needed to get through it!