What is a public liability claim?

If you were physically or mentally injured in a public or private property because of “the occupier’s negligence”, you are entitled to claim compensation for your losses arising from the injury. You can make a claim against the occupier who may be an owner, a manager, tenants or local authority depending on the situation. In New South Wales, many organisations are legally required to have public liability insurance. You will most likely make your claim against an insurer in case you suffer from an injury at a public or privately-owned place.

The occupier’s negligence is determined based on three conditions secured in The Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW).

Also, see below for common types of accidents that allow for public liability claims.


What does public liability compensation cover?

If you were injured due to negligence in a public or private place, you can claim compensation for loss of past and future earnings (loss of income while you are on recovery and loss of opportunity for earning money), medical expenses, pain and suffering and domestic assistance (paid or not-paid).

Our senior compensation lawyers can advise on your rights and entitlements arising from your specific situation. Contact Withstand Lawyers for more information on what you can claim.


How do I make a public liability compensation claim ?

When making a compensation claim for public liability, you should:

  • Identify the responsible party related to your injury and immediately notify them about the accident. If possible, make a written notification and hold a copy for yourself.
  • Collect as much evidence as possible of the accident like photos, videos and witness accounts together with medical reports assessing your injuries. Keep copies of medical bills and any correspondence related to the accident as well.
  • Document the time and the location of the accident together with details such as how it happened and what other people were involved.
  • Obtain proof of your days away from work. Also, documents proving your earnings before the injury like payrolls will be required in the process of claiming for lost income.

Most public liability claims are settled through payment made by the liability insurer. In cases that a settlement can’t be made or the insurer does not accept liability for the injury, court action may be needed. Of course we do not expect you to have all of the above however the more evidence the better.

Contact our experienced compensation lawyers to gain additional advice on the process of making a public liability compensation claim.


What are the conditions to meet to make a public liability compensation claim?

The Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) puts forward three main conditions you need to meet in order to be successful in making  a public liability claim.

1. If the risk of injury was not obvious to you

2. If the injury happened despite your reasonable precaution

3. If you weren’t engaging in a recreational activity where a warning of the risk was given to you


Frequently Asked Questions

What are common types of accidents that you can make a public liability claim for?

  • Slips and falls due to wet surfaces
  • Injuries caused by broken glass
  • Burns from hot food and drinks
  • Injuries from falling objects
  • Injuries from attacks
  • Dog bites
  • Trips and falls on walkways
  • Assaults

Common places that injuries due to negligence occur are supermarkets, shopping centres, rental properties, car parks, schoolyards and sports grounds.


How long does a public liability claim take?

It really depends on your circumstances of the accident, whether the insurer admits liability immediately or without having to commence court proceedings and also the extent of your injuries. If your injuries require surgery than your claim may need to wait to ensure that you are not finalising your claim without knowing the success of the surgery. If you resolve your claim it cannot be reopened. It usually does resolve within 1-3 years however it is important to understand that you have 3 years from the date of the accident to commence court proceedings otherwise you will be barred from commencing court proceedings without seeking special leave from the court which can be difficult without a strong explanation as to why you failed to commence court proceedings within 3 years.


Does public liability insurance cover food poisoning?

Yes this usually applies in cafes, restaurants and catering services who can be held liable by their customers for food poisoning and public liability claims can be made against their insurers.


Why trust Withstand Lawyers?

Our lawyers specialise in public liability claims and can assess the suitability of your case for making a compensation claim and guide you through every stage of the legal process in a simple manner to ensure you understand You will be offered best advice on your rights and benefits and how to claim them. Also, our no win no fee policy assures that you will not be charged if you do not receive compensation. Call us on 1800 952 898 today!

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