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Public Liability Claims

Public Liability

Injured in a Shopping Centre in Sydney? What Can I Do?

By | Public Liability Claims

When we visit a shopping centre for some ‘retail therapy’, the last thing we expect is that we might sustain an injury.

And yet this is a relatively common occurrence, with slips, trips and falls resulting in injuries for which you may be able to claim compensation. The cause of such accidents can be anything from water left on a slick, tiled floor to a stray grape falling off a produce table in a supermarket, a loose tile or a faulty escalator. Back, neck, hip and knee injuries are the common result of such accidents.

In any of these situations, if it can be shown that the owner and/or operator of the shopping centre has not taken reasonable care to prevent the cause of the accident, then it can be shown they were negligent in their duty of care to shoppers and may be liable to pay the injured person compensation.

Under the Civil Liability Act in NSW, the sorts of damages that can potentially be claimed under public liability by an injured person include for pain and suffering, loss of wages, medical expenses and rehabilitation, and homecare services made necessary by the injury.

Family members of the injured person may also have a claim because of the increased pressure and stress they experience as a result of caring for an injured loved one.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident at a shopping centre, consult expert compensation professionals such as Gajic Lawyers as soon as possible for guidance on the best way to make a claim, but also keep in mind the things you should do when the accident happens, detailed in this article.

What should you do immediately after the accident?

Evidence in support of any claim for compensation to show the shopping centre was negligent will be crucial in the success of your claim. That’s why it’s very important – if you have the presence of mind at the time – to gather as much evidence as possible of the scene of the accident when it occurs.

Obviously the first priority is to ensure your injury is treated and stabilised. After that, if you can (or a companion is able to), take photos of the scene where the accident occurred. Also take photos of your injuries if they are visible (scratches, contusions, obvious breaks, etc). Try and get the contact details of any witnesses to the accident at the scene. Check whether CCTV cameras are present and note their location – the cameras may have captured the scene of your accident. Write down as many details as you can about the lead-up to the accident and the incident itself.

Most large shopping centres will have their own incident report form, which you should comply with in order for it to be accurately filled out. If not, it’s advisable to report the accident to shopping centre management as soon as possible.

In many cases, injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall type accident at a shopping centre may only worsen or emerge in the days and weeks after the incident. In this situation, medical evidence from your doctor may prove vital in proving the veracity of your claim. Whether you are immediately aware of your injury or it becomes more apparent later, visiting your doctor to obtain a full report on your injuries as soon as possible after the accident is very important.

Keep a record of all the expenses you accrue as a result of the accident, from travel to medical appointments as well as the costs of any medical treatment or rehab.

Why you should speak with an expert compensation lawyer

Public liability negligence claims in NSW are governed by the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW). The finer detail in this legislation about how a negligence claim is proved, plus the fact your claim for compensation must be lodged within three years of the accident, means you should seek the advice and guidance of experienced personal lawyers such as Gajic Lawyers.

We can help you at all stages of the process, from gathering evidence in support of your claim to lodging it on time and in order to give you the best chance of success. Call us today on 1800 431 542 for a free, no-obligation discussion about your case.

e-scooter lawyers

Who Could Be Liable for E-Scooter Accidents in Australia?

By | Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, Public Liability Claims

Legal liability will depend on who is at fault – the answer can be any of the following parties:

· E-scooter riders;

· Pedestrians;

· Motor vehicle drivers/riders or businesses owning these vehicles;

· Cities, councils or other responsible regulatory authorities/public corporations/agencies;

· E-scooter hire companies and/or manufacturers;

Many issues remain for Australia’s regulators to adequately address in light of the fact that e-scooters do not meet Australian Design/Safety Standards for road use. As such, e-scooters cannot be registered as motor vehicles and are not covered by Compulsory Third Party(CTP) insurance schemes.

Road use regulations vary across Australia, but in most states and territories e-scooters are banned from public roads and can only be used on private property.

Outside of current trials underway in Brisbane and Adelaide, strict penalties may be imposed on e-scooter riders who unilaterally acquire and ride e-scooters in public spaces (e.g. footpaths, parks etc.) in contravention of existing state laws and local council regulations.

It is important to keep abreast of regulations in your local area. (Read more about current regulations throughout Australia, HERE).

Australia’s city leaders and regulators appear to be taking a prudent approach and are cautiously undertaking trials of e-scooters. It is commendable that they haven’t permitted swarms of e-scooters being released on citizens and our crowded and bumpy footpaths. They have also limited maximum speeds to 20km/h during trials.

However, many important issues need to be resolved to prevent a cascade of legal liabilities, personal injury and economic loss for communities broadly. Prime concerns include:

· How will pedestrian and rider safety best be maximised?

· Will e-scooter riders be afforded the same treatment as bicycle riders and be permitted to use dedicated bicycle lanes? Or will dedicated e-scooter zones be regulated?

· Where and under what conditions is it reasonable to permit e-scooters to co-mingle with pedestrians?

· What speeds and other precautions are deemed safe for e-scooters around pedestrians? Current Australian trials have limited maximum e-scooter speeds to 20km/h.

· What safety induction training or perhaps even licensing is appropriate?

· What limitations will be optimal for e-scooter interaction with motor vehicle traffic?

No doubt, trials of e-scooters are designed to address these and an ocean of related issues by providing experience-based data for all stakeholders to mould better policy and safer scooting conditions.

Trial periods do not mean however, that people injured in e-scooter accidents should remain uncompensated data-points.

Gajic Lawyers is a specialised personal injury law firm, operating Australia-wide. We understand the nuances of complex personal injury claims arising from e-scooter injuries.

If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident in Brisbane or Adelaide (either as a rider or member of the public) , our lawyers can cut through the often confusing issues related to your e-scooter personal injury entitlements. For your peace of mind, we undertake to do so on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Talk to us at your earliest convenience, we can certainly assist in maximising your compensation potential.

“Gajic Lawyers, where personal injury compensation is treated as a fundamental human right.”

e-scooter accidents

E-Scooters in Australia

By | Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, Public Liability Claims

Trials of motorised foot scooters – e-scooters – are currently underway in Brisbane, Adelaide and parts of Victoria. City councils are conducting these trials in conjunction with licensed e-scooter hire companies. E-scooters are powered by electric motors, and appear to be favourably received by riders in these cities.

Councils in Sydney and Western Australia are also planning to implement public trials with e-scooter hire companies in the near future.

E-scooters are marketed as an efficient and environmentally-friendly means of transport for short journeys. They offer utility in terms of mobility, fuel-cost savings over cars, time efficiencies for day-to-day activities, and a fun recreational activity.

Recent US experience, where e-scooters have been released into communities en-masse, has been met with a mixed reception by communities and regulators. Some cities have banned the use of e-scooters due to safety and public nuisance issues.

Also, lawsuits are mounting throughout the USA for personal injuries, public nuisance, product liability and negligence claims. Some early and limited clinical research from various US emergency rooms indicates that the incidence of e-scooter related injuries is similar to bicycle injuries. E-scooter accidents imperil riders, pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers. Injuries can range from grazes, bruising, minor fractures, to debilitating incapacity and sadly, even death.

Current e-scooter trials in Brisbane and Adelaide are demonstrating that danger lurks in many places and unexpected encounters. Here also, e-scooter riders, pedestrians and even other road users are suffering debilitating physical injuries and economic losses as a result of e-scooter related accidents.

Injury and losses are being caused by many factors including:

· Road hazards poorly maintained riding surfaces and chaotic environments (such as around construction sites);

· Panic stopping attempts by riders;

· Not wearing safety equipment;

· Poor visibility, insufficient traffic management or signage;

· Reckless behaviour of riders, other road users and pedestrians;

· Poorly maintained or faulty e-scooters;

These factors raise many important questions for the public at large, including:

· Where do you turn for relief if you are injured as an e-scooter rider in an accident?

· What if you suffer injuries and you lose your capacity for work and incur burdensome medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses?

· Who is liable for injuries that you as a pedestrian, or your loved-ones, suffer as a result of an e-scooter rider colliding with you in a busy pedestrian zone?

· Where do you turn for relief if you are injured in a “scoot and run” scenario?

· What if you are driving your motor vehicle and swerve to avoid a panicked e-scooter rider careening out of control in front of your vehicle? You may have successfully managed to avoid hitting them, but are injured as a result of colliding with other vehicles -what then?

· What recourse is available to you if the e-scooter you were riding suddenly loses a wheel, or the brakes fail and you are injured and cannot work as a result for extended periods of time?

· What do you do if you are riding an e-scooter in a designated area and sustain injuries and economic losses as a result of poorly maintained surfaces or as a result of encountering chaotic riding environments that weren’t supervised or controlled appropriately?

· Are E-scooter hire companies attempting to minimise their liability with unfair contractual clauses in their hire agreements?

· How do you, or your loved ones recover losses?

These are just a sample of pressing issues for e-scooter riders, pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers alike. Answers to the above questions are not always straightforward, particularly in these early e-scooter trials in Australia.

Gajic Lawyers is a specialised personal injury law firm, operating Australia-wide. We understand the nuances of complex personal injury claims arising from e-scooter injuries.

If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident in Brisbane or Adelaide (either as a rider, a motor vehicle driver or member of the public) , our lawyers can cut through the often confusing issues related to your e-scooter personal injury entitlements.

For your peace of mind, we undertake to do so on a no-win, no-fee basis.

 

public liability claim

What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Public Place

By | Public Liability Claims

Taking a fall is never fun. Tripping, slipping or falling in public can be downright embarrassing. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with nothing more than a case of injured pride. If you’re not so fortunate, you may end up badly bruised, or with a fracture, a concussion or worse. You may have legal recourse, however, if you have sustained significant injuries as the result of such a fall. Here’s what you need to know about making a public liability claim.

Be proactive

Clearly your wellbeing after a fall should be your first priority. Having said that, you should report the incident as soon as you can. If at all possible you should report the incident immediately because if you leave without doing so, the hazard that caused your fall may be cleaned up or removed and the scene won’t be documented properly.

Of course, the specific circumstances will dictate whom you tell but in general it should be someone in authority at the site where you fell. This person should take a detailed account of what happened, noting the:

  • Date, time and specific location of the incident;
  • specific cause of the accident (such as a wet floor);
  • the type of injury you’ve sustained.

Don’t forget to request a copy of the report for your records.

Next, be sure to get prompt medical attention, even if you’ve only sustained a ‘minor’ injury. By doing so, you’ll have another source of documentation for your case. You can request medical reports from your personal physician or the emergency room doctor who treats you, along with any scan or x-ray results. These will serve as a valuable source of information about the extent of your injuries, prognosis and recovery. These will also serve as proof that the injury was a direct result of the fall, and not a preexisting injury.

If at all possible, either you or someone with you should photograph the accident scene, including the hazard before it is removed. Photographs of your injuries taken immediately or soon after the accident can also be used as evidence to support your claim.

You can also bolster your claim by:

  • Getting the names and contact information of any witnesses;
  • obtaining video footage of the accident (if any) from nearby security cameras;
  • keeping track of relevant medical expenses.

When to seek legal advice

Legally, the owners and operators of public property and facilities must take reasonable precautions to protect users or visitors from accidental injury. This means that they must remove or correct any known hazards as soon as possible. Alternatively, they must provide adequate warning of such hazards pending correction or removal.

If you believe that a failure to exercise these precautions led to your injury, you should contact an experienced personal injury/public liability claims lawyer to discuss your legal options. For example, you should contact us if you were injured on or by:

  • Slippery Floors: When a hazard (a spilled liquid) hasn’t been removed or there is inadequate warning about such a hazard.
  • Doors: Defective, broken or malfunctioning doors and passageways.
  • Obstructions: Including but not limited to pallets, boxes, produce or missing/improperly placed entry and exit mats.
  • Escalator or shopping trolley mishaps.
  • Other: You may still have a case even if you were injured in an accident in a public place but the circumstances don’t match any we’ve described.

How we can help

If you were injured in a public place, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as lost income due to the inability to work; pain and suffering; medical expenses; rehabilitation; and loss of life quality and assistance provided by family members.

At Gajic Lawyers, our personal injury/public liability claims team has the skills and experience needed to assess the specific circumstances of your case. In fact, we have prevailed in numerous public liability claims over 30 years. Based on our evaluation, we can determine whether you have a viable case, and if you do, you won’t be responsible for any fees unless we win. Contact us to arrange an obligation-free chat with one of our lawyers today.

public liability guide

Public Liability Guide: What you Need to Know About Public Liability Compensation

By | Public Liability Claims

There’s nothing more embarrassing than slipping and falling in public…but besides looking foolish in front of strangers, what if your stinging pride and a bruised ego weren’t the worst injuries you suffered? If you or someone you know has been hurt in a public place, such as a shopping mall, theme park, car park, playground, or sporting venue, you may be able to receive compensation through a public liability claim if the owner of the property was negligent in the condition that contributed to your injury.

Public Liability

Those who own and operate businesses owe a duty to the general public to keep their premises safe and operate their services with reasonable care. They are legally required to take precautions to ensure that customers and clients feel safe, that their employees are properly trained, and that there are procedures in place to safeguard general public safety.

However, sometimes business owners are lax in their duty to the public. When this breach of duty happens and an injury occurs as a result, the injured party will be able to make a public liability claim under the Civil Liability Act. Many businesses in New South Wales, both big and small, pay money to public liability insurers so that if and when an accident occurs, the costs will be covered by the insurer.

What Kinds of Injuries Will be Covered?

The most commonly thought of public liability claim is the classis slip-and-fall scenario…a business owner fails to clean up a spill and the unsuspecting customer slips in it, falling and injuring themselves as a result. However, this is not the only chain of events that can give rise to a public liability claim. You may also have a cause of action for assault related injuries, sports injuries, injuries caused by unsafe conditions in car parks, or even injuries caused by defective products (machinery).

Product Liability

Related to the broader umbrella of public liability claims, product liability claims (due to defective machinery, for example) are distinguishable in a variety of ways. In cases where you have been injured by a faulty piece of machinery, you will need to prove that either the defendant party’s breach of a statutory guarantee or a provably dangerous product defect caused the injury. If there is a breach of a statutory consumer guarantee, you probably won’t need to show fault on the part of the defendant but you will need to show that the defective product is not of an acceptable quality for its intended purpose. If you are bringing a defective product claim, you need to demonstrate that your injury was caused by the product and the product had a safety defect which makes the product inherently less safe than the average consumer would have reason to expect.

What can you Recover?

If your injury occurs on public property as the result of the property owner’s negligent breach of duty, you may be able to recover economic damages including: lost past and future income, medical expenses (including rehabilitation and treatment expenses), cost of household assistance, and in-home care. You may also be able to recover non-economic damages as well, including pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and legal costs.

Time Limits

The time limits for a public liability claim are a bit more generous than many other types of claims. In New South Wales you have three years from the date of your injury to file a public liability claim. This is because it may take several months or even years to ascertain the overall impact an injury has on your overall wellbeing and determine the level of whole health impairment for the purposes of noneconomic damages.

staying track compensation claim

Injured and it Wasn’t Your Fault? What Next?

By | Public Liability Claims

All over the world, accidents both big and small take place every day. New South Wales, is no different and its citizens find themselves in minor injuries, major accidents, and every incident in between both at work, on the roadways, in the hospitals, and even just on public property. Luckily, no matter where you are injured or how serious the accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation…even if the accident was your fault! Here we go over four of the most common types of compensation claim, however, it is in your best interests to contact a professionally trained lawyer to represent your claim and answer all of your questions.

Motor Vehicle Injuries

Road injuries are some of the most common accidents that can happen, but they can happen in many different ways. You can be injured in motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, or while on your bicycle. If you are injured while on the road, you will be affected by the recent changes enacted in New South Wales: The Motor Accident Injuries Bill 2017 NSW.

This Bill changes how the mandatory compulsory third party insurance scheme works. Entitlements used to primarily go towards covering the no-fault party in the accident, now statutory benefits will extend to any party injured in the accident (including the one at-fault). Additionally, the bill has reduced the amount that can be claimed by the no-fault party and for parties involved with blameless accidents (i.e. heart attack, seizure, and etcetera). There have been many other changes caused by this Bill, so if you or someone you love has been in a motor vehicle accident you should contact our Parramatta Personal Injury Lawyers as soon as possible as there are many strict time limits involved in accident compensation claims.

Workplace Injuries

If you are injured while on the job it can be a frustrating and confusing time, especially because you will need to work with your employer for the insurance claims process. You might find yourself missing work, unable to earn income, or incapable of going back to work for a great deal of time. However, you should be able to receive this lost income back by filing a worker’s compensation claim, no matter what type of employee you are (casual, part-time, full-time, volunteer, or student).

There are several steps and time limits that you will need to abide by if you are going to succeed in your claim, including: proving your injuries, demonstrating that it/they happened in the course of your employment, the extent of your medical expenses, and the impact of these injuries on your ability to work. This is not an exclusive list, but your lawyer will be able to help you navigate the requirements as you move forward.

Medical Negligence

These claims can be very complicated as they rest in several different types of legal theory and require a lawyer with specialized skills. Medical negligence claims are so complicated because these injuries are the result of negligent care given to you by a healthcare practitioner (usually a doctor, but this would also include many different health care practitioners).

To prove a medical negligence claim, there are several basic elements you would have to prove, the first of which is that the offending medical professional breached their duty of care to you, the patient by demonstrating that their actions were unreasonable or inappropriate in the attendant circumstances. The second basic element that needs to be demonstrated is that the claim meets the thresholds for medical negligence claims required by a law, a determination that your lawyers will get to by working with several medical experts. Many of these claims are settled outside of court so as to ease the burden on the injured party.

Public Place Accidents & Product Liability

If you are injured by someone else in a public area, you should be able to receive compensation by demonstrating the at-fault party’s negligence and that their negligence was the cause of your injuries. Product liability is similar, except you would be demonstrating a company’s liability for a faulty product which was the cause of your injury. These compensation claims are limited by time periods, legal thresholds, and payment caps but a practiced lawyer will be able to handle these obstacles to the best of their ability and with your important interests at heart.