Public Liability Lawyers Cairns

Cairns owned and Operated Public Liability Compensation & Public Space Claim services


No Win No Fee. No Hidden Costs

If you had an accident in a public place, you will likely have the right to claim compensation for your injury. Public places include shopping centres, pools, cafés, restaurants, or even someone’s house.

To be entitled to compensation, you must prove that the owner or person in charge of the public place (Respondent) caused or contributed to your injury. In most cases, the Respondent will have public liability insurance. If your claim is successful, the insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your injury.

Determining if you can claim compensation for personal injury in a public place is a complicated process. We strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced compensation lawyer for an assessment before proceeding.

Cairns Compensation Lawyers will undertake a free initial assessment over the phone, face to face at our office, or in your home. During your free consultation, we will advise you of the steps you need to take for your public liability compensation claim.

Public Liability Law Process

In Queensland, everyone involved in a personal injury claim must meet and try to agree on a settlement. If the parties agree at the compulsory conference, they usually receive payment within 30 days. The compulsory conference aims to settle your compensation claim without going to court.

If you are unable to reach a settlement at the compulsory conference, mediation or a determination by a judge can take up to 6 months or more.

All claims are different and for this reason, it is important to receive expert advice. Our personal injury lawyers will advise you of the steps you’ll need to take, depending on your situation.

Contact our compensation lawyers for more info or check out our FAQ section below.


Call us for a free over the phone or face to face consultation


Frequently Asked Questions

How much compensation will I be entitled to?

Every compensation claim is different, but the process for calculating compensation that a person injured in a public place will receive, remains the same.

The approach calls for a consideration of the following categories for which compensation is payable:

  1. Pain and suffering
  2. The injured person’s loss of wages and superannuation that has arisen as a result of their injuries;
  3. Any potential loss of wages and or superannuation in the future;
  4. The costs of medical treatment (both past and future) that are required to treat the injury;
  5. Care and assistance provided by family members and friends (only in limited cases)
  6. Legal costs associated with bringing the claim (in most cases)

How do I claim my compensation?

To claim compensation for a public place injury, you must lodge a Notice of Claim with the owner. In most cases, this also includes their public liability insurer.

The Notice of Claim must be in the approved form. It is critical that the information in the Notice of Claim and the technical aspects of injury claim, including the details of negligence, are completed accurately from the outset.

Failure to complete a Notice of Claim correctly and/or provide adequate detail and technical information can negatively impact your compensation claim.

The Respondent (generally their public liability insurer’s Lawyer) must provide you with a response within six months of receipt of the correctly completed Notice of Claim advising:

  • Whether they accept liability for your injury
  • Whether they deny liability for your injury
  • Whether they accept partial liability for your injury.

Once the public liability insurer’s response is received, it will generally be necessary for you to be independently medically examined. The examination will be by one of our panel doctors to obtain a medico-legal report. This details the nature and extent of injuries and the impact of your injuries on your day-to-day work and home life.

This report is then provided to the Respondent’s insurer and/or their Lawyer through a process known as disclosure. The report is sent along with all other information relevant to your claim. This includes financial information, personal information, statements from family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones, and any other relevant deatails.

Once both sides have undertaken disclosure and all independent medical-legal reports are obtained, the compensation claim progresses to a compulsory conference.

At the compulsory conference, you (either you personally, or through your lawyers or a Barrister that they retain on your behalf) present your case in the best possible light to the Respondent’s representatives.

The compulsory conference aims to settle your compensation claim without going to court. If you reach an agreement for your claim, you sign a Deed of Settlement and usually receive compensation within 30 days.

In circumstances where it is not possible to negotiate a settlement of your claim at the compulsory conference, formal legal proceedings are commenced. Your public liability case then progresses to a mediation.

A mediation is another meeting like a compulsory conference. However, in mediation, both parties engage a senior Barrister (often a Queen’s Counsel). The Barrister acts as an independent mediator who seeks to broker a settlement agreement between the parties.

In the very unlikely event that a claim is not settled at mediation, it will proceed to be determined by a Judge in the appropriate court. The judge will determine:

  • Whether compensation is payable; and
  • How much compensation is payable.

Are there time limits on making a claim?

Under Queensland Law, there are strict time limits associated with claiming compensation for public place injury. To make matters more complicated, there are different timeframes for sending the Notice of a Claim and beginning formal legal proceedings.

A Notice of Claim must be delivered to the public place owner within 1 month of consulting a public accident lawyer for a compensation claim. In almost every case, formal legal proceedings must be commenced within 3 years of the accident that resulted in injury. Failure to meet these time frames will, in almost every case, result in you permanently losing the right to seek compensation.

How long does it take to make a claim?

Public liability claims typically require all parties involved to attend a compulsory conference. This meeting usually occurs within 9 to 18 months after hiring a lawyer. It may take longer to reach this stage, especially when many people are involved, or serious injuries have occurred.

If a settlement is agreed at the compulsory conference, payment is usually received within 30 days.

If you are unable to reach a settlement at the compulsory conference, mediation or a determination by a judge can take up to 6 months or more.

Who pays my compensation?

In almost every case, the Respondent will have a public liability insurer. If you have suffered an injury at a public space that is owned or controlled by the Respondent, their insurer will indemnify them for any compensation that is payable.

How much does it cost to make a claim?

The cost of claiming for public space compensation varies. This depends upon how much work needs to be done with respect to your claim. Another variable is how long it takes to prepare your claim to be presented to the Respondent’s representatives.

All our work for public place injury compensation is undertaken on a no win no fee basis. This means that you don’t pay anything for your representation unless we succeed in obtaining compensation. You only pay for costs like medical reports and payments to others if your claim is successful.

We can generally provide you with an estimate of the costs that will be payable on a stage-by-stage basis. This can be provided once we have received the formal response from the Respondent’s representatives advising whether they accept liability in part or full.

We also provide our clients with updated, accurate (to the dollar) estimates as to their costs prior to any settlement event, such as a compulsory conference, mediation, or the receipt or the making of an offer during the process.

What is a Public Place?

Public places include (but are not limited to):

  • shopping centres
  • hotels
  • ferries
  • entertainment venues such as theme parks or zoos
  • beaches
  • public pools
  • someone’s house other than your own
  • buildings
  • parks
  • government buildings
  • national parks; and
  • anyone else’s property.

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