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Public Liability Lawyers Cairns

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

Public Liability Lawyers Cairns

No Win No Fee. No Hidden Costs

If you have had an accident in a public place such as a shopping centre, a pool, a café, a restaurant, or at someone’s house, it is likely that you will be entitled to claim compensation for your injury.

You will only be entitled to compensation if you are able to demonstrate that your injury was caused or contributed to by something that the owner or person responsible for the public place (Respondent) did or didn’t do. In most cases, the Respondent will have public liability insurance. If your claim is successful, the insurance company is responsible for paying compensation to you for your injury.

Determining whether you are entitled to claim compensation as a result of 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 of the steps you need to take for your public liability compensation claim.

It is important to be aware that in Queensland, all parties in a personal injury claim must have a meeting to attempt to reach a settlement. If this is agreed at the compulsory conference, payment is usually received within 30 days. The purpose of the compulsory conference is to seek to negotiate a settlement of your compensation claim without the need to commence formal legal proceedings.

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 specific to your situation from a compensation lawyer who will advise you of the steps you’ll need to take. They’ll also be on hand to ensure that all your questions are answered so you can have peace of mind that the decisions you make, are based on facts and experience.

For more information, please contact our compensation lawyers to discuss your claim or see the articles that are linked below in our frequently asked questions section.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much compensation will I be entitled to?

Whilst every compensation claim is different, the same approach is used when determining the amount of compensation that a person injured in a public place will receive.

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. An amount to compensate the injured person for the likelihood of the loss of wages and or superannuation into 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?

The first step in the process of claiming compensation for a public place injury is for you to lodge a Notice of Claim with the owner (and generally their public liability insurer).

The Notice of Claim must be in the approved form. It is absolutely critical that the information in the Notice of Claim and the technical aspects of injury claim (such as the particulars of negligence) are completed accurately from the outset.

Failure to properly complete a Notice of Claim and/or provide adequate detail and technical information can have a catastrophic impact upon 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, along with all other information relevant to your claim (including financial information, personal information, statements from family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones, and any other relevant information), is then provided to the Respondent’s insurer and/or their Lawyer through a process known as disclosure.

Once disclosure has been undertaken by both sides 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 purpose of the compulsory conference is to seek to negotiate a settlement of your compensation claim without the need to commence formal legal proceedings. In the event that you succeed in negotiating a settlement of your claim, a Deed of Settlement is entered into and compensation is usually paid 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 a mediation, both parties engage a senior Barrister (often a Queens Counsel) to act 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 who will determine:

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

Are their time limits on making a claim?

Under Queensland Law there are strict time limits associated with claiming compensation for public place injury compensation. To make matters more complicated there are different time frames associated with the delivery of a Notice of a Claim and/or the commencement of formal legal proceedings.

Generally, a Notice of Claim is required to be delivered to the owner or controller of a public place within 1 month of first consulting a public accident lawyer to act for you in 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?

Most public liability claims should progress to a compulsory conference within 9 to 18 months of you first retaining a Lawyer. In rare circumstances (e.g., where there are multiple respondents or significant injuries) it can take longer to reach this stage.

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

If you are unable to reach 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 to you.

How much does it cost to make a claim?

The cost of making a claim for public space compensation varies. This depends upon how much work needs to be done in respect of your claim and how long it takes you 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 or the costs associated with your claim such as medical legal reports and any costs payable to third parties, unless we succeed in obtaining you compensation.

We are generally able to provide our clients 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) advice 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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