Call for a free assessment
4052 0770

Public Liability Compensation Lawyers Cairns

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

Public Liability Compensation Lawyers Cairns

No Win No Fee. No Hidden Costs

If you have 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 you will be entitled to claim compensation for your injury. 

In most cases, the owner or person responsible for the public place (the Respondent) will have a public liability insurer who will be responsible for paying compensation to you for your injury 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.

Determining whether or not you are entitled to claim for compensation as a result of an injury suffered 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.

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.

If you have been unable to work due to illness, disability, or an injury you may be entitled to claim compensation through your superannuation fund via a total and permanent disability (“TPD”) claim. 

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

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

Call 4052 0770

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. Suffering and pain;
  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); and
  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 in the approved form with the owner (and generally their public liability insurer). 

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

The failure to properly complete a Notice of Claim and/or inadequate detail and technical information can have a catastrophic impact upon your claim for compensation.  Once the Notice of Claim is correctly completed and provided to the Respondent, the Respondent (or generally their public liability insurer’s Lawyer) must provide you with a response within six months of receipt of the Notice of Claim advising:

  • Whether they accept liability for your injury;
  • Whether they deny liability for your injury; or
  • 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 by one of our panel doctors to obtain a medico legal report detailing 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 and your matter progresses to a mediation. 

A mediation is another meeting similar to 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. 

As a general rule, 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 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 almost in every case result in you permanently losing the right to seek compensation.

How long does it take to make a claim?

Generally speaking most 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 who will indemnify them for any compensation that is payable to you arising from an injury that you have suffered at a public space that is owned or controlled by the Respondent.

How much does it cost to make a claim?

The cost of making a claim for public space compensation varies depending 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 of our work for public place injury compensation is undertaken on a no win no fee basis, meaning 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 once we have received the formal response from the Respondent’s representatives advising whether or not 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.
Speak to a Lawyer

At Cairns Compensation Lawyers you will always speak to a lawyer.

Fill out the form below and we will call you back to organise a meeting with your own Lawyer.