Slips-and-fall accidents are one of the common causes of hospitalisation in Australia. As per 2017 data, around 58% of hospitalisations occurred due to unintentional falls. A slip-and-fall accident can happen at any location. Australian law mentions if the slip-and-fall accident occurs in a public place, your injury claims fall under public liability law. It’s best to understand what is a public liability in slip-and-fall accidents.
What is Public Liability in Slip-and-Fall?
Public Liability Law is an area of the law related to negligence where property owners, governments, businesses have a duty towards the safety of people using public space. If you suffer an injury in a property owned by a business or public space owned by a local council, you need to take advice on slip and fall injury claims from an attorney. Here are common claims that fall under public liability.
Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Stores or Businesses
If you slipped and fell in stores and suffered injuries, you need to contact an attorney whether you have a potential claim. The slip-and-fall injury lawyer will check whether the store owner or business was liable for the accident. The law mentions you have a potential claim only if:
- The store was negligent.
- The negligence caused the accident.
Simply because you fell in the stores and suffered injuries does not mean the store owner was negligent. There should be an unsafe condition that caused the accident, and you must prove the store owner probably knew about the unsafe condition but did nothing to improve the safety of people using the space.
One of the following must be true to hold the store or property owner liable for the accident.
- You need to prove the slip-and-fall accident was caused by a worn/torn-out surface, spill, dangerous surface, or item underfoot.
- The employee or owner knew about the dangerous surface at the property but did nothing about it.
- The employee or owner should have reasonable knowledge of the dangerous condition existing on the property. The reason is someone must be in charge of maintaining the property.
When you seek advice from an attorney on slip and fall injury claims, they will check the above conditions before advising on filing a claim.
Who Can You Sue?
A fundamental question in public liability claims is who you can sue? Lawyers mention this depends on the nature of the negligence. If the accident happened in-store, you could sue the store owner. If the store leases the property, you can also sue the landlord of the property.
How to File a Public Liability Claim?
Australian laws allow you to make federal and state public liability claims. The law clearly states the thresholds and limits of what you can claim for suffering and pain. You need to contact a lawyer to file a public liability claim. If the lawyer sees potential for a public liability claim, he would advise you to
- Get medical treatment for injuries and tell the doctor how you suffered injuries.
- Keep a record of treatment expenses and lost wages.
- Take photos of the place where you were injured and photos of your injuries.
To sum up, public liability claims can help you get compensation for injuries and provide you with the much-needed financial assistance needed until you can return to work.