What are the caps on claims for public liability?

You should be able to feel safe when you’re out shopping, at an amusement park or walking your dog at the park. It’s up to the owners of the property you’re on to provide a safe environment. However, sometimes accidents can unfortunately happen.

So, what happens if you are injured in a public place or on private property? Can you receive compensation for your injuries and how much will you receive?

What is public liability compensation?

In Australia, each State and Territory has its own laws that allow you to claim public liability compensation if you’re injured in a public place or on private premises.

This includes compensation for injuries suffered in supermarkets, private homes, public parks, office buildings, retail stores, government property and construction sites, amongst others.

You’ll be able to make a public liability claim for loss of earnings, pain and suffering, medical expenses, including rehabilitation costs, and domestic assistance. Claims need to be made within three years after the accident, or with the court’s permission, in certain circumstances.

To be successful with a public liability compensation claim, you’ll need to be able to prove the following:

  • A person owed you a duty of care
  • The duty of care was breached
  • The person should have known that the breach would cause your injury

What isn’t covered by public liability compensation?

While the scope of public liability compensation is broad, there are certain situations where other compensation laws apply.

Some of the most common areas of personal injury compensation that are covered under different laws, include compensation claims for motor vehicle accidents, injuries at work, workers compensation, dust diseases and sexual misconduct.

What can you claim for loss of earnings?

Under the Civil Liability Act (CLA), damages in public liability claims may be made for loss of past and future earnings, as well as the loss of financial support for family members.

While the weekly payment amounts are based on a claimant’s pre-accident income, the maximum amount is capped at $3,617.40 gross per week (section 12 of the CLA).

Compensation for pain and suffering

Damages for non-economic loss or pain and suffering, are only awarded for injuries that are at least 15 per cent of the most extreme case.

Depending on the severity of your injuries, the amount that can be claimed is calculated as a proportion of the maximum amount that may be paid for non-economic loss. Currently, the maximum amount claimable for non-economic loss is $612,500 (section 16 of the CLA).

Medical costs and rehabilitation treatment

You’ll also be able to make a claim for past and future medical expenses. This includes pharmaceutical expenses and rehabilitation treatment, as well as the cost of travelling to and from appointments.

Domestic assistance

Public liability claims may include an amount to help pay for assistance at home and nursing care. No amount will be payable unless the court is satisfied that the claimant has a reasonable need for the domestic care, and the need for care is solely because of the injury.

Speak to an experienced public liability lawyer

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a public place or on a private property and need to claim compensation for the injury, then be sure to contact our expert team of public liability compensation lawyers.

We will be able to assess your claim and help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us today on (02) 9601 0088.

See how we can help you

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