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What is a Public Liability claim?

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A public liability claim arises when a person has been injured in a public place or on a private property due to someone else’s fault. Examples of public places and private property include:

  • supermarkets, shopping centres, cafes, restaurants;
  • parks, footpaths, carparks;
  • rental properties, residential properties, common property in apartment buildings;
  • swimming pools, school yards and leisure centres

Entitlements under Public Liability comprise of pain and suffering damages and special damages.

What is pain and suffering? 

Pain and suffering is a term used to describe the physical and emotional injuries and consequences following an incident. In order to make a claim for pain and suffering damages in Victoria, injuries must be certified by a panel of approved independent medical practitioners as a ‘significant injury’. Assessable injuries can be either physical or psychological.

What are special damages? 

Special damages refers to medical expenses, loss of earnings and domestic assistance required following an incident. It is a good idea to keep a record of these expenses and losses following an incident. This may include receipts for medications, invoices from medical and allied health practitioners, medical certificates for time taken off work.

Whilst sick leave cannot be claimed, annual leave and unpaid leave taken because you cannot work due to injury can be claimed under special damages. If you are an employer and cannot work due to injury, the cost of substitute labour can also be claimed.

If you require domestic and personal care assistance from family and friends following an incident, there may also be an entitlement to compensation for the gratuitous care provided.