NSW Public Liability Claims: What can you claim?

Public liability claims are fault-based. This means in order for you to be successful with your claim you must be able to prove fault (or commonly described as negligence) on the part of another party, other than yourself. If you are unable to establish negligence, then you will not be entitled to any compensation despite sustaining injury as a result of the incident.  

If you are able to establish negligence, then there are four heads of compensation damages you may be entitled to claim from the defendant, depending on your circumstances: 

Medical and Treatment Expenses

You may be able to claim medical and treatment expenses that are reasonable and necessary and related to your injuries. These may include pharmaceutical expenses (medication costs), consultations with specialists, surgery and incidental costs,  physiotherapist, chiropractor, radiology scans etc. You may also be entitled to reasonable travel expenses incurred in travelling to and from your treatment providers.  

To support your claim for medical and treatment expenses, it is important that you discuss the proposed treatment with your treating general practitioner, obtain referrals to the proposed treatment and keep copy of the receipt for any treatment you have received and paid for by yourself.  

Wage Loss (Economic Loss)

You may be entitled to claim for past and/or future income loss if you can prove that your injuries have had or will have an impact on your earning capacity.  

This may include having to take time off work due to your injuries, loss of career promotion or opportunities, inability to return to your pre-injury hours and duties, or a total loss of work capacity.  

You may also be entitled to claim for loss of past and future superannuation contributions.  

Domestic Care and Assistance

If you have received gratuitous (free) care and assistance from family members or friends due to your inability to perform household chores or look after yourself, you may be able to claim compensation in respect of that assistance. If you have paid for commercial domestic assistance, we recommend that you keep a copy of the payment receipt as you may also be able to claim this as part of your claim.  

Some examples of tasks that can be described as gratuitous domestic care and assistance may include: cooking, cleaning, mopping, lawn mowing, laundry, grocery shopping, personal care, showering etc.  

There are certain thresholds you must satisfy before you’re entitled to make a claim and this will be explained to you in further details during our conference and throughout your claim.    

General Damages (also commonly known as Pain and Suffering)

Under the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW), we can only make a claim for pain and suffering on your behalf if your injuries exceed a threshold of greater than 15% of a most extreme case.  

To determine whether you will exceed the 15% threshold, we will be required to obtain an assessment from a qualified medico-legal expert once your condition has stabilised.   

In conclusion, it is important that you understand your rights and entitlements at the earliest possible time after an injury. Do not delay and contact us to have a confidential discussion about your injury and potential claim.  

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