Public liability claims

Public liability claims generally involve accidents and injuries that occur outside of the workplace and not in connection with a motor vehicle. Such accidents may include:

  • Slips, trips and falls in shopping centres and supermarkets;
  • Boat accidents;
  • Playground accidents;
  • Accidents on public property;
  • Accidents on private property;
  • Civil and sexual assault claims;
  • Injuries from faulty goods; and
  • Footpath and road pavement claims.

These claims fall within the operation of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002.

Public Liability Claims in Queensland

Public liability claims in Queensland are fault-based claims. In order to succeed in a claim, it must be established that:

  • You were owed a duty of care;
  • That duty of care was breached; and
  • As a result of the breach of duty you have sustained injury.

As complicated legal issues may be involved in such matters, it is imperative that you obtain legal advice at an early stage.

Strict time limits apply to commencing public liability claims and advice should be obtained as early as possible. 

The lawyers at Crew Legal have extensive experience in undertaking public liability claims on behalf of injured people.

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How can Crew Legal help?

Crew Legal pride ourselves on providing quality advice at the right price. We will ensure that you receive the best advice for your situation and are committed to ensuring that everybody has access to that advice.

We provide a first consultation completely free and with no obligation. If the claim is undertaken, we will proceed with such claims on a ‘No Win/No Fee’ basis.



The legislation sets out that any person injured in a public liability accident must serve a claim form on the appropriate respondent within nine (9) months of the date of accident.  If that time has passed, notice can still be given but must include a reasonable excuse for delay in serving the claim form.

The limitation period in Queensland for public liability claims is three (3) years. If your accident occurred more than three years ago and you have taken no steps to protect your rights, you may not have any entitlement to bring a claim. In general, to protect your rights, a court proceeding must be filed within three (3) years from the date of accident to preserve your rights.

It is very important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after any accident to ensure your rights are protected.

Unfortunately, unlike motor vehicle accident or workplace accident claims, public liability insurers do not have an obligation to fund rehabilitation treatment as the claim progresses. The out of pocket expenses incurred by an injured person for treatment due to the injuries are included as an amount claimed in the lump sum claim for damages.

Every claim is different and assessed on its own merits. An advice can only be given about how much compensation you are entitled to once all evidence (including income and medical evidence) has been obtained.

Not necessarily. Only a very small portion of claims are decided by a Court. In most cases, claims are resolved either by way of a compulsory settlement conference or mediation.

You may be entitled to recover a portion of your fees from the public liability insurer for the party at fault for the accident. Whether you are entitled to recover a portion of your fees depends on whether your compensation amount exceeds thresholds set by law. It is important to note that any recovery of fees will not be enough to pay the entire costs of pursuing the claim. Generally, recoverable costs are between 50% and 70% of your total legal costs.

Every case is different. Generally, claims may take anywhere between nine (9) and 18 months to reach a resolution. Some claims take longer. This can depend on the injuries suffered and how long those injuries take to stabilise.

It is important not to settle your claim too early. We need to make sure we have all obtained all necessary evidence to ensure the best possible result for you.

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