Public Liability

What is a public liability claim?

If you have suffered an injury in a public or private place which is the result of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. A public liability claim covers a wide range of circumstances, some of the more common ones include injuries that have occurred in the following situations:

  • A slip, trip or fall at a supermarket, car park or other place.
  • A fall on faulty stairs /escalator.
  • Injury caused by a hidden danger such as a hole in the ground
  • Injury by an animal, in particular a dog bite or attack.
  • Faulty product (product liability).
  • Food poisoning.
  • Exposure to chemicals.
  • Electrocution /electric shock.
  • Falling objects.

Who is entitled to compensation?

In order to make a successful public liability claim, you need to be able to show negligence. That is, to prove that the owner or occupier of the land or person who made the product had a duty of care towards you and that this duty of care was breached. The fact that you suffered injury is not by itself sufficient for a claim.

There are a number of factors that are taken into account to determine whether someone is likely to be found to have had a duty of care and to have breached it. It is important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury, to enable the necessary investigations and collection of evidence to occur.

The situation in which you were injured can also impact what you need to prove to be successful with a claim.

What are you entitled to claim?

If you are able to establish negligence, you may be entitled to claim the following:

  • Pain and suffering (non-economic loss)
  • Loss of income.
  • Loss of superannuation.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Care and assistance around the home and garden.
  • Voluntary services.

Who is responsible for paying the compensation?

It is important to ensure that the claim is made against the appropriate party. Sometimes investigations are needed to determine who is actually responsible. This may be the case where the premises where you are injured are rented or where the owner or occupier of the land is not clear. Most of the time, the party will have public liability insurance and the relevant insurer will deal with the claim on their behalf. If they do not have insurance, the claim would be made directly against the party.

What time limits apply?

It is important to see a lawyer as soon as possible after you have suffered an injury so they can investigate the incident and provide the proper notification to the person who is likely to be at fault.
It is a requirement to put the at fault party on notice of the incident, injury and intention to make a claim within 6 months of it occurring.
If a claim has not been resolved within three years of the incident, legal proceedings must be lodged in Court to protect your claim. Different rules apply for children.

When should I see a lawyer?

It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. A lawyer can assist in conducting the necessary investigations and to provide the notification of the claim to the appropriate person.

Legal Fees

When you contact us, we will offer you a free no obligation thirty minute telephone or in person meeting to discuss your claim and the process involved.
For some claims we are able to offer a deferred payment arrangement or a no win no fee arrangement depending on the circumstances of your claim. For most claims, if you are successful the insurer will pay a significant contribution towards your legal fees.

You may be responsible for paying for the cost of out of pocket expenses referred to as disbursements, such as medical reports. If you cannot afford the disbursements, we can discuss other avenues to assist with funding for these expenses, or arrangements can be made for instalment payments, which our lawyers can advise you on.

Contact Andersons Solicitors to ensure you receive professional advice about your full legal rights and entitlements.


  • Recommended - Leading Public Liability Compensation Law Firms (Plaintiff) – South Australia, 2021
  • Recommended - Leading Public Liability Law Firm (Plaintiff) South Australia 2016
  • Recommended - Leading Public Liability Law Firm (Plaintiff) South Australia 2015


Contact Us

For enquiries, please fill in the following contact form