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Personal Injury Lawyer – Time Limits for Public Liability Claims

Personal Injury Lawyer Parramatta – Public Liability Claims

What is a Public Liability Claim?

This includes a claim for damages as a result of personal injuries sustained where you have been injured in a public place, due to the fault of another party. The fault of the other party may be as a result of failing to keep a reasonably safe environment free from slippery surfaces, spilled fluids or any other contaminant.

How long will the claim take?

This can be based on the injuries which are sustained by the victim in the public liability claim. Often, an injured person may take 6 – 12 months following surgery or longer for their injuries to have stabilised to the point where an independent specialist can determine future needs and whether there are prospects of an impact of future work capacity.

Most claims can take at least 18 months – 2 years to resolve after expert medical evidence is exchanged between the parties and genuine attempts made to resolve the claim.
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Personal Injury – Woolworths Not Liable

Personal Injury – Woolworths Not Liable for $150k Grape Slip

Woolworths Ltd v McQuillan [2017] NSWCA 202 is an important development for slip and fall claims. In this case, the Court of Appeal has provided further guidance as to what is considered a “reasonable” system of inspection and cleaning by occupiers.

Background

  • Miss McQuillan (the plantiff) was injured when she slipped and fell on a grape in the produce section of a Woolworths store in Leichardt, six minutes after the store opened.
  • Miss McQuillan commenced proceedings against Woolworths in the District Court of NSW.
  • Woolworths argued that they had a system of cleaning and inspection in place, whereby the store was routinely cleaned and staff were trained to identify and clean hazards on the floor. The trial judge found this system to be adequate.
  • However, the Judge found that the presence of the grape on the floor arose from the activities of staff in the produce area and that staff ‘overlooked’ the grape during the busy store opening period.
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Child Custody Laws Advice

Isn’t 50/50 care my right under child custody laws?

With the emphasis on both parents being more involved in the care of children after separation many people assume that parenting law now guarantees a shared care or 50/50 split of the child’s time with each parent.

While the overriding principle since the Family Law Act commenced in 1975 is that all parenting arrangements should be made ‘in the best interests of the child’ a series of changes to family law since 1996 has seen a steady move from the notion of ‘parents child custody rights’ to an approach which prioritises the rights of children.

Section 60CC of the Act focuses on the importance of children being safe from harm and having a ‘meaningful relationship with each parent’. Family law also encourages parents to work together (where it is safe to do so) and negotiate care arrangements which best suit their children and their individual circumstances. The old notion of child custody ‘rights’ gives way to a more responsive outcome.
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Accident impacts on witnesses and family members

Personal Injury Lawyer – loss and trauma

Sometimes accidents can have a debilitating effect not only on the victims of injury, but also on close family or witnesses to the incident.

The witness or close family member of the victim may experience symptoms of secondary trauma, which often mimic those of post-traumatic stress disorder. Experts suggest that this insidious form of stress can be as debilitating as experiencing the trauma in person.

Those experiencing symptoms of secondary trauma should speak to their doctor about coping strategies and seek professional counseling where possible. This will assist them in managing the potential health impacts and help prevent the development of ongoing mental injuries.

If a person has experienced the sudden death or significant injury of a family member, they may also be deprived of the financial support or care that they would have received but for the victim’s injuries.

There may be compensation available if the death or injury was the result of another’s negligence. This could include compensation for financial losses, care, medical and funeral expenses. There may also be separate compensation available for witnesses or family members who are diagnosed with consequential mental harm.
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Return to Work Plans

Compensation Lawyer – Return to Work Programs

For workers who are receiving compensation for work-related injuries, navigating a Return to Work Plan can be confusing.

This is often because of the number of stakeholders involved.

Insurers will usually arrange for a Return to Work Program to be prepared by a rehabilitation provider on their behalf in collaboration with the injured worker, the employer and the injured worker’s GP.  They must also consult with the worker in preparing an injury management plan.

The rehabilitation provider’s role includes coordinating the worker’s recovery with their return to work, identifying suitable employment opportunities aligned with their current working capacity and preparing the Return to Work plan. The plan must also outline the procedure for a requested change in rehabilitation provider, and how the worker will be told of this opportunity.

The employer must not dismiss an injured worker due to injury within 6 months of their incapacity. They are required (among other obligations) to implement the Return to Work Program, co-operate with the insurer, provide retraining or alternative job opportunities where appropriate and advise the worker that they can choose to nominate their own treating doctor.
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Everyday hazards and injuries

Personal Injury Lawyer Parramatta – Public Liability

Accidents sometimes occur when they are least expected – for example, when taking a walk down the street or doing the grocery shopping.

Often people are unaware of their legal rights when they are injured in those circumstances. They may be unaware that the owner or occupier of the premises has a duty to take reasonable care to prevent certain hazards.

Public liability covers a broad range of claims where injuries are sustained as a result of the negligence of an owner or occupier. Examples of such claims include slip and falls, food poisoning, dog attacks, sporting and playground accidents.

In the event of such an injury, you may be able to bring a claim against the owner or occupier’s insurer.  Depending on the extent of injury, this could include entitlements to lump sum compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages and domestic assistance.

If you or someone you know is injured in such circumstances it is important to:
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When a Mystery Motorist is At Fault

Car Accident Lawyer – Nominal Defendants

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, compensation may still be available even if the identity of the person at fault and liable is unclear.

These situations can arise where there is a hit and run scenario, when an uninsured or unregistered driver is at fault, or other circumstances make it difficult to identify the individual against whom a claim can be made.

The law in NSW appoints a Nominal Defendant in most situations where the at-fault individual cannot be identified for the purposes of claiming compensation. In order for this to occur the claimant must prove that certain steps were taken towards attempting to identify the individual. That is, the courts require “due search and inquiry” be undertaken to ascertain the person’s identity before the claim can proceed.

If this process has been carried out and sufficient evidence of it has been obtained, confirmation that due search and inquiry was performed can be provided by oral evidence or affidavit of the person who undertook the process.
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Do study hours count towards work capacity?

Workers Compensation Lawyer – Hours of work and study not to be aggregated in assessment of working capacity

A worker injured her elbow and wrist when she was employed by Aldi as a buying administration assistant. She had some time off work to recover from her injuries.

When she returned she was involved in a series of conflicts with her employer which led to a psychological injury. Her claim for this injury was denied on the basis that she did not suffer a psychological injury, or if she did, it was the result of reasonable action on the employer’s behalf with respect to performance appraisal and discipline.

The Arbitrator found in the worker’s favour, awarding weekly payments for a closed period and medical treatment expenses.

However the worker appealed the decision on two grounds.

First, that the Arbitrator erred in limiting her payments by one year short of what was claimed. This was conceded by the respondent.

The second issue raised on appeal was concerning the Arbitrator’s findings that the worker had capacity to work for 30 hours per week as a librarian, that work as a ‘librarian’ was reasonably accessible, and part-time online study was ‘in addition to’ her capacity to work.  The worker also argued that more consideration should have been given to treating doctors evidence.
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