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Personal Injury Claim– Slip and Fall Claims

Personal Injury Claim – Slip and Fall

The recent NSW case of Sutherland Shire Council v Safar [2017] concerns a slip and fall personal injury claim. In this case, the injured person slipped on water on the floor of an entertainment centre owned by the defendant. When the case first went to court, it was held that the owner of the centre was liable because the water on the floor was likely to have come from umbrellas. The centre owner had made no provision for wet umbrellas, but which could reasonably been have expected to given that it was raining outside.

The owner of the centre appealed against that decision. However, their Appeal was dismissed on the basis that they had breached their duty of care as an Occupier. This was because they had not taken reasonable steps to control patrons bringing in wet umbrellas and coats into the auditorium or at least minimise the risk which arose from this.
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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.


  • 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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A Compensation Claim relating to Resumption of Land in 1922

Compensation Claim Background

Recently, Moore J of the Land and Environment Court, determined two separate questions in an unusual matter that related to the 1922 resumption of land in far Western NSW, i.e. the resumption of land that occurred approximately 95 years ago (see Lawson v South Australian Minister for Water and the River Murray [2017] NSWLEC 62 (Lawson)).

In 1922, the New South Wales Government resumed all land at Lake Victoria in private possession, necessary for the purposes of the transfer of those lands to the representative for South Australia for future water storage uses.

Mrs Lawson’s possessory title in the land was originally held by her great grandfather, the possessory title was then transferred to her great grandmother (Mrs Mitchell) who held the title at the date of resumption. Mrs Mitchell died in 1956 and the possessory title transferred to Mrs Lawson.

An Extension of Time

Biscoe J in 2014 (see Lawson v South Australian Minister for Water and the River Murray No 2) [2014] NSWLEC 189) had allowed Mrs Lawson, the Applicant, an extension of time to lodge a claim for compensation for the resumption of land under the Public Works Act 1912 (Public Works Act).
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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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Care worker compensation

Compensation Lawyer – Breach for failure to train in manual handling

In a recent Queensland case the Plaintiff was a personal care worker who transported clients to and from medical appointments. One of the clients had a wheelie walker which the Plaintiff folded and placed in the boot of her car prior to driving the client to her appointment. When the Plaintiff tried to remove the wheelie walker, she experienced significant lower back pain and suffered personal injury.

The Plaintiff claimed that her employer had breached its duty of care in failing to provide training with regard to loading and unloading wheelie walkers. The Defendant argued that this activity was a simple and everyday task which did not require any training.

The employer’s manual handling guidelines referred to ‘appropriate manual handling techniques’ but did not specify what these techniques might be. Despite also advising that ‘adequate information, training and supervision’ should be undertaken, none was provided. There was a learning package provided to workers in relation to manual tasks and handling of people, but it included no specific instruction on how to manually handle wheelie walkers. The Court noted that wheelie walkers would be routinely handled in the course of such a care worker’s duties.
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Cyclists and car-door incidents

Riding a bike to work has its benefits. It’s an easy way to fit in regular exercise and an eco-friendly way of traveling the daily commute. It’s also a growing trend in NSW for those who live close enough to work.

But there are risks for cyclists on the road. Not only are cyclists most vulnerable to personal injury in motor vehicle accidents; they are also at risk of personal injury when riding next to stationary cars.

Cyclists can be severely injured upon collision with car doors that are suddenly opened. In these circumstances there is also the risk that cyclists will be knocked off their bikes and thrown into oncoming traffic.

These incidents are surprisingly common.  Almost 6 percent of all injuries to cyclists in 2006 and 2010 occurred because of car doors. In Victoria, the figure was higher at 8 percent during 2007 and 2011, and approaching 20 percent in the Melbourne CBD.

While the Victorian government is looking into strategies for prevention of these incidents, in the meantime there is little a cyclist can do to ensure it does not happen apart from constant surveillance of surroundings.
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