Celebrate Australia Day safely, public liability lawyer urges

25 January 2016
Australia Day revellers are being urged to party safely to ensure they do not put the safety of others at risk.

“It’s unfortunate, but we hear plenty of stories about accidents, injuries or assaults that have taken place on or around public holidays that have left victims in a terrible state physically, mentally and financially,” said Maurice Blackburn public safety lawyer Dimi Ioannou.

“Clients have come to us who’ve been seriously hurt in boating or jet-ski accidents, some who have fallen on public property, been victims of physically assaults or suffered shocking injuries after being hit by illegal fireworks. In many instances, the injuries sustained are life-changing.”

She said many people hurt were eligible to make public liability claims, however. This ensured they were not out of pocket for expenses such as medical bills, loss of earnings or repairs, or the replacement of damaged property that resulted from another person’s negligent behaviour.

Public liability law covers a wide range of circumstances,” she said. “This includes when individuals have been injured, or where someone close to them has died due to the negligent acts of a third party. Individuals, businesses or organisations can also be sued for negligence or omissions that have resulted in the injury or death of a person, or damage to their property.
“In general, to make a successful claim for negligence, you need to be able to prove that you were owed a duty of care, that the duty of care was breached, and that it could be predicted that this breach would lead to injury or damage.”
She said because public liability was such a complicated area of law, it was important for anyone injured to find a lawyer who thoroughly understood the intricacies of this area of law – especially considering each state and territory has its own laws regarding personal injury and public liability compensation.
“While all of these incidents are regrettable, no one should be out of pocket if what has occurred was caused by the actions of someone else, and fortunately the law recognises that.”

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