What claims can't I make under the Civil Liability Act?

Published 21 Nov 2017

Public liability claims give people the opportunity to fight for compensation if they have suffered injuries or illnesses due to someone else's negligence.

Many claimants are surprised at how broad liability legislation is in NSW. You can pursue compensation for faulty products, accidents on private properties, medical negligence, and slips, trips and falls in malls and supermarkets - and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

However, the CLA doesn't cover everything. Here is a list of occasions where you won't be entitled to make a public liability claim (although you may be eligible for other types of compensation).

Motor accidents

The CLA doesn't apply to injuries sustained in car crashes and other incidents involving motor vehicles. Damages for these cases are instead awarded through the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999.

Work-related injuries

Standard injuries you suffer while at work should be resolved through workers compensation payments. If your employer's negligence caused you harm, however, you can make a claim for work injury damages through common law negligence principles.

Dust diseases claims

Mesothelioma, silicosis and asbestosis are just some of the devastating dust diseases that people can develop due to exposure to hazardous materials such as asbestos. Compensation is available under the Dust Diseases Tribunal Act 1989 for eligible claimants.

Sexual misconduct

Survivors of sexual assaults and abuse can't pursue a claim against the perpetrator under the CLA, but a number of other avenues are open. If you or a loved one has experienced institutional sexual abuse in NSW, please contact a lawyer who can discuss options with you.

Tobacco-related illnesses

Claims against the tobacco industry are rare in Australia. The CLA specifically excludes the award of damages for cases where the injury or death of the individual was from smoking or other tobacco products.

Sporting injuries

A separate scheme is available for people who die or suffer serious injuries while playing sports or participating in other recreational activities. The rules governing the scheme are outlined in the Sports Injuries Insurance Act 1978.

Victims of crimes

Public liability compensation doesn't apply to victims of criminal acts, although they may be eligible for recognition payments from the NSW government to acknowledge their trauma.

These are just some of the exclusions of the CLA. If you'd like to know more about whether you're entitled to compensation under public liability legislation or other NSW laws, please contact our personal injury specialists today.