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Rental Inspection Leaves Client with Fractures and Torn Muscles

Case Overview
  • Our client had recently moved into a rented property where she fell over a 70cm gap leading to tears to her ligamentous muscles and fractures
  • The agent and the property owner had not informed her about the gap that led to the fall. 
  • We helped our client prove that had the agent and property owner informed her about this gap, she could have avoided the fall. 

Our client was in the rental market looking for premises to begin her retirement. Our client attended an inspection but did not have access to the garage.

She arranged another inspection with her husband, signed the lease and began to organise for their belongings to be moved to their new home.

While moving into the premises, she and her husband opened the garage door and proceeded to walk through the garage into the storage area. Suddenly and without warning stepped off and fell down a gap of over 70 cm, handing on concrete and sustaining severe tears to her ligamentous muscles and fractures to multiple toes.

The underground storage had a large 70cm step that was not known to the client nor marked on any inspection brochures. To make matters worse, the area did not have any lighting, nor was our client advised of such a hazard upon entering the premises on the two occasions.


Our Approach

We obtained expert reports from builder certifiers which proved that any entrant in the underground storage area would, in doing so, suffer serious injury due to the large step differential.

Our firm proved that both the owners of the rental property and the letting agent had failed in their duty to ensure that such a foreseeable hazard constituted a risk of harm to an entrant of the property. If they had implemented reasonable measures, our client would have more likely avoided such a horrendous incident and suffered the injuries in the manner sustained.

If you have suffered injuries at a property inspection to the negligence of someone else, contact Gerard Malouf & Partners.

The Result

We were also able to successfully bring claims against both the owners of the property and the letting agent. We were able to secure our client $150,000 by way of negotiations outside of a Court Hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Public liability refers to the responsibilities owners or occupants of a public space have to protect anyone who enters. If the owners or occupants fall short of these responsibilities, resulting in an injury, a case for compensation can be made.

Some of the most common incidents covered by public liability law include:

  • The food or drink from a restaurant makes you sick: The most common example of this type of public liability is food poisoning, however improperly disclosed allergens could also lead to litigation.
  • A slip and fall accident caused by negligence: Slip and fall incidents are especially common in busy public places such as playgrounds, schools, shopping centres, common walkways in buildings and outdoor event venues. They can result from negligent behaviour if poorly lit, uneven, unmarked or slippery surfaces are involved, amongst other reasons.
  • Injury caused by poor workmanship: If a product used by a space fails mechanically and causes an injury, a public liability claim can often be made. Examples include exploding gas bottles, poorly constructed furnishings, and inadequate building structures. These cases may also be eligible for product liability litigation if you decide to pursue both the property owner and the product manufacturer.
  • An attack by an animal while in space: If the owners or occupants of a space fail to keep an animal, whether domestic or wild, contained as a result of negligence, you may have a potential case.

Following an initial meeting, the first task will be to establish the general facts of the case. This will include your medical diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed and documented by a doctor; and proof that the person or company at fault owed you a duty of care, which will need to be demonstrated. Together, this will show that your injury occurred when they breached that duty of care.

From there a further investigation will proceed—contacting and interviewing witnesses, speaking with expert consultants, and more—all in order to bolster the strength of your case even further. Only once this process is complete, and your claim can be demonstrated and proven in full, will the process move on to the next step.

Public liability claims enable you to recoup the financial and emotional costs of suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence. Defendants regularly offer monetary settlements to claimants, particularly if they acknowledge liability and believe they would lose in court.

But should you accept the settlement or proceed to the later stages of litigation instead, where a judge will have the final decision? Every case is different, but here are some of the factors you may wish to consider before making your choice:

  1. The size of the settlement
  2. The strength of your case
  3. Your patience levels
  4. Your lawyer’s advice

There are time limits involved with public liability claims, so it’s important to make a claim as soon as possible to ensure you remain eligible. Usually, individuals have three years from the date of injury to file a claim but this may differ by state and it is often best to start the claims process as early as possible.


More Case Summaries

About Us
Gerard Malouf & Partners have provided friendly, experienced legal advice to communities across Australia for over 35 years. Our Personal Injury Lawyers have taken on ten’s of thousands of cases and we are proud to have won billions of dollars for our clients.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.

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