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Claims Against the Council for Personal Injury Work: How a Woman was Awarded Over $60K in Compensation

In Australia, many people have found it difficult to win claims against councils, due in large part to the legal protections afforded to them under the law.

You will have to be able to prove that your injury was severe enough to warrant a claim and came because the council was negligent.

One recent situation in which Gerard Malouf and Partners was able to win a claim against a council came after a client was injured walking on a footpath from a restaurant to her car. The path was dark and our client tripped over a rubber surface that had been installed around the base of a tree. The client fractured her ankle in the fall.

Thanks to a number of issues, our legal team was able to prove that the base was implemented in a negligent way, and the client agreed to a settlement in excess of $60,000.

Read on to learn more about the options available to you in the event of an accident or injury as a result of potential council negligence.

What is a claim against the Council for personal injury?

Simply put, a claim against the council in the event of an injury is a legal proceeding that arises after an accident in public areas. Specifically, you would file against the council for injuries sustained in accidents (such as trips and falls) on council-owned property, such as sidewalks, or public areas like parks and so on.

Specifically, winning a decision in a public liability claim will require you to prove that the Council was negligent or that the Council had actual knowledge of the issue that led to your injury.

What can you claim for in personal injury?

There are a number of things you can claim in these instances, as long as they are related to an injury stemming from council negligence.

This can include the following financial considerations:

  • The cost of treating physical or psychological injury directly after the incident in question
  • The ongoing medically related costs associated with your recovery in the event of long-term injury
  • Damages for psychological and emotional duress
  • Loss of earnings if you are not able to work while recovering from the injury

How is a Council legally responsible for your injury?

There are many ways in which a local council can be legally responsible for your injury. Such cases are known as a public liability claim and can include (but are certainly not limited to) the following situations:

Injuries due to negligence: These can include injuries caused by poorly lit areas, uneven surfaces, trip hazards, slippery surfaces and more. In some cases, this could also involve a motor vehicle accident.

Injury caused by poor workmanship: If a product in a public space fails in some way and causes injury, that can be cause for a public liability claim. Poorly constructed public benches, building structures and more could fall into this category.

Animal attack: This could include when you are injured in an animal attack on council property and the incident occurred as a result of council negligence.

How do you make a claim against your local Council for an injury?

To make a claim against a local council, you will need to act in a timely manner, as there are time limits involved with public liability claims. To help you understand your options, you will need to turn to an accredited specialist for legal advice.

The injury lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners have closed countless personal injury claims for our clients and have truly seen it all when it comes to public liability cases.

How do you make a claim against your local Council for an injury?

The simple answer to this question is “yes,” but the burden will be on you to prove it was the council who were responsible for the negligence leading to these incidents.

Each case is different, so you will need to consult with your legal team to determine the best path forward. That may involve taking the case to the Court of NSW, or even the Court of Appeal.

It’s worth noting that the Civil Liability Act of 2002 lays out many ways in which councils are immune from these claims, and your case will generally have to fall outside these instances.

What do you do if you are involved in an accident and need to claim against the Council or local authority?

If any of the above describes your situation and you’re wondering about next steps, get in touch with Gerard Malouf and Partners today. Our No Win No Fee programme will help ensure you get the full scope of your options and make the most of your claim.

Negligence can be difficult to prove in cases related to accidents in a public place brought against the council. Compensation is not impossible to obtain; we regularly take on these claims and get results for our clients.


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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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