Who is liable for a slip in a shared office?

PUBLISHED 10 Dec 2019

The “sharing economy”, as it has often been called, has gone into full effect from shore to shore. And just as we’re now often sharing our rides, our living spaces, and, in some cases, even our staffing, we also find our cities full of shared offices, where professionals from all sectors join together to work together in a single space. Frankly, it’s a lot better than commuting (or working from home, depending on where home is).

But it certainly raises questions with regards to public liability compensation. If someone is injured in a shared office – either a worker or a visitor – who’s responsible for paying the claim? And what other questions might come up during investigation of the case?

Who is liable for a slip or injury in a shared office?

As in most other instances, the individual who owns the building used as a shared office will be responsible for procuring public liability insurance coverage. If an injury or accident occurred at the office space, the insurance coverage would pay out the claim.

However, the process isn’t always so simple. A building owner may require that individuals working regularly in the shared office sign a cross liabilities clause, or take ownership over their space in some other manner. If that were the case, then responsibility – either for the insurance coverage itself, or for claims originating from accidents that happened on the premises – may be shared between the owner and lessee alike. So as in most public liability compensation claims, it’s really all determined by the specific circumstances.

What about in a serviced office?

In some (though not all) serviced offices, the workers who use the premise are responsible for insuring their own property, and sometimes even their own physical spaces. Were an injury to happen in such a location, then it’s possible neither the building owner nor their own insurer would be responsible for the claim.

This is yet another example illustrating that public liability cases involving shared property are even more complex than the average claim – one has to unravel not only who is initially responsible for the insurance coverage of the property, but then also, whether or not that responsibility was later shared with one of the tenants or workers occupying the space.

Were you injured in a slip and fall accident that occurred in a shared office? If so, the process of filing a public liability claim may be even more complicated than usual, as a result of the building’s ownership structure. For assistance and guidance with this or any other kind of compensation claim, be sure to contact the legal professionals at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.