Not all compensation claims are successful, which is why seeking expert personal injury lawyers is always advisable if you feel you’re eligible for a payout.
Unfortunately, one woman recently suffered a loss in court after she sought damages following a fall in the car park outside her office. Slips, trips and falls are common causes of injury and can lead to public liability claims when an individual or organisation is found in breach of their duty of care.
The woman in question argued that her fall was due to crushed terracotta tiles, which were part of a garden bed bordering the car park. These tiles formed rocks and pebbles that migrated onto the car park’s concrete surface, an issue the plaintiff described as a slipping hazard.
Her case suggested that the defendants, two individuals who owned her employer’s buildings and a separate office, knew or should have known about the pebbles and had the area regularly swept to prevent accidents.
However, on the day of her injury, the woman rolled her ankle after stepping on the crushed tiles while walking to the driver’s door of her car. She put her arm out to break the fall, but she landed awkwardly and suffered a comminuted fracture of her right humerus.
Public liability claim decision
Due to her injury, which occurred in 2009, the woman underwent several different surgeries over the space of the next year. Not only did she suffer significant physical pain and numbness in the region, she also experienced a number of psychological problems after the accident.
Her relationship with her partner ended and she gained 30 kilograms in weight, as well as seeing a councillor and starting an antidepressant medication regimen. The plaintiff submitted a claim for $680,880 in damages based on economic and non-economic losses.
The judge, however, ruled in favour of the defendant after deciding that the car park owners did not owe the woman a duty of care because she herself had failed to look after her own safety.
She acknowledged during cross-examination that she was aware of the pebbles both before and on the day of her accident. According to the judge, anyone taking reasonable care would typically have no problem navigating the car park.
Furthermore, the plaintiff was told that even if the defendant had owed a duty of care, it was the court’s opinion that this was not breached. However, the judge acknowledged that if he was wrong regarding the facts of the case, the woman could be entitled to $326,000 in the future.
If you are considering pursuing a public liability claim, enlisting the services of a no-win, no-fee lawyer will ensure you do not risk losing out financially should your case be unsuccessful.