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Public Liability Claims: The 12 Steps

Public Liability Claims: The 12 Steps

Article by Personal Injury Lawyer, Tyla Leo.

October, 2022

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Tyla Leo is a Litigation Lawyer and Senior Associate at O’SheaDyer Solicitors Townsville. She practices exclusively in Injury Claims acting for Plaintiffs.


Public Liability Claims

under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (QLD)

The 12 Steps

What is a Public Liability Claim?

A public liability claim is a general term for a compensation claim in circumstances where injuries are caused as a result of the negligence of another person or entity (including a medical negligence claim).

If you suffer an injury on public or private property you may have a public liability claim.

A public liability claim does not include injuries that occur because of a workplace accident or motor vehicle accident.

Public liability claims are often made against the owner or occupier of a premises or place where the injury occurred. The claim is typically handled by their public liability insurer.

For example, a public liability claim may arise when someone suffers:

  • An injury sustained in sporting/recreational activities
  • An Injury that occurred at a shopping center
  • An injury where someone falls on public or private property; and

An injury caused by animals (ie. a dog attack).

What is the Time Limit for pursuing a Public Liability Claim?

Dates are important when it comes to public liability claims as strict time limits apply. Under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld), also known as the PIPA Act, a claim should be commenced by the giving of written notice (see below – How to make a personal injury claim) either -

Within nine (9) months of the date of the accident; or

Within one (1) month of instructing a lawyer to act on your behalf.

If commenced outside of this time, there must be a reasonable excuse for delay provided to the public liability insurer.

There is also a strict 3-year time limit that applies. You have three (3) years from the date of the accident to commence your public liability claim in the Court. You should seek urgent legal advice if the limitation date is approaching or if it has expired.

We would suggest reporting the incident to the owner/occupier of the property as soon as possible after it occurs. Further, we also suggest taking photos of what caused your accident as soon as possible after the accident has happened. This is evidence of what has occurred. It is important to take a photo as soon as possible before the hazard is removed.

How do I make a Public Liability Claim?

 To commence a public liability claim in Queensland, the following steps are a general guide to the process -

  1. Serve a Part 1 Notice of Claim Form within one (1) month of instructing your lawyer or within nine (9) months of the date of the accident.
  2. The Respondent provides an initial response within one (1) month of receiving the Part 1 Notice of Claim, to confirm they are the proper Respondent.
  3. Serve a Part 2 Notice of Claim Form within two (2) months of having received the Respondent’s response in Step 2.
  4. Within six (6) months of providing their initial response (set out in Step 2 above), the Respondent must provide a liability response advising whether they accept or reject liability for your accident/injuries.
  5. Parties gather medico-legal evidence.
  6. The parties progress to a Compulsory Conference on a date agreed to by the parties or six (6) months after the Respondent’s initial response (in step 2).
  7. If the matter does not settle at a Compulsory Conference, a Mandatory Final Offer (MFO) is exchanged by the parties.
  8. Court Proceedings MUST be commenced within 60 days of the Compulsory Conference.
  9. The Parties progress to a Mediation Conference once court pleadings close.
  10. If the matter does not settle at a Mediation, the matter will progress to a Final Hearing.
  11. Final Hearing before a Court/Judge who decides if you will succeed with your claim and the amount of damages.
  12. Statutory Clearances are obtained, and you receive settlement/damages payment.


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