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What is a public liability claim?

Don’t be put off by the word ‘public’ — injuries that happen in both public and private spaces are covered by public liability law.

Some of the most common claims are:

  • Slips, trips and falls.
  • Injuries on private property like shopping centres, gyms and hotels.
  • Recreational and sporting injuries.
  • Accidents on public property such as footpaths and parks.

This is by no means a complete list — public liability covers many more situations.

If you were injured by a defective product, you may have a product liability claim instead.

Can I make a claim?

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To make a public liability claim, you will need to meet five basic criteria:

This injury could be physical, emotional or financial harm.

You should have experienced some kind of loss, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

You cannot make a claim if the injury is your fault. It must be caused by someone else’s actions.

You need to prove that the at-fault party had a legal obligation to ensure your safety, but they failed in this duty.

You need to provide evidence that the other party was ‘negligent’. This means they acted carelessly or failed to take the precautions any reasonable person would have taken.

If you meet these conditions, you might have a valid basis for a claim. However, keep in mind that each case is unique, so it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer who specialises in public liability claims for personalised advice.

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you receive depends on the severity of your injury and its impact on your life.

You’re generally entitled to compensation for:

  • Lost income: both past and future, including superannuation.
  • Care and support: professional care or support provided by family or friends. Also includes if you can no longer care for someone who depends on you.
  • Pain and suffering: how your injury impacts your physical and mental well-being.
  • Other costs related to your injury: medical expenses, travel and modifications to your home or vehicle.

To learn more about compensation, head to our complete guide.

In addition to your public liability claim, you may also have a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claim if your injury prevents you from returning to work. As part of our comprehensive service, we always examine your situation and find all your additional claims. Often, these are worth substantially more than your public liability claim alone.

For an estimate of how much you could receive, speak to one of our expert public liability lawyers today.

Are there any time limits?

Time limits apply to every public liability case. The exact limit depends on the state you live in. In some states, you need to start court proceedings within 3 years of being injured. In others, you have 3 years from the date you realise your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.

If you’re outside the time limit, there are still exceptions, which include:

  • Your full symptoms did not develop right away after the accident but became noticeable later.
  • The seriousness of your injury wasn’t immediately obvious at the time of the accident.
  • The person claiming is a child or someone living with disability.

To find out which limits apply in your state, visit our comprehensive guide to public liability time limits.

How much does it cost?

  • No cost to you: Your public liability claim is covered by our No Win No Fee Guarantee, meaning you pay nothing unless we win.
  • No upfront fees: Unlike other firms, we cover every expense related to your claim, including medical reports and expert evidence.
  • Lower legal fees: In most cases, we recover the majority of our fees from the other party. This means you keep more of your total compensation.
  • 90-day risk-free trial: We offer a 90-day free trial so you can evaluate our work before committing to your claim. If you cancel anytime during this period, there's absolutely nothing to pay.
Find out more about our fees

The claims process

While each case is unique, your claim will likely go through the following steps:

You tell one of our expert lawyers about your situation. This consultation is free, and we’ll advise you if you have a claim on the spot.

We build a strong, evidence-based case, including surveillance footage, witness statements, expert medical reports, documents from accountants and accident reports from local authorities.

We may ask you to attend an independent medical examination. Our medical team will help us determine how much compensation you’re entitled to, including pain and suffering, loss of wages or earnings, and any personal care needs and requirements. We pay all upfront costs and organise an interpreter, should you need one.

This is where our decades of specialised experience come into play. Most likely, your matter will settle out of Court, and we’ll negotiate the maximum settlement we can for you.

In less than 5% of cases, we go to court. If this happens, we’ll guide you through the entire process. We have the skills and the financial muscle to go head to head with the insurers, and will ensure you get your maximum compensation.

Meet the team

Our team use their extensive experience to increase your chances of success. We’ve won many awards for our work, including ‘Compensation Law Firm of the Year 2020 GBM Global Awards.’

Leon Monaco
Managing Partner
  • English
  • Workers Compensation, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Public Liability, Medical Negligence
Nancy Kuan
Special Counsel
  • English
  • Family Provision Claims, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Public Liability
Vanessa Azzi
Senior Associate
  • English, Arabic
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents, Public Liability, Work Injury Damages
Sachini Amarasinghe
Special Counsel
  • English
  • Medical Negligence
Meet more of the team

Frequently asked questions

If you’ve been injured, there are important steps you should take to protect your health and your right to compensation. Here’s what you can do:

  • Get medical help: Your health should come first. Go to a doctor or a hospital to get the necessary treatment for your injuries. This not only takes care of your well-being but also creates a record of your injuries, which will support your claim for compensation.
  • Document everything: As soon as you can, start collecting evidence. Take pictures of your injuries, the place where it happened, or anything else that could be relevant. Write down what exactly happened while it’s fresh in your mind. Get contact information from any witnesses. Keep track of all the medical treatments you receive, the medications you take, and any expenses you incur because of your injury.
  • Preserve evidence: Keep any evidence related to the incident, such as clothing or objects that might have been involved in the incident.
  • Report the incident: If it happened at a business or public place, let the manager or owner know what happened, so there’s an official record.
  • Be careful what you say: Avoid admitting fault or making agreements without talking to a lawyer.
  • Talk to a lawyer: Find a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and guide you in making a claim for compensation.

You could receive your compensation in as little as 6 months. However, most claims take approximately 18 months. In certain circumstances, such as complex cases that proceed to Court or when waiting for injuries to stabilise, the process can be extended significantly and may take a few years.

Compensation is typically paid by the insurance company of the individual or business whose wrongdoing resulted in your injuries.

It’s a rule that businesses must have public liability insurance to cover these situations. But if the responsible person doesn’t have insurance, they have to pay you directly.

Sometimes it can be confusing to figure out which type of claim to file if you get injured at work or while on the road, especially if someone else was negligent.

Workers Compensation is for injuries that happen because of your job. A CTP claim is specifically for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Public Liability is a broader form of insurance and is generally considered only when the more specific forms of insurance do not apply.

Yes, you can claim if your loved one’s death has significantly impacted your finances, mental health, or home life. There are 3 types of claims you may be eligible for:

  • Dependency claims compensate the deceased’s partner, children, and anyone else they financially supported.
  • Nervous shock claims provide financial assistance to people who develop a psychological illness due to the deceased’s passing.
  • Loss of services claims pay for caregiving or domestic assistance once provided by the deceased.

All 3 claims can provide vital financial assistance after a loved one’s passing.

Dependency claims

You are eligible for a dependency claim if you were a ‘financial dependent’ of the deceased. This means you relied on their money to meet your everyday living expenses.

Generally speaking, only close family members can make dependency claims. This includes spouses, de facto partners, children, parents and siblings. However, distant relatives or non-family members are eligible if they were financially dependent on the deceased.

How much compensation will I receive?

The exact compensation you receive depends on:

  • Your age.
  • Your relationship with the deceased.
  • The deceased’s income prior to passing.
  • The deceased’s contribution to everyday living expenses.
  • Future education and maintenance costs..

Your compensation is based on the amount of support you would have received had your loved one not passed away.

Nervous shock claims

You can make a nervous shock claim if a loved one’s death caused you to develop a psychological illness. People who witness the death are also eligible to claim for nervous shock.

Only recognised psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression or PTSD qualify. Unfortunately, you cannot claim for grief or distress alone.

How much compensation will I receive?

Your compensation will be based on:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Lost income.
  • Pain and suffering.

Loss of services claims

You can make a loss of services claim if the deceased provided you with ‘gratuitous services’ like cooking, cleaning, childcare, and school drop-offs. Gratuitous services must be non-financial acts of care.

How much compensation will I receive?

By definition, gratuitous services are unpaid, so calculating their value can be difficult. The court can look at several criteria, including:

  • The deceased’s skills (especially if they had a trade).
  • The time spent on services.

The burden on the remaining family members and other relevant people.

Most cases are resolved outside of court through negotiation, but if you cannot reach a settlement or if liability is disputed, the matter may proceed to court.

While you can legally represent yourself, the law surrounding Public Liability is notoriously complex and open to interpretation. You only have one chance to get compensation, so it’s crucial to give your claim the best chance of success.

A good lawyer takes the stress and confusion out of your claim, building you an airtight case and securing the full compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will always:

  • Assess your claim and provide meaningful advice regarding its value.
  • Advise you of any additional claims you might have, such as TPD or life insurance.
  • Prepare your case to maximise the final compensation payout.
  • Challenge medical and other information provided by the insurer.
  • Advise you on the right strategy to progress your claim, especially when the insurer is not offering you a fair settlement.
    Whatever your situation, we offer free, specialist legal advice over the phone. With our No Win No Fee Guarantee, your claim is also risk-free. There are no upfront fees, and you pay nothing until we win your case.
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What our clients say

When you walk through our doors, our top priority is to help you as much as we can. This commitment is shown in over 200 5-star reviews.

4.8 out of 5
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Thank you for accomplishing so much in such a short time.

Great communication, empathy and understanding. My case worker Daniella was a saint, understanding and patient and always passing on any updates in record time.


Good result! We had a complicated claim but they got the job done.

My brothers and I had a complicated claim. I found Ben Ralph to be very helpful, himself and Sally Sutton worked hard for just over a year to get through our claim. They achieved a good result and got the monies paid to myself and my brothers.


I knew it from the very first phone call: I had found a compassionate law firm.

Monaco Solicitors, I have no hesitation in recommending Daniella Dababneh and her team. After I suffered a serious workplace accident, I was in need of legal help.


Monaco helped me get much more compensation than I expected.

Monaco Lawyers helped me to receive compensation for an ongoing injury I sustained after I was simply driving home from work and was driven into head on by an incompetent and negligent driver who I believe was texting at the time of the accident.


They helped me juggle my injury claim and my mum's full-time care.

I highly recommend Monaco Solicitors. I was claiming PI through my superannuation for workplace injuries. They were doing a no win no fee which was great as I am a carer for my mum and don’t earn much.


Monaco made the process easy for me, I wouldn't have succeeded on my own.

My experience with Monaco has been very good. Having commenced my TPD super claim myself, I soon was overwhelmed by the requirements. Although my claim was pretty small compared to others which make headlines, Monaco offered their services on a no win no fee basis.

Google Posted by Cephas G

Today, after only 8 weeks, I got the best news: my claim was successful!

Today I received the best call of my life. It’s finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! I was referred to Monaco solicitors by my sister in law after sustaining work injuries. From the moment I contacted them the whole process was easy and I was always well informed.


Monaco's help reduced a 12-month process to just a few months.

My father originally found Monaco online for super claims,. They had discussed with him in great detail the processes and had been kind and very helpful a few years ago. When needing help with my mothers super claim I knew I could trust Monaco again.


The bill? Surprisingly reasonable, less than expected.

Sally was very helpful and always kept me up-to-date so if you ever use Monaco Solicitors just make sure you get Sally she’s very good. And the bill was very reasonable I thought it would be higher.

Google Posted by Anthony Beak

I am forever thankful! God bless you for being there for me whenever I called.

Monaco Compensation Lawyers are second to no-one. Anthony and his team were there for me every step of the way. When I got disheartened or down, I would make one phone call to the team at Monaco Solicitors, and they were there for me instantly—reassuring me and consoling me.

Leon Monaco & team member

Why choose Monaco

Working with Monaco gives your claim the greatest chance of success. We use proven legal strategies and specialist knowledge to prepare your case and ensure you get proper compensation for your injuries.

We have an extensive network of liability and medical experts providing independent evidence to bolster your claim. Public liability cases rely heavily on evidence, so this strong expert support is crucial to winning your claim.

Voted “Compensation Law Firm of the Year in Australia 2020”, we’re industry leaders with the expertise to prove negligence in even the most complex circumstances.

Speak to us today for free, comprehensive legal advice. Find out where you stand, how we can assist with your claim, and the best way to maximise your final payout.

Learn more about us

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Millions won for our clients

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