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Slip and Fall Claims and Payouts Australia - Know Your Rights.

When you’re out and about, the last thing you expect is to be injured and need to make a slip and fall claim. But for thousands of Australians every year, what starts as a regular day out or visit to the shops turns into an injury, medical treatment, time off work, and even surgery. Slip and fall injuries can be serious; full recovery can take months or even years, and in some cases injuries are permanent.

We’ve helped hundreds of clients with their slip and fall claims. This article brings together our experience from these claims and explains everything you need to know about slip and fall cases and settlements in Australia, to make sure you receive everything you’re entitled to. 

We’ve included an example of a $540k claim we made for a Sydney small business owner, and keep an eye out for expert tips from our lawyers throughout the article.

Man shopping in a supermarket prior to suffering a slip and fall injury

Does my slip and fall qualify for a claim?

In our experience, the most common slip and fall claims are:

Slips and falls in shopping centres are often caused by floors that are wet from cleaning, spills, and roof leaks. The shopping centre management is responsible for slip hazards.

Supermarket slips and falls can be caused by dropped food items like grapes, leakage from fridges and freezers, and spills that haven’t been cleaned up. Supermarket management is responsible for cleaning up slip hazards.

Hospitals are busy environments, where spillages can be left unattended and create hazards for patients and visitors. But hospital management is responsible for making sure procedures are in place to deal with slip hazards promptly.

In restaurants and cafes slips and falls are usually caused by spillages that haven’t been cleaned up. The restaurant’s owner/manager is responsible for having safety procedures in place to deal with hazards quickly.

Slips and falls in public buildings like office buildings can be caused by roof leaks, water from wet umbrellas as well as spills. Building management is responsible for common areas, and the tenants are responsible for slip hazards within their office spaces.

Slips and falls in common areas fall under the responsibility of the building management, but within rented apartments or houses the tenant is generally responsible for slip hazards.

Local councils are generally responsible for slip hazards in public places like footpaths, however, claims for slipping on footpaths are less common, as it’s very difficult for councils to monitor and deal with outdoor slip hazards. Responsibility for slip hazards is covered in more detail later in this article.

What should I do after a slip and fall accident?

To give your slip and fall claim the best chance of success, keep thorough records that can be used as evidence.

You should report the accident to the person responsible for the property as soon as you can. This could be a:

If the slip and fall accident happened in a retail or business property:

Can I claim compensation for my slip and fall accident?

You can claim compensation if:

We have extensive experience proving liability in slip and fall cases. But it’s not always simple; a building owner or manager can only be held liable if they knew or should have known about a hazard and did nothing about it.

Take for example a situation where liquid has been spilled on a floor. If the spillage was left for a long period without being cleaned up, and this caused you to slip and fall, it’s likely the building manager would be found negligent for not having the right safety procedures in place. But if the slip and fall accident happened within seconds of the spill, then it could be argued that the building manager wasn’t negligent, as they had no opportunity to clean it up.

Our experienced slip and fall lawyers can assess your situation and tell you over the phone if you have a strong slip and fall claim.


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Slip and fall cases and settlement amounts in Australia – Frank’s $540k payout.

You can get an indication of slip and fall settlement amounts in Australia by looking at cases that have settled in the past. Take for example the slip and fall case where we won $540k for a small business owner.

In July 2017, Frank, who owned a newsagency in a small shopping complex in South-West Sydney, took a break to go to the toilet located within the complex. When he got there, he noticed newspaper and cardboard that had been laid across the entrance to the toilet. Unfortunately, he slipped on it and landed hard on his outstretched hands.

Frank suffered full tears of both his rotator cuffs and broken bones in both his wrists. He underwent two operations to repair the severely torn muscles in his shoulders and not long after the accident, he also developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.

Frank’s lawyer, Chantille, determined that the leak had originated from the adjacent fruit shop and one of their staff members was responsible for laying the newspaper and cardboard – in a poor attempt to soak up the water. Chantille also discovered that the centre had no adequate hazard identification system or a regular system to clean the floors of the common areas of the premises.

Expert tip: Every slip and fall case is different, and there’s no standard amount you should settle for. But don’t just accept the first settlement offer you receive from an insurer – it’s vital to get advice from a public liability lawyer before you accept any offer.

How are slip and fall settlements calculated?

Slip and fall settlement amounts in Australia are calculated based on the extent of your injuries and the expenses you incur. They tend to range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When you make a slip-and-fall claim, your total settlement may include amounts for:

Expert tip: Slip and fall injuries can take time to stabilise and may even get worse over time. For example, an injured leg can lead to a limp that causes hip and back problems. So it’s important that you don’t simply claim compensation for your obvious injuries, or accept an early settlement.

Our slip and fall lawyers don’t just claim for your obvious injuries. We take time to get to know you personally, to understand the full impact your slip and fall has had on your life. Then we gather all the evidence and argue your case on your behalf. This can make a big difference to your settlement amount.

How long do you have to report/sue for a slip and fall?

Slip and fall claims in Australia can be made up to three years from the date of the accident. In some cases, this can be three years from the date you first realised you were injured. However, it’s best to report the accident immediately – you might find it harder to produce the evidence you need to make a claim if you wait too long.

If you’re concerned about being too late to claim, you can call 13 15 15 and get free legal advice on your options.

Who’s responsible for slip and fall accidents?

Retailers, building managers, and landlords have a duty of care to visitors. If you slip and fall in a public building or place, and the accident was caused by negligence (or a breach of duty), then they’re responsible for the accident. However, if the slip and fall wasn’t due to a breach of duty of care, then the building manager isn’t responsible. Our specialist slip and fall lawyers can generally assess your situation over the phone and tell you who they think is responsible for the accident.

A lawyer filling out a slip and fall claim for a client who is claiming compensation.

Are slip and fall claims hard to win?

Proving liability in a slip and fall claim isn’t always straightforward, but we can make sure your claim has the best possible chance of success.

Usually, to win a slip and fall compensation claim you need to show that the owner or manager of the property had knowledge of the slip hazard but didn’t take action in a reasonable time frame. You’ll need evidence that the owner knew about the dangerous situation. So the success of your case will depend on the quality of the evidence you can produce to support your claim.

Our public liability lawyers have extensive experience in slip and fall claims and can take care of the whole process for you, including compiling all the evidence like CCTV footage, witness reports, cleaning records, and other documentation. We win over 99% of our cases, and you can call us on 13 15 15 to get free legal advice on your claim.

Call 13 15 15 or chat to us now for free advice

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Find out how much you can claim.

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What makes a good slip and fall case?

We’ve assessed many hundreds of slip and fall cases to determine their likelihood of success.

For your slip and fall case to succeed, you need to identify who was responsible for your safety at the accident location and establish that they were negligent. So successful slip and fall claims are commonly made in locations where responsibility is more easily identified, such as:

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall at one of these locations and suffered losses, and it can be shown that your accident was caused by negligence, then it’s likely you have a good slip and fall case.

How long do slip and fall settlements take?

Most slip and fall claims in Australia settle out of court and take around six to 12 months to resolve after your injuries have stabilised. If you’re unable to settle and you need to take court action to get compensation it can take considerably longer – often around 12-18 months.

Expert tip: Again, don’t be tempted to accept an early settlement. Injuries take time to stabilise, and complications can take some time to develop. We have a network of doctors and specialists who will make sure all of your injuries are assessed thoroughly once they’ve stabilised.

Our experienced lawyers will build the evidence for your claim and negotiate on your behalf to get an out-of-court settlement in the shortest possible time frame. We’ll also work for you on a no win no fee basis, so you only need to pay us after you receive your settlement.

Shane Butcher

Principal

An accredited specialist in personal injury law and spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance, with the best part of 20 years’ experience in assisting injured Australians to receive everything they’re entitled to.  


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