Public Authorities Claims
Public Authorities have a large role to play in our everyday lives. Whether it be attending public hospitals, walking down a street maintained by local council, or being in receipt of public housing.
In recognising the special role that many of these public authorities have to play in our everyday lives, legislation has modified the common law in relation to claims against public authorities in a number of ways. For example, Section 43A of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (CLA) gives protection to public authorities exercising certain statutory powers. It can often be difficult to assemble the evidence necessary to demonstrate that a public authority acted unreasonably in the circumstances.
In addition, Road Authorities are given some protection through operation of section 45 of the CLA. In particular, the Road Authority will not be liable for harm arising from a failure to carry out road work unless someone at the Road Authority had actual knowledge of the particular risk.
In cases against Public Authorities, information is the key. Use of information requests pursuant to Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982, are useful tools in establishing whether you are able to avoid the above-mentioned statutory defences.
For offenders who are injured in the NSW prison system, section 26C of the CLA requires injured people to suffer a permanent impairment of at least 15% (assessed in accordance with the worker’s compensation legislation) before damages can be claimed. There are also differing caps on damages for offenders in custody as well as rules relating to victims support payments that might be owed by the injured person, amongst other things.
To read some examples of claims that we have successfully brought against public authorities, visit our case studies page.
We are experienced in dealing with claims against Public Authorities, of all types. If you would like to find out more about your rights when an injury arises as a result of the involvement of a Public Authority, contact us now to speak to one of our compassionate personal injury lawyers.
Public Authorities Claims Case Studies:
45 year old woman suffered serious personal injuries at Westfield Shopping Complex at Chatswood when a lady, attempting to commit suicide, threw herself over a 6th floor balcony and landed on our client. As a consequence our client suffered serious personal injuries, including brain damage. A claim was successfully made against a government department for having allowed the lady who tried to commit suicide to walk out of a mental institution, despite the fact that she was on suicide watch.