Slipping and falling in a public place can be a particularly embarrassing experience. It is however the resulting injury which may leave you with permanent and significant consequences. Depending on the severity of your injury and how your injury was caused, you may be entitled to compensation.
What should I do following my fall?
- Seek medical attention – Call an ambulance if necessary and consult your doctor.
- Report the accident – Immediately report the accident to the manager of the building or business.
- Take photographs – Take photographs of the accident location and of your injuries.
- Obtain details of any witnesses – Obtain their contact details if a statement is needed in the future.
What are my potential entitlements?
- Pain and suffering damages – Please refer to the answer below, which outlinesthe requirements to pursue damages for your pain and suffering.
- Past and future medical and like expenses – Keep copies of any receipts for costs incurred as a result of your injury.
- Past and future loss of earnings damages – Create a logbook of all dates you were unable to work due to your injury.
- Gratuitous Care – You can claim unpaid domestic care, provided it has been for at least 6 months and 6 hours per week.
What do I have to prove for pain and suffering damages?
1. Significant Injury Threshold
You must satisfy that you have sustained a significant injury pursuant to the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic). This means that you must establish a whole person impairment rating of 6% or more for physical injuries (except spinal injuries which is 5% or more), or 10% or more for psychiatric injuries.
Your level of impairment will be assessed in accordance with the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (4th edition) for physical injuries and the Guides to the Evaluation of Psychiatric Impairment for Clinicians for psychiatric injuries. The assessment of your impairment can only be performed once your condition is considered permanent and stable, and is usually performed after 12 months from the date of your injury.
It must be established that the occupier breached its duty of care in failing to ensure that the premises were safe. The occupier’s breach can be proven in circumstances where it was reasonably foreseeable that their inaction or action unnecessarily exposed you to a risk of injury. In making this determination, the following can be considered:
a. Whether the occupier had identified the potential hazard.
b. What steps were taken by the occupier to eliminate the hazard.
c. Whether the occupier had notified people about the potential hazard, i.e. were warning signs erected.
d. Whether lighting around the accident location was poor.
How long do I have to makea claim?
Your claim must be lodged within three years from the date of the accident.
If you have suffered an injury following a slip and fall accident, please contact us on 1800 853 085.