What is Public Liability Duty of Care?

Failure of (Public Liability) Duty of Care occurs when a person has a physical injury or is mentally harmed due to another party’s actions (or failure to act). To establish legal liability, it must be reasonably foreseeable that the circumstances of the incident would result in an injury and that a sensible person would not have taken the same action.

Most property owners and operators in Queensland have public liability insurance that provides them financial protection if they fail their duty. If you bring legal action for negligence against a property/venue owner or operator, you claim against their insurance company.

You could have the right to claim compensation when someone has failed their legal duty. Understanding your legal entitlements is free, and you pay nothing until we win your claim. Owe us nothing if you lose – Call Now 1800 700 125.

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Duty of Care Claim Lawyers

We all owe a Duty of Care to take reasonable actions to protect other people from harm. If you have been injured because of a failure of Duty of Care (someone else was negligent, and the incident was reasonably foreseeable), you may have a Public Liability Claim

In this case, our Duty of Care Claim Lawyers can assist. Contact the friendly and experienced legal team at Splatt Lawyers, for immediate support now – Call 1800 700 125. or email us >

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The Requirements for a Winning Negligence Claim

What are the obligations under the duty of care, and what is “reasonable care and skill”?

To establish negligence, the injured person must demonstrate three specific criteria. These are causality, breach, and duty of care. If a claimant proves all three elements, we move to the final stage, damages.

1. Duty of Care

A duty of care between the injured and negligent parties must first be established according to the damaged party. In law, you have a duty of care to exercise reasonable care. However, a duty is not always present. Even when it exists, the extent of the duty is dependent on the nature of the relationships between the parties.

2. Breach

After the injured party has proven there was a duty of care owed, they must show that the defendant neglected their responsibility. The plaintiff must show that:

  • There was a significant risk of injury
  • There was a foreseeable risk
  • In the same situation, a reasonable person would have taken precautions to reduce the risk.
3. Causation

Causation is the third component of negligence that the plaintiff must establish. The plaintiff must demonstrate their negligence caused the harm or damage.

4. Compensation

A plaintiff will be entitled to compensation for their damage or the harm inflicted if they can adequately establish a duty of care, breach, and causation. Damages are the last component of a negligence claim and apply to economic and non-economic harm.

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How to know when a Duty of Care breach has happened

A violation of a duty of care has occurred when:

  • The actions or inaction of another person have resulted in an injury or illness, or mental health condition and
  • The possibility of this incident happening was obvious and
  • A reasonable person would anticipate that your injury/illness would be the result of the action or inaction and
  • If the action/inaction that initiated your injury/illness was unreasonable.

5 Types of Public Liability – Breach in Duty of Care

  • Slip, Trip and Falls

Shopping malls, footpaths, and other public spaces are where slip and fall (and trip and fall) accidents frequently happen. In Queensland, a property’s occupant must take reasonable measures to ensure that visitors can safely access and utilise the property. More about slip and fall accidents →

  • Private and Rental Property Liability 

By law, a property owner must take reasonable care of and maintain the property to be free of danger. However, a landlord does not need to guarantee that a property is always totally safe.

More about rental property accidents →

  • Dog and Animal Attacks

It is your responsibility, or duty of care, as the dog or other animal’s owner to ensure your pet doesn’t cause harm to anyone else. In addition, you could face legal repercussions if your pet attacks or bites another animal or person.

More about animal attack accidents →

  • Recreational and Amusement Accidents

Theme park and recreation venue owners/managers are responsible for taking reasonable precautions to minimise any foreseeable danger of injury or harm to visitors and employees. This responsibility entails performing planned tests, equipment maintenance, and adhering to industry standards.

More about recreational accidents →

  • Transport Accidents

Transport providers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their customers. So, no matter the mode of transportation you choose; plane, ship, bus, or train—all travel service providers are responsible for your safety.

More about public transport accidents →

Other Breaches in Duty of Care

Understanding that someone else may not be at fault when you are injured is essential. Various interactions between people and parties can create an obligation for duty of care. For example:

  • Your employer owes a duty of care to keep employees safe
  • All motorists have a responsibility to look after each other safely while driving
  • The owner of premises has to keep people in their premises safe
  • Doctors must provide good medical care
  • Manufacturers have a duty not to harm the users of their products

More specific examples of when a Duty of Care exists include:

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Can I Make a Legal Claim for Negligence?

If you believe you have been harmed due to another person or party's full or partial negligence, you could make a personal injury claim. If this is your situation, it would be wise to seek legal advice to understand your options.

Splatt Lawyers' public liability legal team know the legal duty of care obligations of property owners and operators. Understanding your legal right to pursue personal injury damages is at no cost. Contact us now for your free comprehensive case evaluation.

Duty of Care FAQs

Everyone (to a varying extent) has a duty of care to protect others in many different situations, such as: at work, when driving, when in a public space, at school and in a playground, while engaging in recreational activities and more. This means taking reasonable steps to protect yourself and others from harm.

The legal definition of Duty of Care relates to the responsibility not to cause harm or injury to another person that a reasonable person could have foreseen.

Medical professionals owe you a duty to ensure you receive good health care; however they do not have the same responsibility when it comes to other areas of your life, like caring for your finances.

When a person owes someone a duty of care and neglects it, causing harm or damage, the injured person can file a damages claim against them.

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