In order to commence a public liability claim in Northern Territory, a plaintiff must establish the following factors:
– The plaintiff sustained an injury in a public / an open-to-the-public space in Northern Territory;
– The organisation or person in charge of the space owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
– The plaintiff can identify the person or organisation at fault;
– The organisation or person was negligent and breached their duty of care owed to the plaintiff;
– The organisation or person’s breach of duty of care caused the plaintiff’s injury; and
The claim is within statutory deadlines (see further below in this article discussions regarding time limits in Northern Territory for public liability claims).
A plaintiff must provide evidence in support of a public liability claim and their injuries. This includes providing details relating to the incident, such as times, dates, addresses, witness information. Photographs and video evidence is often useful in a public liability claim, especially contemporaneous photographs of the injuries suffered, such as cuts and bruises.
The types of categories of evidence that are relevant to a public liability claim are:
– Evidence that the organisation or person in charge of the space failed in their duty of care to prevent harm to the public (such as failing to repair safety equipment or keep a space free from hazards);
– Records and reports regarding the incident (such as incident report forms and letters to and from the defendant);
– Medical documentation regarding the injury suffered by the plaintiff; and
– Evidence of the plaintiff’s financial loss from the injury (such as payslips and income tax returns).
If successful in establishing a breach of duty by the organisation or person in charge of the space (liability), a plaintiff can achieve compensation under a public liability claim for:
– Pain and suffering (typically a diagnosable injury);
– Current and future lost earnings; and
– Medical expenses and ongoing treatment.