Determining negligence in personal injury claims

In Australia, victims of negligent actions, behaviours and omissions can make a personal injury claim to compensate for their loss. The loss after such an accident can be permanent physical incapacities, emotional suffering, psychological injuries and economic loss, which can be the conclusion of the weakened earning capacity due to these injuries. Although the consequences of an unfortunate accident sound harsh and depressing, in no circumstances the victim will be treated unjustly, and these difficulties can be minimised by taking necessary legal actions. Depending on the situation, the victim’s loss of past and future income, medical expenses and permanent injuries are compensable.

Under which circumstances my injuries can be compensable?

If the accident occurred from someone else’s negligent actions, the victim can claim compensation. However, the claim should be examined by a professional prior to lodging the claim as not every accident is a result of negligence. Nationwide, the businesses should keep their services at acceptable standards. These include preventing and eliminating the risk factors that can cause harm. However, these risk factors can appear suddenly and unexpectedly. The maximum effort should be given to eliminating these risk factors as soon as possible by the business administrators as the absence of necessary care will put the business into a position to be liable for any adverse circumstances.

Handling the risk is actually pretty easy and not much of a hassle. During the claim, the insurer or the court will decide if these injuries could have been prevented by a reasonable person. At the same time, it is expected from the victim to be aware of the natural risk factors.

As an example:

‘’ Oliver and his fiancée organised a romantic date to celebrate their anniversary. The plan was to see a movie and then rush to a restaurant before it was midnight so that he could manage to give a speech to the crowd waiting for them and to his fiancée. However, Oliver couldn’t manage the plan well enough and broke his leg while trying to leave the theatre in haste. Oliver was so angry that decided to sue the business stating it was their fault. However, the saloon was illuminated sufficiently and accordingly to the standards’’

As seen in this example, rushing out while a reasonable person wouldn’t in a similar environment caused Oliver an injury and it was actually his fault as the potential danger was obvious. For this reason, Oliver may be liable for his injuries and cannot claim compensation

However, let’s see the scenario from another perspective where the business can be liable for the damages.

‘’Right after the movies ended, Oliver and his fiancée didn’t act in haste to reach to the rendezvous point and waited for the environment to be illuminated sufficiently just as a reasonable person would do. However, something was wrong and the lights were never switched on. So, the person in charge informed the audience about the situation and told them to leave the saloon.’’

In such situation, it cannot be possible to see where you go as the interior of a theatre is likely to be dark and as the place is also isolated from the natural light sources, an accident can easily occur.

In this situation, Oliver can make a compensation claim if he sustains an injury as the business had the duty to provide safety to the audience and it was breached. On similar occasions, the businesses are expected to take preventive measures and ‘’plan b’s’’ to prevent accidents. In the example, the potential consequences were obvious to the business and they were disregarded. As an example, in many businesses, a back-up generator is mandatory to prevent similar situations. To prevent liability, the business can create a risk management plan to apply once needed on similar scenarios.

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