Getting injured on someone else's property

If you are injured on someone else's property, you may be able to make a claim against the property's owner, or the person in control of the property. 

This area of law is known as occupier's liability and is part of the law relating to negligence. The Occupier's Liability Act 1984 (WA) sets out the responsibilities of the occupier. The Civil Liability Act 2002 (WA) also applies to these types of situations.

An occupier of premises has to take reasonable care to make sure that someone entering their premises does not suffer injury or loss as a result of a danger on the property. The danger may exist because of the condition of the premises, or from something the occupier has done, or failed to do, to the premises.

You should get legal advice on what you would need to show to make a successful claim.

This information will help you to understand more about occupier's liability. Find out:

  • what properties and people are covered 
  • how to make a claim, and
  • some practical tips and things to think about.

What are 'premises'?

Premises includes:

  • land, for example, a garden, football oval, school playground, and
  • any fixed or movable structure, for example, a home, shed, or shopping centre.

If you were injured at work, you may need to make a claim through workers' compensation. You should get legal advice if you are unsure whether an incident is covered by occupier's liability.

Who is 'the occupier'?

The occupier is the person who is in control of the land or premises. Sometimes it will be the person who owns the premises. If the premises are rented, the landlord may or may not be responsible, depending on the facts. It may instead be the person who runs their business at the premises. 

You will need to find out who is in control of the premises. You may need to get legal advice to work out who this is, and whether or not they are liable for your injuries.

I tripped over on the footpath or road outside a neighbour's house. Can I make a claim?

If you were injured as a result of the state of the footpath or road, you should get legal advice about whether you have a claim and who your claim should be made against.

How do I make a claim?

If you have suffered an injury on someone else's property, you may be able to make a civil claim through the courts for damages. 

The law relating to occupier's liability and negligence is complicated and there are strict time limits that apply to claims.

You should also consider whether or not it is worth making a claim. Litigation can be very stressful, time-consuming and expensive. Whether you should start a case, and your options for negotiation and settlement, will depend on the seriousness of your injuries, how they were caused, and the likely costs of pursuing a claim.

You should get legal advice about your situation and options as soon as possible.

What should I take to a legal appointment?

It may be helpful for you to take the following information with you:

  • Personal details of any other parties involved.
  • As much information as you have about who the occupier is.
  • The date time and place of the incident.
  • Full details of how the incident occurred (notes may be helpful).
  • Full description of any injuries you have.
  • Details of any hospitalisation or treatment.
  • Full names and addresses of any treating doctors.
  • Any medical accounts or other accounts related to the injury that you have received. 
  • Copies of any correspondence (letters, emails, text messages) you have sent or received about the matter. 
  • Details of work history and current employment details.
  • Names and addresses of any witnesses.
  • Any photos taken (photographs should be dated and signed by the person who took them). 
  • Your thoughts on how the injury is currently affecting you.

 

Get help

Legal Aid WA does not give legal advice or representation in court about negligence claims.

The Law Society of WA can refer you to a lawyer who specialises in this area.

 

Reviewed: 21 May 2018

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.