Getting injured on someone else's property
What are 'premises'?
- 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 landowner 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 because of the state of a 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 consider whether it is worth making a claim. Litigation can be 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. There are time limits to make claims.
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 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.
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: 11 October 2022