Injured in Public? What are my options?

Unfortunately, accidents happen, they’re part of life but some accidents can be avoided. Determining where an accident was caused by negligence is an important consideration in determining if you have a claim for compensation.

The potential for damages arose in a recent case in White v Redding[2019] NSWCA 152 which saw a young lady hit in the eye with a tennis ball following a friendly game of indoor cricket gone wrong, at a lifesaving club in Manly. The plaintiff was not involved in the game but was in the room. She was awarded almost $700,000 in damages. The injured individual, just 16 at the time, sued the club and the individual responsible for the injury. Claiming their actions were negligent.

Following the incident, which left the plaintiffs retina detached from her left, her vision was now 6/36. This means that what some with normal vision can see at 36 metres she can only see at 6. Prior the accident the plaintiff was classified as an elite athlete, competing at National Championships for Gymnastics and Athletics. At the time she had aspirations to compete at the Olympics. The plaintiff was also studious and achieved high academic achievement. The judge noted this was evident through her achievement of a 97 ATAR.

Damages are difficult to assess and can vary significantly. In the present case they were assessed on the personal and emotional toll taken, with her mum describing the plaintiff’s personality as 100% changed since the incident. The court also considered future economic loss, which is the loss of earning potential following the injury. Interestingly the court noted that to receive such an award the claimant does not have to have already commenced full time work.

Understanding where negligence has occurred and if you’re entitled to compensation can be difficult to determine. The team at BurkeMead can help assist in evaluating your claim and what might be the best course of action where an injury has occurred.