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QLD Claiming Compensation for Lost Wages?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Alex Jones, 8 August 2016.

  1. Alex Jones

    Alex Jones Member

    26 May 2016
    Likes Received:

    I wish to seek compensation for lost wages from a fast food retailer after unknowingly consuming raw product causing me acute illness.

    Written admittance from retailer and photos are in my possession. Also, the gp visit/medical cert and a complaint lodged with relevant gov't authorities are all documented.

    I will be chasing this myself (I feel legal fees would be too much) and am very happy to research as much as I can first - but just not sure which wording to proceed with.

    Specifically, my questions are:

    1. Do I claim for 'damages' or claim 'negligence' or 'breach of contract' or something else?

    2. Is there some particular 'law' or 'act' I should refer to in my letter - ie Australian Consumer Law or other?

    To clarify - the cumulative amount of lost wages/expenses is around $5000 so worth perusing in my opinion. I don't want any other 'damages' as such, simply the lost income and immediate expenses to be covered.

    Happy to write my own letter to them but based on their response I will also consider further action.
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi Alex, food providers have a responsibility to serve food that is safe, and can be made liable if you are injured as a result.

    Food poisoning claims are usually brought as public liability claims, which means you have to prove:
    • the business owed you a duty of care – they had a responsibility to take certain safety measures to prevent harm.
    • they failed to take this duty of care.
    • And as a result, you were hurt and suffered loss.
    You can generally claim for:
    • medical expenses
    • loss of earnings
    • general damages for pain and suffering as well as loss of enjoyment or quality of life
    • any care and help provided by friends, family, or any other individual.
    I would send the food vendor a letter of demand for the amount that you are claiming, stating it was as a result of their negligence that you suffered this loss. Also state that if it is not paid by X date that you will commence proceedings in court for a larger amount encompassing general damages, medical costs, etc.

    If it gets to that point and you are considering instituting legal proceedings, I would highly recommend getting legal advice. If you commence proceedings and you are unsuccessful, you may be ordered to pay the other party's legal costs which could be considerable.

    It's quite complex making out a negligence claim and acquiring all the evidence that needs to accompany it. A judge won't cut you slack or take pity on you and help you out simply because don't have a lawyer. You need to be able to precisely state your legal case and establish the elements of your cause of action with concrete evidence and cases to back yourself up otherwise a good legal defence will be able to defeat your claim.
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