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QLD Personal injury on public steps - Do I have a case?

Discussion in 'Personal Injury Law Forum' started by Lucy strawson, 21 April 2017.

  1. Lucy strawson

    Lucy strawson Member

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    I fell down a set of about 4 steps on a public footpath while holding my baby daughter who is 6 weeks old. She went flying out of my hands and ended up face down about a metre away. She is very fortunately (after landing on her head) absolutely fine apart from some scratches on the back of her head.
    I, on the other hand, have sustained injuries to both of my ankles, and can not put weight on either foot just yet. I don't have any broken bones, but one of my ankles that I have previously had surgery on and that has a steel plate as a result, has been particularly painful, and I also wake in the night several times with extreme hip, leg and foot pain. I am still having these things investigated by my doctor.
    The ongoing issue for me is the mental trauma, watching my newborn child falling from such height out of my arms onto the bricked footpath, rolling a few times and landing on her face screaming, in front of a very busy row of restaurants has left me with similar symptoms to PTSD. I am reliving the incident over and over again, I can't shake the image of her face down on the ground screaming. I wake in the night panicking that she is dead or not breathing. It has been awful.
    I am wondering first of all, if I may have a case for personal injury and secondly, how do I find out who is liable for those steps, wether it is the business or the council. The steps in question were bricked like the footpath, but the "wall" of each step was timber. It appeared that the bricked top of each step had sunken over time, so the top of the step was about 2cm lower than the timber wall of the step, which is a trip hazard.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Lance

    Lance Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lucy,
    It sounds like you have grounds to pursue an action but the difficult part is that you would need to prove liability and causation. So I guess first of all you need to know who is responsible for the steps, was there a case of negligence and then did their negligence result in the injury. You need to speak to a lawyer. They will be able to determine ownership of the property and advise on the other aspects.
     
  3. Lucy strawson

    Lucy strawson Member

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    Thanks for the information Lance. Could you give me an example of what would constitute negligence?
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lucy,
    Lets assume the step is owned and ultimately falls to the responsibility of the local council, as you said the pavers seem to have sunken resulting in a trip hazard. For there to be grounds for negligence you might need to prove that the council were aware of the problems with the steps and chose to not act. If the steps have been reported in the past and not fixed this could constitute it. That's not to say that there is not a negligent act for just failing to maintain the steps.
     
  5. Lucy strawson

    Lucy strawson Member

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    Ok great, thanks, I will be getting in contact with a lawyers office today.
     
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