All around the world, it is likely to experience the adverse consequences of negligence-based actions. This can be either by facing a lawsuit, or a compensation claim by the victim. In Australia, it feels good to know that these laws are being implemented successfully in daily life. To keep the public in order and in peace, almost everyone owes a duty to others. For service providers, employers and motor vehicle drivers, this duty is to prevent actions that might end up in harm to others. Named as the duty of care, the system was put into force to maintain safety in public. With this duty, almost everyone is responsible for the wellbeing of others. As an example, a medical practitioner owes the duty of care to patients. The same applies to drivers in traffic, employers in the workplace and business owners to their visitors/customers.
Accidents in public places are mostly due to foreseeable reasons
Foreseeability in accidents is an important factor however, the risk factor can be relative. As an example, a person drinking a coffee might not be able to observe the condition of the drink before taking a sip. On the other hand, if the milk contained in the coffee is contaminated, the business can be aware of the situation as whilst preparing the order, the employees should check the expiry date of the milk and the conditions of other ingredients. This means, the consumer may not be able to be aware of the condition of food prior to the first symptoms of food poisoning.
This is an example of an accident that was foreseeable and could have been prevented if necessary action was taken by the employee. Which is a legit reason for the victim to make a compensation claim. From the victim’s perspective, foreseeability is also important as actions that involve risk and accidents due to these actions may not be compensable. An example of this is recreational activities. Such as diving, roller skating and surfing, the risk is a part of the activity. So if someone sustains an injury due to falling from a horse whilst horseback riding, the business will not be liable for the accident and the victim’s loss. The reason is that a reasonable person would be aware of the risks of horseback riding.
Understanding obvious risk is important as due to environmental factors and the awareness of the individual, the risk may not be as obvious as it is to the business. Whilst walking down a street on a rainy day, a reasonable person would notice the puddle on the ground. On this occasion, once the risk is noticed –as it is obvious- a reasonable individual would behave responsibly for his/her own wellbeing. However, in a restaurant or a similar public place, the whole process differs. The puddle might not be as obvious as the colours on the ground can blend with water and the risk might be unnoticeable. In this scenario, the business’s duty is to eliminate the risk factor. Failing to do so is a situation in which the foreseeable risk was ignored by the business and negligence caused the accident.
The main causes of traffic accidents are reckless actions
Being reckless in traffic can result in a lot more serious occasions as traffic has a very complex structure. Even if the negligent driver avoids the impact, others might not be as lucky and can involve in an accident. To avoid this, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists also owe the same duty to others in traffic. Every driver, pedestrian and cyclist are responsible for their actions especially ones that might harm others directly or indirectly. If this duty is breached, as seen in the example of the public accidents, the victim can make a motor accident compensation claim. Speeding, ignoring the rules and driving aggressively are obvious risk factors in the traffic. Ignoring this risk and continuing to violate the traffic rules can put the driver in a position to be liable for the victim’s loss. However, motor vehicle accidents and motor accident lawsuits in Australia are being handled differently. Motor accidents are partially based on the no-fault system. This means, even the party at fault can benefit from insurance payments to a limited extent. Even if the faulty party’s loss may not be fully compensable, the income support payments and medical payments can still help the recovery of the faulty driver. On the other hand, the victim’s entitlements are beyond the faulty party’s entitlements. If the injuries are ongoing, above the required threshold, more than minor and if the condition of the injuries cannot foreseeably get any better, a lump sum payment may be awarded. However, this entitlement entirely depends on the victim’s injuries, the severity of the injuries, condition and faultiness degree on the accident.