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Public parks, playgrounds and sporting ovals are an essential part of a community, they’re often where people come together, exercise and importantly they’re also a place where young kids have fun. But these spaces also need to be regularly maintained to ensure that they’re safe for the community to use, otherwise injuries can occur.

Who’s responsible for maintaining public parks?

Local councils are responsible for the maintenance of public spaces such as local parks, playgrounds and sporting ovals. Local councils have a duty to keep people safe while on council property, by making sure that these spaces are regularly maintained and safe for use. But sometimes they may fail in their duty, if that happens and you’ve been injured in a public space, you may be entitled to compensation.

What are some common hazards at public parks?

Common injuries that can happen at public parks include:

  • The playground equipment is unsafe for use
  • The softfall play cover or tan bark around the playground equipment is not well maintained creating a dangerous hardened surface
  • The surface of a public sporting oval wasn’t properly maintained making it a hazard
  • Being hit by a falling tree branch because the tree was poorly maintained.

What about dog attacks?

Having a dog is great. They’re adorable, loyal and make great companions. However, sometimes an animal can be poorly trained, not properly socialised or are just naturally aggressive, and can become a danger to the public.

If you or your pet were attacked by a dog, the owner of the attacking dog can be prosecuted for an offence and fined. In addition, you may also be entitled to claim compensation against the dog owner for the injuries you suffered from the attack. In these situations, the dog owner is often covered under their home and contents insurance for any compensation claims you may make, because being a pet owner comes with the responsibilities of caring for the animal and ensuring they don’t harm others.

Group of dogs in a park

What can I claim compensation for?

If you’ve been injured in a public space, you could be entitled to claim compensation for the following:

  • Your pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life
  • Medical expenses, including any treatments you may need in the future
  • The cost of care provided to you by friends and family
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income

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What should I do if I’ve been injured at a public park?

If you’ve been injured at a public park, playground or community sporting oval you should:

  • Take photos of your injury and the hazard that caused it
  • Note down details of what happened
  • Seek medical treatment and explain to your doctor what happened
  • Keep receipts of all your medical expenses and records of date and types of treatment you’ve received
  • Keep records of any other expenses you’ve incurred or wages you’ve lost because of your injury
  • Seek legal advice.

It’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to help you understand your rights and, entitlements, and to also get guidance about collecting evidence for your claim immediately.

If you’ve been injured, Slater and Gordon can help 

Get in touch with our team who’ll be able to answer your questions, help you consider your options, and advise if you may have a claim.

We can also offer our No Win, No Fee* payment arrangement to our clients. No Win, No Fee means that if you don’t win, you don’t pay Slater and Gordon’s fees (the fees that we charge for the work we do on your case).  

Get in touch with our team for a free and confidential discussion today.  

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

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