Public Liability Lawyers

Public Liability Claims Lawyers

We are Public Liability Claims Lawyers. We act for Respondents and Contributors in public liability, contribution claims and professional negligence claims made under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act (PIPA) Qld

Our Expertise

Denning Insurance Law are experienced Public Liability Claims Lawyers. With experience across Australia’s top industries, we’re familiar with the common industry accidents that can result in PIPA claims. We also understand how to best resolve those matters. In 2018, Denning Insurance Law was ranked in Doyles Guide as a Leading Queensland Public Liability Compensation Law Firm and Principal Kate Denning was ranked as a Leading Queensland Public Liability Compensation Lawyer.

Queensland public liability and contribution notice claims can be complex. With past experience in a leading Australian firm, Principal, Kate Denning, has extensive experience in managing large multi-party disputes.

Denning Insurance Law provides expert public liability claims management. We offer cost controlled and effective defence of public liability and contribution notice claims. For information about our services offered to injured individuals click here.


1. What is the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act (PIPA)?

The PIPA is Queensland legislation. It sets out pre-court steps for parties to complete before an injured person (Claimant) can file proceedings in a Court.

The PIPA aims to promote the early resolution of claims and allow parties to resolve a dispute without the expense of litigation.

It regulates the majority of claims for personal injuries arising in Queensland, where neither the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act, nor the Motor Accident Insurance Act applies. It also sets out procedures for Respondents to claim indemnity from, or contribution towards, a claim from another person (through the issue of a Contribution Notice under section 16 of the PIPA).

In disputes with three or more parties, claims can be regulated by more than one piece of legislation.

2. What are sections 10 and 12 of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act? How do I respond to a Notice of Claim?

Under sections 10 and 12 of the PIPA, a Respondent must provide written notice in response to a Notice of Claim stating whether the Respondent considers itself a Proper Respondent to the Claim and stating whether the Respondent is satisfied that the Notice of Claim is a ‘compliant’ Notice of Claim for the purposes of the PIPA. The response should be provided within one (1) month after receiving the Notice of Claim. It is important to seek legal advice in relation to a response to the Notice of Claim.

3. Who is a Proper Respondent under the PIPA?

The PIPA requires a Claimant to serve a Notice of Claim on a Proper Respondent. If a Claimant has

  1. Correctly identified an individual or organisation in their Notice of Claim that was involved in an incident; and

  2. The Claimant believes that the individual or organisation was involved in the incident,

then they may be considered a ‘Proper Respondent’ for the purposes of the PIPA. Admitting that you are a Proper Respondent is not an admission of fault.

Individuals or organisations served with a Notice of Claim should immediately seek legal advice about the claim and notify their insurer. Strict timeframes apply for providing a response.

4. What if someone else is responsible?

Respondents or Contributors who have been incorrectly identified as a party to a claim should seek legal advice as a matter of priority. If the party who has joined them to the claim agrees that they should not have been joined, then the claim may be withdrawn.

If there is another person or organisation that should be held liable to contribute towards a claim, steps may be taken to join that party. For example, a Respondent (such as a landlord) may have a claim in contract against an appropriate tenant, to meet their liability for the claim.

Strict timeframes apply to joining parties as Respondents or Contributors, so individuals or organisations served with a public liability claim or Contribution Notice should seek advice promptly.

5. What is section 20 of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act?

Section 20 of the PIPA requires a Respondent to take reasonable steps to inform itself about the incident alleged to have given rise to the personal injury and to issue a liability notice to the Claimant stating whether liability is admitted or denied, in whole or in part. This must be done within six (6) months after receiving the Notice of Claim. It is important to seek legal advice as early as possible in respect of a claim under the PIPA, so that appropriate steps may be taken to investigate the incident.

6. How to claim against public liability insurance?

If you held a policy of public liability insurance, home and contents insurance or contents only insurance at the time of the incident, you should have legal liability cover which will extend to a claim against you under the PIPA. For health care professionals faced with a claim for professional negligence, this cover should be found in your professional indemnity insurance.

As soon as you receive a claim or are informed of circumstances which may give rise to a claim, you should inform your relevant insurer. If your cover was placed through an insurance broker, you should inform your insurance broker and they will notify your insurer.

Once you have made a claim against your insurance, your insurer will usually take over the conduct of the matter and respond to correspondence from the Claimant or the Claimant’s lawyers, including providing a section 12 response to the Notice of Claim.

If a claim is made against your organisation and you have a large deductible or excess, you may notify your insurer and agree to conduct the defence of the claim with lawyers of your choice because cover is not triggered until the loss exceeds your deductible.

Contact Us

Contact us for advice or representation in a public liability or contribution notice claim by calling (07) 3067 3025 or send us your enquiry by completing the form below.


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