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In order to be able to pursue a public liability personal injury claim, you must be able to show that an individual or another entity (eg company, council or government department) caused or significantly contributed to the accident that led to your injuries. A claim may be able to be brought in negligence, breach of contract or even for breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Public liability claims can arise in many different ways, including:

  • Employees / workers injured on someone else’s worksite
  • Independent contractors / subcontractors injured on someone else’s worksite
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Trip and fall accidents
  • Injuries sustained at someone else’s home or rental premises
  • Boating accidents
  • Jetski accidents
  • Watersports accidents
  • Injuries sustained on playgrounds
  • Injuries suffered in a public parks
  • Injuries suffered in a gym or leisure centre
  • Injuries sustained in residential or commercial buildings
  • Injuries sustained at school
  • Injuries caused by dogs, horses or other animals
  • Injuries sustained during sporting activities
  • Injuries sustained at recreational activity venues
  • Injuries sustained at amusement parks and venues
  • Injuries caused by defective equipment or faulty products
  • Airline and aviation accidents
  • Physical assaults and sexual assaults
  • Psychological injuries following the serious injury or death of someone else

Many of these accidents lead to very serious injuries including catastrophic spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, fractured limbs, soft tissue injuries, psychological injuries and sometimes even fatalities.  For family members whose relative died or was seriously injured as a result of an accident, the relative may also be able to bring claims for loss of dependency, loss of services and/or nervous shock (psychiatric injury).

When are you covered by public liability insurance?

Almost all home and contents policies contain public liability insurance. Most businesses, companies and associations will also take out insurance policies which contain public liability insurance. Schools, councils and government departments also have public liability cover. Most boat and jet ski insurance policies and travel insurance policies also contain public liability insurance.

If your injury arises as a result of someone else’s negligence, breach of contract or breach of the Australian Consumer Law, then you will be able to make a claim against that individual or company. They will then pass the claim on to their public liability insurer who covers them and pays any compensation or damages payable.

Even if you are injured whilst working as an employee, you may still be able to pursue a public liability claim if someone other than your employer (or a co-worker employed by the same company) caused the accident or injury.  You would still be entitled to receive your normal workers’ compensation statutory benefits (ie “compo”) but would also be able to pursue the public liability claim.

It is important to note that public liability insurance only covers those people who are injured as a result of the negligence of the insured person or entity.  If the accident was simply an unfortunate accident, which was unavoidable, then you will not be covered by any public liability insurance.  If the accident was your own fault, then your public liability insurance will not normally cover you, although you should check your policy in that regard (as it might pay limited benefits).

Public liability insurance policies also contain various exclusions. For example, members of the same household are not normally covered by the home and contents public liability insurance. So, if one member of your household injures another member of your household, the injured family member will not normally be covered by any public liability insurance, although you should check your policy in that regard (as it might pay limited benefits).  If, however, someone else comes on to your property and is injured as a result of your negligence, then they would be covered by your public liability insurance.  There is normally a small excess payable and the public liability insurer then assumes the conduct of the claim and pays out any compensation.

What is the process?

Public liability claims in Queensland are commenced by serving a Form 1 Part 1 Notice of Claim on the individual or company that caused or significantly contributed to the accident. That person or company is then called “the Respondent”.

The public liability injury claims process is as follows:

  • You are injured in an accident or as a result of the intentional act of someone else;
  • A Form 1 Part 1 Notice of Claim is served on the Respondent within one (1) month of you instructing a lawyer to act on your behalf or within nine (9) months of the accident, whichever is the earlier;
  • The Respondent pays their excess and engages their public liability insurer;
  • The Respondent’s public liability insurer (”the insurer”) sends a response, within one (1) month of receiving the claim form, pursuant to s.10 and s.12 of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2022 (Qld) (“the Act”) confirming that their insured is the proper respondent and that the information contained within the claim form complies with the requirements of the Act (“their compliance response”);
  • You continue to receive treatment and rehabilitation until you reach maximum medical improvement, which can take twelve (12) months or more;
  • A Form 1 Part 2 Notice of Claim is served on the insurer within two (2) months of receiving their compliance response;
  • The insurer provides a liability notice (ie whether they admit liability for the accident or not) within six (6) months after providing their compliance response;
  • Once your injuries have reached maximum medical improvement (ie they are stable and stationary), which is often around the twelve (12) month mark, we then arrange medicolegal appointments to assess the nature and extent of any ongoing pain and restriction you have as a result of your injuries;
  • The insurer then arranges their own independent medicolegal appointments;
  • Once all medicolegal specialists’ reports have been received, which is usually around sixteen (16) months post-accident, we compile an offer of settlement on your behalf;
  • The parties then attend a compulsory settlement conference around eighteen (18) months post-accident (NB around 7 out of 10 matters resolve at this stage);
  • If the parties are unable to negotiate an informal settlement at the compulsory conference, they are required to exchange Mandatory Final Offers which remain open for fourteen (14) days and cannot be withdrawn;

If the claim fails to resolve at the compulsory conference and neither party accepts the other’s Mandatory Final Offer then:

  • Official court proceedings are commenced, which means that a Claim and Statement of Claim is filed in the appropriate Court registry;
  • Various Court documents are then exchanged between the parties, including a Statement of Loss and Damage, a Statement of Expert and Economic Evidence and Lists of Documents;
  • Negotiations can continue, or be re-instigated, at any time during this process;
  • If informal negotiations fail, then the parties will usually proceed to a mediation, which is similar to the compulsory conference but with the intervention and assistance of an experienced mediator. The mediation normally occurs at around 24 months post-accident (NB around 9 out 10 matters resolve at this stage);

If the claim fails to resolve at the mediation:

  • The parties start preparing for trial;
  • Negotiations can continue, or be re-instigated, at any time during this process; and
  • If informal negotiations fail entirely, then the matter proceeds to trial. (NB less than 2% of personal injury claims actually proceed to trial);

What compensation can you receive in public liability personal injury claims?

The following heads of damage can be claimed in a public liability claim:

  • pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
  • past economic loss (lost income)
  • past special damages, also known as out of pocket expenses (eg treatment, rehabilitation, medication, transportation, aids, appliances, prosthesis, home modifications, transport modifications, education and training)
  • past paid services (eg mowing, gardening, housekeeping, cleaning, cooking, attendant care and support services, etc), provided these services were not already being provided prior to the accident
  • Past unpaid (voluntary) services provided by friends and family, if those services were provided for at least six (6) hours per week for a minimum of six (6) months and provided these services were not already being provided prior to the accident
  • interest on any past economic loss (lost income), expenses and/or paid services
  • future economic loss – likely loss of income or earning capacity
  • future likely special damages / out-of-pocket expenses
  • future likely paid services
  • future likely unpaid (voluntary) services to be provided by family and friends

What will you need to do during the claim?

The following heads of damage can be claimed in a public liability claim:

You will not need to change anything. You should live your life normally (or at least as best you can with the injury you have) and we will look after the claim side of things. 

Your involvement in the claims process will include the following:

  • We will ask you to attend an initial appointment with us to provide us with any information you have about the incident;
  • We will send the draft claim form to you and ask you to advise us of any changes that are needed;
  • We will arrange for you to sign the claim form;
  • We will arrange for you to attend one or more medicolegal appointments;
  • You will also need to attend one or more medicolegal appointments for the insurer;
  • We will ask you to provide us with an impact statement (outlining the impact that the accident has had upon you, particularly your work capacity);
  • We will ask you to provide us with copies of relevant payslips, tax documents, employment documents and receipts you have (for treatment, paid services, etc) as well as any other relevant documents;
  • We will need you to provide us with any other information required to put an offer of settlement together;
  • We will seek your approval in relation to any offers of settlement that we propose to make on your behalf;
  • We will seek your instructions in relation to any offers of settlement made by the insurer;
  • You will need to attend a compulsory settlement conference to answer any further questions we might have and to provide us with your instructions regarding any offers of settlement;
  • You will not be required to answer questions from the insurer or their legal representatives during the conference. 

(N.B. 7 out of 10 claims resolve at the compulsory conference)

If the claim fails to resolve at the compulsory conference and neither party accepts the other’s Mandatory Final Offer, then:

  • We will, some time later, ask you to attend a mediation to answer any further questions we might have and to provide us with your instructions regarding any offers of settlement.
  • You will not be required to answer questions from the other side during the mediation.

(N.B. 9 out of 10 of claims resolve by this stage)

If the claim does not settle at the mediation:

  • If further offers of settlement are made or received, then we will need to seek your instructions;
  • If the matter does not resolve informally, then it will be set down for trial and you will need to attend court and give evidence as a witness.

(NB less than 2% of personal injury claims proceed to trial)

So, what can East Coast Injury Lawyers do to help?

We provide free initial advice. We will consider all available information, undertake investigations where needed, and provide you with our opinion regarding your claim. This will include whether we believe you would succeed in a claim, what your options are with respect to the various insurance schemes, NIISQ and the NDIS and what you should do immediately to ensure that you receive the best treatment, care and support possible as quickly as possible.

If we consider that your personal injury claim is likely to have reasonable prospects of success, then we will agree to take your matter on, on a “no win no fee” basis. Click here for more information on how we charge.

Strict time limits apply to personal injury claims, so speak with one our expert personal injury lawyers today.

FAQs

When should I get a personal injury lawyer involved?

You should engage a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This is so:

  • We can help prepare your claim form and serve it on the Respondent on your behalf
  • We can make sure you do not miss any important time limits
  • We can provide you with advice about your rights and obligations
  • We can make sure that what you are telling the doctors and the insurer is consistent – ie your story about what happened needs to remain the same, or conflicting versions need to be clarified as soon as possible, as credibility is critical in these claims.
  • We can make sure that you are telling the doctors and the Insurer the full story (eg disclosing previous injuries or claims), so that your credibility remains intact.
  • We can make sure that your claim form and medical certificates list all injuries you have sustained, no matter how insignificant – sometimes the doctors need some guidance in that regard.
  • We can make sure that all of your injuries are being fully investigated and treated.
  • We can start putting your offer of settlement together.
How to start a public liability personal injury claim?
  1. See your doctor and report all injuries, no matter how insignificant they seem.
  2. Obtain referrals for any further investigations or treatment that you need, like x-rays and scans, physiotherapy, counselling and specialist reviews and commence treatment as soon as possible.
  3. Contact us to make a time to meet with one of our expert injury lawyers. We will come to you, if you would prefer, at no additional cost.
  4. We will complete a Form 1 Part 1 Notice of Claim (“NOC”) with you.
  5. We will then serve the NOC on the person or entity (eg company) that caused the accident which led to your injuries (“the Respondent”).
  6. The Respondent will pass the claim on to their public liability Insurer who will then handle the claim on the Respondent’s behalf.
What time limits are involved with public liability injury claims?

Your Form 1 Part 1 Notice of Claim must be received by the person or entity (eg company) that caused the accident (“the Respondent”) within one (1) month from the date you instruct a lawyer to act on your behalf or within nine (9) months from the date of accident, whichever is the earlier.

A claim can still be lodged outside the nine (9) month timeframe, up to three (3) years post-accident, provided a reasonable excuse for delay is given.

Ultimately, you have to resolve your claim or commence court proceedings within three (3) years from the date of accident, failing which you lose all rights to receive compensation.

There are some very limited exceptions to the three (3) year rule. If you are outside that timeframe, we would recommend you seek legal advice urgently.

Who will I be suing and who pays?

Your claim will be against the individual or entity (eg company) that caused your injuries but their public liability insurer takes over the conduct of the claim on their behalf and pays any compensation.

What if the person that caused my injury was a friend or family member?

It does not matter if your injuries were caused by a family member or friend as the public liability insurer will be the one paying out any compensation. You friend or family member may have to pay a relatively small excess (if any) but that would be it.

The public liability insurer will, of course, want your family member or friend to provide a statement about what happened and, in the extremely unlikely event that the matter was to proceed to trial, they might be called upon to give evidence about what happened but that would be it.

There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. If your family member or friend was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, intended to harm you, was using something without the owner’s authority or without legal justification or was undertaking an illegal activity at the time, the public liability insurance policy may be voided, so that your friend or family member is not covered.  We would look into this for you before proceeding with any claim.

What injuries result in compensation being paid?

The types of injuries that you can claim for include the following:

  • Fatal injuries / Death claims
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Head injuries and brain injuries, including closed head injuries, ttraumatic brain injuries (TBI) and acquired brain injuries (ABI)
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Spinal cord injuries, including tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) and paraplegia
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Amputation injuries
  • Neurological injuries
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome injuries
  • Complex regional pain syndrome injuries
  • Cauda equina injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Facial injuries including injuries to the jaw
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries, including fractured vertebrae, soft tissue injuries and the like to the lower back or lumbar spine, as well as mid-back and thoracic spine
  • Bone fractures
  • Pelvic injuries and hip injuries
  • Joint dislocations, including ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Elbow injuries
  • Hand injuries, wrist injuries and finger injuries
  • Degloving injuries of fingers, arms, legs, etc.
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Hernias, including inguinal hernias (groin) and umbilical hernias (belly button)
  • Groin injuries
  • Leg injuries and thigh injuries, including fractures
  • Knee injuries, including ACL tears, PCL tears, MCL tears, LCL tears, torn meniscus, fractures and dislocations
  • Foot injuries and ankle injuries
  • Toe injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Blindness
  • Burns
  • Cuts, lacerations and bruises
  • Chemical injuries
  • Scarring
  • Chronic pain disorder
  • Psychiatric and psychological injuries including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, anxiety, traffic phobia and pain disorder
  • Nervous shock injuries
  • Aggravation of pre-existing injuries
  • Aggravation of pre-existing degeneration
Do public liability insurers fund treatment upfront?

No. Public liability insurers are not obliged to fund anything (including treatment or lost wages) as the claim goes, so you will need to pay for your treatment yourself and we will then claim the cost of that treatment in your offer of settlement.

Please keep evidence of any expenses incurred in the form of invoices and receipts.

What is my claim worth?

How much compensation or damages you will be entitled to receive is dependent on a lot of different factors, including:

  • What ongoing problems you have as a result of your injuries – obviously, we won’t know this until your injuries are stable and stationary and have been assessed by the medical experts
  • Your age, which impacts on how long you were going to work for and how long you will experience pain and suffering from your injuries
  • What the doctors say about your injuries, particularly the degree of impairment and the level of disability you have as a result of your work related injuries
  • Whether you have pre-existing degeneration, previous injuries or other conditions that were impacting on you, or are going to impact on you in the future
  • What restrictions and difficulties you have, particularly with respect to your work capacity
  • What your income and earning capacity was like pre-accident, compared to what your income and earning capacity is now like
  • What treatment, care and support needs you have
  • Whether you have needed voluntary (unpaid) care and assistance as a result of your injuries and, if so, the nature and extent of that support
  • Whether you have needed paid care and support because of your injuries and, if so, the nature and extent of that support
  • Whether you have a need for home or vehicle alterations and other aids or equipment
  • How much ongoing treatment, medication and care and support you need in the future

Public liability injury claims often settle for hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

How much do lawyers charge to pursue a public liability injury claim?

It depends on how much legal work it takes to resolve your claim. Every matter is different. Our hourly rates are extremely competitive. For more information on how we charge, click here.

Do I have to pay the insurer’s costs if I lose?

This is extremely unlikely. You only have to pay some of the insurer’s costs if you proceed to trial and lose completely or if you receive a judgment for less than what the insurer has previously offered to pay you.

The number of personal injury claims that actually proceed to trial is less than 2 in 100, so the chances of you having to pay the insurer’s costs are very slim.  During the course of your claim, we will provide you with detailed advice on the quantum of your claim, so that you know what amount would be considered to be a good reasonable settlement amount.

Can I pursue a public liability claim and also have a workers’ compensation claim running at the same time?

Yes. If your injury was sustained during the course of your employment (but was caused by someone other than your employer or a co-worker), then you will be able to lodge a workers’ compensation claim with WorkCover Queensland (or your employer’s workers’ compensation self-insurer).

You can then also lodge a public liability injury claim against the person or company that caused your injury.

WorkCover Queensland (or the workers’ compensation self-insurer) will pay for all reasonable and necessary treatment and rehabilitation, as well as weekly benefits for any time off work, upfront.  The public liability claim will simply run alongside the WorkCover claim until the WorkCover claim ceases. The public liability claim will then proceed on its own.

The amount that WorkCover pays will need to be refunded to them once your public liability claim settles. We will claim what WorkCover pays to you from the public liability insurer in your offer of settlement and then refund that amount so that you do not lose out in any way.

Will I have to refund what WorkCover pays to me?

Yes. The public liability insurer will have to refund, out of your settlement monies, whatever WorkCover has paid to you.

The amount that WorkCover has already paid, however, is added to the other amounts that are claimed from the public liability insurer in your offer of settlement, so you do not lose anything.

Am I able to claim benefits from the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) if I have a public liability injury claim?

No. The Queensland Government has not extended coverage under the National Injury Insurance Scheme to public liability injury claims. You have to have been injured at work or in an accident on the road to qualify for NIIS benefits.

You may, however, be entitled to make a claim under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). For more information about the NDIS, click here.

Am I able to claim benefits from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) if I have a public liability injury claim?

Yes, provided you are between the ages of 7 and 65 when making the application to the NDIS.

The NDIS provides the following benefits:

  • daily personal activities needs
  • transport to enable participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities
  • workplace help to allow a participant to successfully get or keep employment in the open or supported labour market
  • therapeutic supports including behaviour support
  • help with household tasks to allow the participant to maintain their home and home environment
  • help to a participant by skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment, setup and training
  • home modification design and construction
  • mobility equipment
  • vehicle modifications

The NDIS will NOT fund a support that is:

  • the responsibility of another government system or community service (eg something funded by NIISQ)
  • not related to a person’s disability
  • relates to day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participants support needs
  • is likely to cause harm to the participant or pose a risk to others
Will I have to refund what the NDIS pays me?

Yes. The public liability insurer will have to refund, out of your settlement monies, whatever WorkCover has paid to you.

The amount that WorkCover has already paid, however, is added to the other amounts that are claimed from the public liability insurer in your offer of settlement, so you do not lose anything.

You may also be precluded from claiming certain benefits from the NDIS for a period of time into the future (if a claim has been made for those costs from the public liability insurer).

Do I have to pay tax on any compensation I receive from the public liability insurer?

No. In personal injury claims in Queensland we only claim net losses (after tax), so the ATO does not impose tax on any settlement monies. If, however, you invest those funds and earn income then you may well have to pay tax on that income. You should seek advice from your accountant or financial advisor in that regard.

During your free initial consultation, we will:

  • Determine exactly what injuries you have suffered;
  • Work out precisely how the accident occurred;
  • Decide whether someone else caused or significantly contributed to your accident;
  • Decide whether your claim is likely to be economically viable;
  • Provide you with our advice on whether we believe you will win and whether your claim will be viable;
  • Discuss the public liability claims process and what will be required of you;
  • Discuss what costs will be involved and how we charge; and
  • Respond to any questions that you might have in relation to your claim.

*East Coast Injury Lawyers is led by Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law: Sean Delpopolo, Helen Ashton, Nickelle Morris.

  • No Win, No Fee
  • No upfront payments
  • Free initial consultation
  • Home visits
  • Hospital visits
  • Videoconference meetings (via Zoom or Microsoft Teams) where preferred
  • After hours visits
  • 30% cap on legal fees
  • No uplift fees charged
  • No litigation lenders or interest charges on outlays / disbursements
  • Complete confidentiality
  • Immediate assessment of your claim

*Strict time limits apply when making a claim. Do not delay.

Managing Director

Sean Delpopolo

Sean Delpopolo

Sean is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.*

Sean specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, brain and head injury claims, spinal injury claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

He has been running personal injury claims in Queensland for over 25 years. Sean founded our firm in 2004 and the firm has grown and gone from strength to strength on the background of outstanding service, incredible results and charging really fair fees.

With an innate sense of fairness and justice, this motivates Sean and his team to do everything they can to ensure that the results they achieve for their clients are something that they can all be proud of. In Sean’s mind, the interests of the firm’s clients come first, before anything else, and this value has flowed on through to the entire team.

As a father of two daughters, Sean understands that his clients’ personal injury claims can make a huge difference to their lives and the lives of those around them. This is why he has made it his life’s work to fight for the “little guy” to obtain the compensation they deserve.

* To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

Director

Helen Ashton

Helen Ashton

Helen is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.*

As an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, having been awarded the highest achiever award for the course in 2015, Helen has a high level of knowledge and technical expertise. Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2001, she also has extensive experience in running all types of personal injury claims.

Helen specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, medical negligence claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

Helen has a friendly and approachable personality and strives to ensure that her clients are kept well informed and are provided with quality and practical legal advice.

As a mother of three young children, Helen understands the impact events can have on a family unit and works proactively to achieve the right result for her clients in the shortest possible timeframe. Helen has the ability and the experience to assist clients with a wide variety of claims, including any personal injury claims with a high level of complexity and those that have had catastrophic consequences.

* To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

Special Counsel

Nickelle Morris

Nickelle Morris

Nickelle is an expert in personal injury claims and has been recognised by the Queensland Law Society as an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.* She was awarded the highest achiever award for the accreditation course which she completed in 2022. Nickelle was also a finalist in the Special Counsel of the Year category in the Australian Law Awards in 2019.

Nickelle has been practising exclusively in personal injury litigation for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in catastrophic claims and fatality claims across all practice areas.

Nickelle specialises in catastrophic injury claims (including traumatic brain injuries, acquired brain injuries and other head injuries, amputations, severe burns and spinal cord injuries resulting in tetraplegia, paraplegia and the like), National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) claims, work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, public liability injury claims, medical negligence claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

Nickelle prides herself on being a technical, yet practical and compassionate lawyer. She takes her time to understand her client’s situation and to ensure that they have an understanding of their rights and entitlements. Nickelle is a tenacious and passionate advocate for her clients and is dedicated to being proactive in ensuring her client’s needs are met and achieving the best outcome for her clients.

Outside of work, Nickelle is a mother of two children and is a member of a number of committees both within the legal industry and community.

* To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

Special Counsel

Barry Mcgee

Barry has always loved a spirited debate, and, with over 20 years specialising exclusively in personal injury litigation, his passion, skill and ability to assist his clients is well known throughout the Queensland profession.

Barry specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

Barry’s legal career began in his native Scotland, where he qualified as a Solicitor in 1998. Upon qualifying, he worked for a boutique practice, and then a top-tier national firm, representing a number of different insurers across a variety of industries. With years of working for insurers under his belt, Barry is able to see matters through the eyes of his legal opponents. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say!

He was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2007. In Australia, he commenced working for a large national firm, where he spent 15 years practicing in personal injury litigation. He was made a Partner of the firm in 2011 and spent 11 years as the firm’s dedicated in-house Special Counsel. As Special Counsel, Barry provided expert advocacy and strategical advice and assistance to the firm’s personal injury lawyers and clients of the firm alike.

Barry has significant and extensive experience across a wide variety of personal injury claims. He is compassionate, personable and straightforward, with a keen sense of what is fair and just and a reputation for not settling for anything less than his client deserves.

Outside of work he enjoys surfing, the outdoors, music and spending time with his wife and 3 young children.

Special Counsel

Charlotte Evans

Charlotte has practised exclusively in personal injury compensation litigation for over 20 years.

Charlotte specialises in sexual abuse claims, work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

She is committed to fighting for the rights of plaintiffs and helping her clients through the legal maze, to achieve outcomes that put people back in control of their lives. She has had experience in taking a number of personal injury cases to Trial and winning hard fought cases for her clients and she does not shy away from a challenge.

Charlotte has a friendly and approachable personality and strives to cut through the legal jargon to make the personal injury claim process understandable for her clients whilst ensuring that her clients are also kept well informed throughout their claim.

Out of the office Charlotte is a busy Mum, who now enjoys the privileges of living in beautiful Queensland and making the most of all it has to offer.

Special Counsel

Prue Prescott

Prue has been running personal injury claims for nearly 20 years. This has involved acting for injured claimants in most areas of personal injury law including workers’ compensation injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatality claims, psychiatric injury claims, National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) claims and total and permanent disability claims.

Prue enjoys handling the more complex claims, such as traumatic brain injury, fatal injury and nervous shock claims, as well as claims involving complex legal principles. Prue seeks to use her Masters qualification in writing and literature to tell each and every client’s individual story, ensuring they are treated fairly by insurers and that they obtain the compensation they deserve.

In 2019, Prue was nominated by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland Inc as an Inspirational Lawyer.

Outside of work, Prue is a busy mum of boys but also tries to find the time to read, write and explore nature.

Office Manager

Julie Hollonds

Julie is a highly dedicated and experienced office manager who has been an integral part of our team for the past 14 years. Bringing a wealth of knowledge with over 35 years of experience in administration, Julie keeps our office running smoothly and efficiently.

Outside of work, Julie loves to walk, snorkel, spend time with friends and explore the beautiful Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

Legal Assistant

Aleisha Harrigan

Having worked as a legal assistant for over five years, Aleisha has a wealth of experience in the field of personal injury. Since joining East Coast Lawyers, she has been an essential part of providing invaluable support to solicitors and our clients. Her abilities extend beyond legal matters with Aleisha providing training to our assistants and administrative team, and streamlining processes and procedures, ensuring that the workflows operate smoothly and effectively.

Outside of work, Aleisha has a passion for reading and music. She can often be found immersed in a good book or a live concert. She values spending quality time with her family, friends and her beloved dog, Kevin.

Legal Assistant

Kym Arrowsmith

Kym is a knowledgeable legal assistant with fifteen years of expertise in the field of personal injury law. She is passionate about supporting clients through the process and obtaining the best possible outcome for them. As a valued member of our team, Kym takes pride in her work and is committed to sharing her extensive experience and knowledge with our other team members.

When Kym is not busy with work, she loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoys discovering new places, whether it be through the pages of a biography or on her push bike.

Legal Assistant

Alece Turner

Alece is a law student who is extremely motivated and passionate about personal injury law. She is hardworking, and always strives to produce the best possible results for our clients.

Her dedication and eagerness to learn more about the law makes Alece a great addition to our team.

When not working or studying, she loves spending time with her son at the beach or at one of our amazing theme parks.

Legal Assistant

Georgia Ryan

Georgia recently joined the team in February 2023 and has been working within the industry for the last three years. She is enthusiastic about helping new and existing clients, and with her bubbly personality and can-do approach makes her an excellent addition to our team.

Raised in Tasmania, Georgia moved to Queensland in early 2017 and hasn’t regretted it since. She loves the warm weather and lifestyle. Outside of work, Georgia loves travelling, dining out and spending time with family and friends.

Legal Assistant

Claire Rezny

Claire is one of our hard working and devoted Legal Assistants. With over 25 years’ administrative experience, her attention to detail, willingness to help others, and calm demeanour makes her a real asset to our team.

Claire is well travelled and, during her time in the USA, Claire discovered a newfound love for reading, which led her to become a proofreader for several published novels. Claire also enjoys landscape and wildlife photography and spending time with her family and puppy.

RECEPTIONIST AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Shayla Riley

Shayla joined our team in September 2023, coming from an extensive background in customer service.

Shayla is a law student who is very passionate about personal injury law. With her bubbly personality and can-do attitude this makes her the perfect person for her administration support role.

When Shayla is not in the office you can find her enjoying all things outdoors, getting lost in a good book or spending time with her two rescue dogs Bear and Ella. 

RECEPTIONIST AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Brooke Gribble

Meet Brooke, our receptionist and administration assistant. Brooke has over 3 years’ administration experience in personal injury law and is eager to provide high quality customer service to our clients.

Brooke finds joy in helping others and is extremely hard working making her a real asset to our team.

Out of the office you may find Brooke at a racetrack as she has a passion for fast cars. Brooke also likes spending her time enjoying outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking but will never pass up the opportunity to indulge in some retail therapy.