Last updated 31 August 2016

The Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld) (Personal Injuries Act) applies to claims for personal injuries and requires a number of procedures to be complied with before starting legal proceedings. These include strict provisions as to notice of an intention to proceed and must be supplied as soon as practicable after the closure of conciliation. Any information gathered for the purpose of conciliation cannot be used in any subsequent legal action. Strict time limits apply to personal injuries complaints including the requirement that a notice of claim be provided to the person who caused the injury within one month of a lawyer being engaged by the injured person (s 9(3)(b) Personal Injuries Act) (see also Accidents and Injury chapter).

Most professionals insure themselves against the risk of being found liable in negligence. Some ask their clients or patients to sign documents waiving their right to sue the professional for negligent conduct. Although the courts are reluctant to give effect to such documents, they should not be signed without first seeking legal advice.

A claiming in professional negligence would need to prove:

  • the professional did not behave the way in which a reasonably competent professional would have behaved in the circumstances and
  • the negligent conduct caused damage to the complainant and
  • the damage suffered is in a category for which the law allows compensation.