Liability claims against council
If you have suffered an injury or damage to personal property which you believe was a direct result of council’s negligence, you may wish to submit your compensation claim for council’s consideration.
To determine negligence, you must establish the following three essential elements:
- A duty of care was owed by council to you
- Council breached the duty of care owed to you
- The loss or damage suffered was caused by the council’s breach of duty of care – put simply, you must establish that your loss has been directly caused by council rather than by other factors
For council to consider your claim, you must provide evidence substantiating your loss, including information and/or evidence that council has breached its duty of care and is therefore liable, under the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld).
The Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) recognises the limited resources that are reasonably available to authorities such as council and that council is not liable for a failure if at the time of the alleged failure it had no actual knowledge.
While council may own or maintain the land or asset, it is not an automatic admission of liability.
Council reserves its right to recover all or any costs it has unnecessarily or unreasonably incurred in successfully defending its claims.
Report the hazard
It is important that you report any hazard associated with your claim to council. Please report the hazard by contacting council by phone (07) 4961 9444 or 1300 622529; email email@example.com or via the customer portal Mackay Regional Council - Customer requests so the necessary attention can be undertaken to rectify the hazard.
Claiming through your insurance
Although this option may result in an initial upfront payment to your insurer for the applicable excess but generally insurance companies will pursue council for reimbursement where they consider us to be liable. In such cases, the excess amount may be waived. We recommend that you discuss this with your insurer before lodging a claim with us.
Council may not be the responsible entity in relation to your claim.
If, after reviewing your submission, council has identified that your claim relates to a council contractor, we will refer your claim to our contractor. By submitting a completed claim form, you consent to the disclosure of the details, including your personal information, provided on your claim form and any other information obtained by council regarding the claim to our contractors. Council will advise you if this has happened and provide you with the contractor’s contact details. The contractor will contact you directly in relation to your claim.
If your claim relates to another entity, such as Ergon Energy or Queensland Transport and Main Roads, we will advise you in writing to contact them directly as council cannot assess a claim where council is not the responsible entity.
Storm or weather events
If damage to private property or personal injury has occurred due to a storm or weather event, Council may not be liable for this damage. A storm or weather event is a natural event and so injury, damage or loss caused by it may be beyond council’s control..
All claims must be lodged with council and will be considered on a “without prejudice” basis.
Once received the claim will be investigated and a decision provided to you on the findings within a reasonable timeframe.
Whilst all liability claims will be properly considered, the following claims are unlikely to be approved:
- You have not provided the appropriate detail or supporting evidence
- Council negligence cannot be determined sufficiently
- Damage to tyres and rims which result from wear and tear
- Damage due to debris (if it occurs in the normal course of driving)
- Damage resulting from criminal actions
- Damage resulting from storm or weather events
- Matters already the subject of a separate or private insurance claim
- Damage resulting from the actions of a third party which is not council
- Damage resulting in property damage, i.e. panel damage, windscreen damage from council plant where insufficient evidence is provided and
- The damage was caused by defects that council was not aware of, e.g. potholes, displaced or cracked footpaths etc. See notes above on Civil Liabilities Act 2003
It is very unlikely council will be held liable and, therefore, cannot pay compensation if:
- The damaged property had exceeded its natural life span, e.g. 15 years for timber retainment walls and fences
- The damaged property pre-dates the date you purchased the property
- Claims being submitted 12 months (or a period considered unreasonable) after the incident has occurred
The acceptance of the written claim and supporting documentation by Council in no way infers negligence on the part of MRC or binds council to provide compensation.
These claims may be dealt with either by:
- Internal investigation
- Council’s insurer
- As per public liability plant claim requirements
Council cannot provide claim compensation unless a clear legal liability has been stablished.
Lodging a claim
Your claim can be lodged by:
- Completing the online general request by selecting the Insurance Claim/Enquiries type then uploading the claim supporting documentation and photographs
- Phone council on 1300 MACKAY (622 529)
- Email your claim details and attachments directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Posting your claim and supporting documentation to Mackay Regional Council, Corporate Governance, PO Box 41, Mackay Qld 4740