About Frances Rowsell

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So far Frances Rowsell has created 12 blog entries.

Our cars are safer than ever. So why does the road toll keep rising?

by Lucy Kelsey It is a sad statistic that more than 1300 people died on Australian roads in 2016, compared to 1205 in 2015, and 1150 in 2014. In terms of road safety, drivers have a lot to thank technology for. Our airbags are better than ever. Auto companies have introduced driverless vehicles. Cars are equipped with auto emergency braking as a standard feature. So how is it that our cars are becoming safer but the injury and death toll continues to rise? As our cars improve so does other technology, which creates the potential for greater distraction. In 2012, the Fatal Four became the Fatal Five when distraction and inattention were added to the campaign. Distraction is now considered to be one of the biggest contributing factors to road crashes in Australia. In this modern era of technology, we have smartphones, GPS navigation, Bluetooth sound systems and onboard [...]

March 16th, 2017|General Legal Articles|

Child Rendered Tetraplegic After Diving into Hotel Swimming Pool – Hotel Found Liable

by Emily Billiau Following a 3 day trial in the Supreme Court of Queensland, Gympie Motel has been found liable in negligence for catastrophic injuries sustained by a 12-year-old plaintiff when she dived into the swimming pool at the hotel in 1998. In the decision of Lennon v Gympie Motel [2016] QSC 315 liability was apportioned 85% to the Hotel and 15% to the child Plaintiff, who was found to have failed to take care for her own safety. The result being, she will recover 85% of her damages, the quantum of which is yet to be determined. Why is the Hotel Responsible? Relevantly: the depth of the pool was just 90cm at one end gradually increasing to 174cm at the other; the pool did not have any depth indicators; there was no sign to warn swimmers against diving into the pool; there was a sign instructing children to [...]

February 20th, 2017|Public Place Accident Case Law|

What happens if you are injured while visiting a friend or family member at their home?

By Sarah Carlisle While you are a visitor at someone else’s home, the owner or occupier of the home owes a duty to take reasonable care for your safety. Hazards such as inadequate lighting, rain on driveways and paths, rotting decking, loose balustrades, falling foliage and other debris are all prone to cause accidents in the home setting. Occupiers are not expected to ensure that their property is completely hazard free, they are simply expected to take reasonable care. Home and contents insurance usually includes public liability insurance to cover home owners for accidents and injuries involving their visitors. Silwood v Chandler [2016] QCA 273  The Queensland Court of Appeal decision of Silwood v Chandler [2016] QCA 273 confirms that a very high standard of care can, in certain circumstances, be imposed on home owners/occupiers. In that decision, the Queensland Court of Appeal affirmed the Supreme Court’s finding that the [...]

January 16th, 2017|General Legal Articles|

Liability in light of the Dreamworld tragedy

By Lucy Kelsey Theme parks are supposed to be a place of fun, adventure, and excitement. However, as we have seen in the recent tragedy at Dreamworld, disasters can happen. The Thunder River Rapids accident has been named one of the worst in Australian amusement park history. Unfortunately, the Dreamworld tragedy is just one of many theme park accidents to have occurred in Australia. In 1979, six children and one adult were killed on the Ghost Train at Sydney’s Luna Park when the ride caught fire. In 1997, an 11 year old girl died and 2 boys were injured at the Rylstone Show, Mudgee NSW, when a carriage on the Octopus ride broke off and fell to the ground. In 2000, 37 people were injured at the Royal Adelaide Show, when a 4.3 tonne gondola fell off the ride into a queue of people. In 2014, an 8 year old [...]

December 16th, 2016|Public Place Accident Case Law|

Update – Limitation Period lifted for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in Queensland

By Sarah Carlisle On Friday 11 November 2016, the Limitation of Actions (Child Sexual Abuse) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016 was introduced. What Does This Mean for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in Queensland?  The legislation has the effect of lifting the limitation period which previously applied to a claim for damages for the physical and psychological injuries suffered by victims of child sexual abuse in Queensland. Whereas these claims were previously statute barred beyond the child victim’s 21stbirthday – there will no longer be a statutory time limit for child sexual abuse victims to pursue compensation for the horrific abuse which they suffered as children. These claims can now be brought at any time in the victim’s life and, in the case of victims who have died, some actions may survive for the benefit of their family members. The change acknowledges the life-long pain and suffering endured by [...]

November 16th, 2016|General Legal Articles|

Don’t be a statistic – stay safe on our roads

By Tine Ibraheem While we hate to put a damper on this joyful time of year, now, more than ever, we need to be careful on our roads.  Year in and year out we see accidents and fatalities increase during this period with more people on our roads attending end of year celebrations, road trips, outings and getaways.  There is an increase in traffic volumes, congestion, fatigue and people driving under the influence of alcohol. While we cannot always avoid an accident,  we can take steps to minimise the risk, as highlighted by Australia Wide First Aid: Plan Ahead and Be Flexible. Before you get into your vehicle and onto Australia’s highways, take the time to plan your trip. Plan which route you are going to take and identify the places you are going to stop and rest along the way. If possible, plan to travel in non-peak traffic and [...]

November 16th, 2016|Car Accident Case Law|

Car accident forces man to live in a tent – $1.2 million award

By Lucy Kelsey In Martin v Andrews & Anor [2016] QSC 20, the Plaintiff was rear-ended at speed and shunted into the car in front. He sustained whiplash injuries, including a moderate lumbar spine injury and a minor cervical spine injury. The plaintiff was 39 years old at the time of the accident, and had 44 years of working life remaining at the date of trial. The plaintiff attempted to return to work as a fitter/mechanic/linesman electrician but due to his injuries, he was unable to maintain this employment. As a result of being unemployed, the Plaintiff was unable to maintain his financial commitments. He had to sell his family farm and his car. He spent all of his savings, and was forced to reside in a tent at a campsite. The Defendant obtained surveillance footage of the Plaintiff pitching his tent the week prior to the trial showing that [...]

October 16th, 2016|Car Accident Case Law|

Pedestrian Recovers Damages from an Unidentified Vehicle

By Tina Ibraheem In a District Court decision, in which the firm was involved in, namely McLean v Nominal Defendant, an injured pedestrian was able to recover damages against the Nominal Defendant, as the relevant third party insurer of an unidentified vehicle. We acted on behalf of Mr. McLean who recovered damages from the Nominal Defendant in the sum of $124,934.80. Mr. McLean was injured whilst walking home from the Deception Bay Hotel. He suffered serious injuries to both legs and also a psychiatric condition as a result of the accident. The insurers argued that Mr. McLean contributed or caused the accident due to his level of intoxication. We were able to show that Mr. McLean wasn’t intoxicated and although he had been drinking at the hotel (4 schooners of beer) he was in no way intoxicated and was exercising reasonable care when he attempted to cross the road. The [...]

September 16th, 2016|Hit and Run Case Law|

Slip and fall incidents

By Tine Ibraheem Unfortunately, every year many thousands of people are injured after slipping and falling in public places (such as supermarkets) or whilst visiting private premises (whether the fall is caused by a slippery substance on the floor, food produce or any other hazardous item or surface).  Slip and fall accidents are often embarrassing and stressful. It is important to stay calm and immediately seek the necessary medical attention – this could have happened to anyone. Often, slip and fall accidents result in serious injuries. Unfortunately, many people do not know their rights in such circumstances. It is important to know that all shops, workplaces, restaurants and other public and private venues have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe for their entrants. If you or a loved one have been involved in a slip and fall accident and have suffered an injury, it is important that [...]

August 17th, 2016|Public Place Accident Case Law|

Is a cyclist colliding with a closed boom gate an obvious risk thus not compensable?

By Tina Ibraheem In Simmons v Rockdale City Council the Defendant (Rockdale City Council) argued that an injured cyclist should not be awarded compensation because the accident was caused by him not keeping a proper look out, and the accident was the result of an ‘obvious risk’ of the dangerous recreational activity of cycling. BACKGROUND In this case, the Plaintiff was riding his bicycle through a car park adjacent to the St George Sailing Club when he struck a boom gate that had been closed across a motor vehicle entrance to the car park. The Plaintiff sustained serious injuries. His injuries ultimately led to his leg being amputated below the knee. The Plaintiff initiated a claim against the Rockdale City Council (“Council”) on the basis that they caused his accident by having the closed boom gate there. The area where the accident occurred was a popular route used by cyclists. The Plaintiff himself had [...]

July 17th, 2016|General Legal Articles|