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Answering your mobile phone can be risky!

Richard Faulks

08 Oct 2018

Topics

  • Compensation
  • Personal Injury
man with mobile phone

A recent decision of the NSW Court of Appeal shows that answering your mobile can have unexpected consequences. Richard Faulks, Managing Director with Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers, explains the impact of this recent decision, and why you need to think twice about where and when you answer your mobile phone.

This case (Coles Supermarket Australia Pty Ltd v Bridge [2018] NSW CA 183) was about a person who injured himself after slipping in a supermarket carpark. However, the Court also found that he’d contributed to his own injury because he’d answered his phone while walking in potentially hazardous circumstances.

Contributory negligence

The Court found that the supermarket was aware of the potential danger of the carpark floor when wet and failed to take action to mitigate the risks. However, the Court also found that the injured person had contributed to his own injury by answering a mobile phone call and continuing to walk. Because he was talking on his phone, he reduced his ability to respond when the inevitable slip occurred.

The compensation payable to the injured person was reduced by 25% because of his own contributory negligence. This case demonstrates that if using a phone or other mobile device contributes to an incident causing injury, the use of that device will likely result in a substantial finding of contributory negligence.

How can Snedden Hall & Gallop assist?

If you have a slip or fall, in some circumstances you may be able to claim compensation. However, the court will also take into account your own actions. If you need to obtain advice about a compensation claim, please contact us on (02) 6285 8000 or by email. You can find out more about our compensation team here.