Presumed Liability Legislation

Eligibility - Queensland citizens
Principal Petitioner:
Sean Francis Harrison
5 Silkyoak Way
Total Signatures - 1,070
Sponsoring Member: Clerk of the Parliament
Posting Date: 13/9/2017
Closing Date: 12/3/2018
Tabled Date: 20/3/2018
Responded By: Hon Mark Bailey MP on 19/4/2018
TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland citizens draws to the attention of the House the concern that our civil compensation system for personal injury is fault-based when incidents occur between motorists and vulnerable road users. Thus, in a collision, driver error must be proven. Because the default assumption is that the driver has not contributed to the crash, their insurance company is not automatically liable for compensation. The onus should be on the driver's insurance company to prove that the casualty caused the collision. Presumed liability would only affect civil compensation charging standards, not those of criminal prosecution, where the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" would continue to apply. Vulnerable road users involved in a collision - who have the least potential to cause death or injury, are usually the only casualty and often the only witness other than the motorist - will often be unable to give evidence due to the injuries sustained. We also believe that vulnerable road users, such as children, older people or those with disabilities, should receive full compensation, regardless of their actions. This would align us with many European nations. We believe that the introduction of presumed liability into Queensland civil law has the potential to improve outcomes for vulnerable road users, as well as contributing towards the Government's current Cycling Strategy, helping more Queenslanders enjoy a healthier, safer future.


Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to enact legislation for the reversal of the burden of proof in collisions between motor vehicles and vulnerable road users.