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Slipping and falling on ice injury claims

Even a minor slip or trip on ice can cause serious injuries, resulting in an inability to work or perform daily activities. If you’re a victim of snow and ice injuries that weren’t your fault, you can claim compensation.

Call free on 0800 234 6438 for free legal advice or request a callback using the contact form. A specialist will assess your claim and connect you with a no win no fee* legal service.

What are snow and ice accidents?

Snow and ice can cause significant hazards for road users and pedestrians, often resulting in road traffic accidents and falls. While some of these incidents are unavoidable, others occur due to negligence.

Poorly maintained public transportation, commercial properties and even services owned by local authorities can be significant hazards for members of the public.

When snow and ice are in full force, businesses, public services, councils, and commercial properties are responsible for ensuring safety.

If an accident occurs, you could claim compensation.

Can I make a slipping on ice claim with no win no fee?

The simple answer is yes. Almost all personal injury claims, including snow and ice claims, are made on a no win no fee basis. This means you only pay if your accident claim is successful – if you don’t win, you won’t need to pay any legal fees or other costs. No win no fee claims don’t put you at any financial risk.

If you make a claim and are successful, you’ll receive your compensation and can spend it however you choose. You’ll also need to pay your solicitor’s success fee as a percentage of your compensation, but this will usually be a small portion of your claim (and never more than 25% of the money you receive).

What are the most common types of snow and ice accidents?

We all know that walking or driving in ice or snow is often unavoidable, particularly if you must go to work, school, or medical appointments. However, somebody – usually the local authority – is responsible for pavements in the UK and is expected to take reasonable steps to minimise the risk of slipping on ice and falling in the snow. Our roads are harder to keep clear of snow and ice, but drivers should take reasonable care to reduce the risk of accidents and injury to other road users.

The most common causes of slip/trip accident in snow and ice are:

If you’ve suffered an injury in cold or snowy conditions, seeking medical attention is vital. Your medical notes will serve as evidence for your case. If you believe someone should be held responsible for your slip/trip in the snow, please seek free advice on how you can make a no win no fee compensation claim. Call on 0800 234 6438 to speak with specialist lawyers or you can request a call back via our contact form.

What are the most common injuries following an ice slip and fall?

It’s common to assume that if you slip or trip on icy paths, you’re unlikely to suffer anything more traumatic than bruising or, at worst, a broken wrist or arm. In reality, slips and falls in poor weather conditions can lead to serious injuries. The Health and Safety Executive says that 95% of major slips at work result in broken bones, and slips and trips are responsible for more than a third of all reported major injuries.

Injuries caused by slipping on an icy pavement can be almost anything you can think of, ranging from cuts and grazes to severe leg injuries. Examples of common injuries caused by an ice slip, fall in the snow, and other cold weather accidents include:

  • Bone fractures and broken hips
  • Head and spinal injuries
  • Elbow injuries
  • Whiplash, back injuries and neck injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Frostbite and hypothermia
  • Cardiac arrest

Unfortunately, in serious cases, accidents in the snow can cause life-changing injuries or even be fatal. During the cold snap in 2005, a 19-year-old died while sledding down a steep snowy slope and hit trees in a Northumberland park.

Similar serious or fatal accidents have happened in later cold snaps. It seems ironic that these uncommon weather events in the UK, which allow the rare chance for snow fun, can lead to a slip-and-fall injury – and, in some cases, tragedy.

It’s only fair that if the accident happened and it was someone else’s fault, they should be held accountable for any pain and suffering caused by a fall on ice.

It’s also worth pointing out that medical treatment following slip-and-fall accidents on ice is not always what it should be. Thankfully, it is uncommon for an injury or condition to worsen because doctors have not properly diagnosed or treated the injured person.

However, when that does happen it is possible to bring a medical negligence claim – perhaps in addition to a personal injury claim concerning the actual slip/trip accident.

Can I claim compensation for falling in the street or on the pavement?

You can likely claim compensation if you’ve fallen on snow or ice on a road or pavement, though trying to decide who might have been responsible for the area where your accident happened can be confusing.

But don’t worry – your legal adviser will be able to determine this for you.

Can you sue the council for slipping on ice?

In most cases, pavements are the responsibility of the local council or highway authority. The local council/highways authority has a statutory duty under the Highways Act 1980 to ensure that pavements and road surfaces are as safe as reasonably possible.

This includes gritting or clearing walkways in icy or snowy conditions. However, because the areas for which they are responsible are huge, it would be unreasonable for them to grit every stretch of road or pavement, but they have a legal duty to clear areas as far as is ‘reasonably practicable’.

This means local authorities should prioritise busy pavements or those where there aren’t any alternative routes, such as high streets and areas around schools and hospitals.

You can make a claim if you fall on ice and hurt yourself. If the car park or pavement where you slipped and fell is maintained privately, your personal injury solicitor can find out who is responsible.

It may be that no one can be held responsible for the slip/trip but your solicitor will be able to advise you about this. However, the local authority can be held accountable for most avoidable accidents on UK pavements, and personal injury specialists will take full details and explain what steps you can take.

Can I claim for slipping on ice at work?

Everyone has the right to go to work and feel safe from injury while they arrive and carry out their tasks. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a general duty of care to protect workers from injury in the workplace.

However, adverse weather conditions do not absolve employers from their legal responsibilities—and gritting external areas is not expensive or difficult.

An employer’s health and safety responsibility extends to the risks presented by winter weather conditions, whether high winds and storms, heavy rain, or snow and ice. Slips and trips can happen in icy conditions at work, or on paths leading to the building.

Slipping accidents are particularly likely on construction and building sites and other work areas that are open to the elements because you’re clearly at a higher risk of injury in icy weather conditions. Workplaces in rural settings are particularly prone to snow and ice, making it more likely that workers could fall on ice and injure themselves.

Can I claim for falling on work car park ice?

Yes, if the car park is your employer’s responsibility. For example, if your employer rents an office, then it’s usually the building owner’s duty to maintain communal areas, so you can still make a claim, but it won’t be against your company.

The best thing to do in situations like this is perform due diligence to find out who’s responsible for the car park. Then, gather photographs of the scene and ask for witness contact details.

Remember, anyone who has slipped on ice and snow and injured themselves while at work or in their employer’s car park because the employer failed to take precautionary measures can probably claim compensation for their injuries. For a free initial consultation, you can speak with specialist solicitors on 0800 234 6438 or you can request a call back via our contact form.

What’s an employer’s legal responsibility?

Your employer’s responsibilities to protect workers from the risk of injury are clearly set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, as well as other regulations, depending on the nature of the work and the industry. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, for example, require employers to assess risks (including slip and trip risks) and, where necessary, take action to address them.

As the UK winter rolls around, we all know that the weather conditions are unpredictable, but employers must prepare. They know that extreme weather conditions create new risks, and they need to plan ahead, keep an eye on the weather forecast so they know when cold conditions are expected, undertake appropriate risk assessments, and act on the risks identified.

Employers may take preventative measures, such as keeping outside areas clear of ice and snow, regularly gritting those areas, and strategically placing warning signs. Car parks, walkways and building entrances should always be a priority to reduce the risk of slipping injuries while employees move around.

Employers also must provide adequate personal protective equipment, such as suitable footwear for working outside. Where an employer has not taken reasonable precautions to protect the safety of workers, and you fall on ice or snow, it’s only fair that they should be held responsible for the resulting injuries.

DID YOU KNOW: Slips and trips are the most common cause of workplace injury in the UK causing on average 40% of all reported major injuries

Will my claim leave my employer out of pocket?

It’s very common for injured workers to be concerned that filing fall-on-ice compensation claims will leave their employer out of pocket. After all, the winter weather isn’t their fault, is it? We understand this worry can put additional emotional and financial pressure on you if you’re worried about making a claim after a slip and fall in icy conditions.

However, your employer will have insurance covering the risk of personal injury compensation claims, including those that result from snow and ice. If you win compensation, the insurer will pay you slip-on-ice compensation, not your employer. This can be hugely reassuring.


A care home provider was held liable for a care worker’s wrist injuries sustained when she slipped on ice on a public footpath leading to an elderly client’s home. The employer had failed to provide her with protective footwear to prevent her slipping.

SOURCE: UK Supreme Court

Could I risk losing my job if I make a claim?

Fortunately, you have legal protection from harassment or dismissal because you’ve made a personal injury claim against your employer. It is illegal for you to be fired or disciplined for claiming against your employer. So if you find yourself in a position where you feel your life at work is being made difficult and you think it’s because you’ve made an injury claim (or your employer and colleagues know you’re considering making a claim), we can help you evaluate what action you could take.

If you were to lose your job (or feel you have no option but to leave), you could have an unfair dismissal claim in addition to your claim. Always seek specialist legal advice for guidance and support.

Can I claim compensation if I slipped on ice or snow on private property?

Just because you’ve slipped on privately owned property does not necessarily mean you cannot claim compensation. Owners and occupiers of land and property also owe a duty of care towards visitors to minimise the risk of injury under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957. This requires owners to take reasonable steps to protect visitors from harm, but how this looks in practice is not always clear.

In most cases, it depends on the private property you’re visiting and the context of your accident. The best thing you can do is to get specialist advice from solicitors experienced in cold weather accident claims.

For a free initial consultation on making personal injury claims following such accidents, you can speak with specialist solicitors on 0800 234 6438 or you can request a call back via our contact form.


Snow and ice injuries statistics show that in the 2018 cold snap, icy weather conditions caused a 50% rise in fall injuries

SOURCE: London Ambulance Service

If someone slips on ice on my property, am I liable?

Referring back to the Occupiers Liability Act, property owners are responsible for ensuring visitors are safe. However, while tripping on private business property is relatively simple, claiming against homeowners isn’t.

For example, if someone visits your home and slips on ice, they might feel you could have taken action to make the property safer. Clearing snow from the driveway, gritting the ground and preparing in advance can protect visitors.
If a postman or milkman slips while delivering an item, there could be a degree of negligence on your part, but these claims are notoriously challenging to prove.

You might feel you did everything possible to create a safe environment, which may well be the case.
Each claim depends on numerous factors, but the best way to protect yourself is to invest in an insurance policy that covers you for all events.

Each claim depends on numerous factors, but the best way to protect yourself is to invest in an insurance policy that covers you for all events.

Can I make a compensation claim after slipping on snow or ice?

Anyone, whether you’re a worker or member of the public, who has slipped on ice and injured themselves, and it was someone else’s fault, should be able to make a personal injury claim. It will, of course, depend on the circumstances of each case.

If your employer, a shop owner or a highways authority – owed a duty of care to clear ice and snow ice and to grit the area to minimise the risk of injury, and they failed in that duty, causing your injuries, you should have a strong claim.

When you speak to a trained legal adviser, they’ll ask you questions about your accident and injury to understand your injury and its impact on your life. They can then advise if you can claim on a no win no fee basis and explain the claim process.

What compensation could I claim?

How much compensation you may win depends on the nature and extent of your injury because every case is different. This means it’s difficult early on to suggest an accurate compensation figure. However, in every case, your solicitor will work to secure you the maximum compensation possible. Factors that will be relevant include:

  • The nature of your injury and the pain and suffering caused
  • The effect on your life
  • The expected recovery time and
  • Whether you can go back to your job (or a lower-paid job)

Accident claims consist of two parts: general damages to compensate you for your actual injuries, pain and suffering, and financial losses (these are called ‘special damages’).

What general damages might I receive?

The general damages you receive depend on your injury. Your solicitor will arrange for you to have a medical assessment carried out by a medical professional, who will then write a medical report of your injuries and your prognosis. This report is important when calculating a fair compensation figure for you.

Also, there are formal judicial guidelines that lawyers refer to when calculating what someone could be entitled to by way of compensation.

Slip and fall on ice settlement amounts include:

  • Forearm fracture – £6,190 to £18,020
  • Moderate wrist injury – £4,450 to £22,990
  • Arm or shoulder injury – £1,500 to £60,000
  • Minor head injury – £2,000 – £12,000
  • Sprained ankle – up to £13,000

Once they have a fuller picture, your solicitor will be able to give you a more accurate indication of how much compensation you deserve. They will also discuss whether you should be able to settle your claim (most personal injury cases do settle before going to court). Slip and fall on ice settlement amounts are calculated according to the judicial guidelines, and your advisor will seek the maximum possible on your behalf.

Can I claim special damages?

Claiming compensation to repay you for any financial losses caused by the accident is fine as long as it is reasonable. Your solicitor will ask you for detailed information about the financial impact of your injury before calculating how much to claim. Usually, special damages would cover things like:

  • Loss of earnings if you’ve had to have unpaid time off to recover
  • Travel costs if you’ve been unable to drive
  • Prescription and other medical costs, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy
  • The costs of torn clothing

It’s important to gather invoices, payslips and any other proof that will help your solicitor prove to the other side that you should have these sums repaid.

How can I claim compensation after slipping on snow or ice?

We know the prospect of making ice and snow compensation claims can be daunting, but with the support of a trained legal adviser who can guide you through the claims process, you can proceed with confidence.

The best way to find out how to make a personal injury/fatal accident claim is to get in touch with a specialist solicitor for free legal advice on 0800 234 6438. They’ll ask about the incident and your injury and will be able to let you know whether they think you can make a case. There’s never any obligation to go ahead and make a claim, but if you decide to take the next step, your lawyer will guide you through the next steps.

Importantly, they will help you win maximum compensation by bringing a no win no fee claim under a conditional fee agreement with specialist personal injury solicitors who are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

How long do I have to make a claim?

It’s best to start claiming compensation as soon as possible because the law says you have three years from the date of injury to start legal proceedings. After three years, you could be ‘time-barred’ from making a claim. Importantly, by starting the process early, you will have the benefit of clearly remembering what happened and being able to contact any witnesses before they move away or change phone numbers.

For early help and advice about making slipping and falling on ice injury claims, speak to a solicitor for free on 0800 234 6438; or if you prefer, you can request a call back using the claim form on this page.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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