Icy or snowy conditions can be very dangerous, but even in freezing weather we still have to get on with our day-to-day life.
Walking in ice or snow is often unavoidable, but somebody is responsible for every stretch of footpath and they should take reasonable steps to avoid slips and falls from happening.
Slips, trips or falls can cause painful, long-lasting injuries. Many people fall backwards, which can cause neck injuries such as whiplash or back injuries. It’s also common for people to put out their hands to catch their fall, which can damage the wrists or arms.
If you’ve suffered from an injury due to slippery conditions on a pavement, path or walkway because it hasn’t been cleared of ice or snow, then a trained legal adviser may be able to help you make a compensation claim.
The best way to find out is to get in touch with one for free on 0800 234 6438 – they’ll listen to everything you have to say about your injury and will then be able to let you know whether they think you can make a case.
There’s never any obligation to go ahead with a claim, but if you decide to take the next step, your adviser can pass you on to a specialist solicitor on the same call.
You might not be sure straight away who’s responsible for the area where your fall happened – but don’t worry, your solicitor will be able to help you with this.
Most pavements are the responsibility of the local council or highway authority. As part of the Highways Act 1980, they have a duty to make sure pavements and road surfaces are as safe as possible. This includes gritting or clearing walkways in icy or snowy conditions.
Because the areas they cover are huge, it would be impossible for them to grit every stretch of road or pavement. But they do have a legal duty to clear areas as far as is ‘reasonably practicable’.
This means they should prioritise places which are busy, or where there aren’t any alternative routes. For example, high streets or areas around schools should be some of the first gritted.
If you’ve slipped over in a busy area, or if a long period of time has passed since the snow or ice appeared and it still hasn’t been cleared, then you may be able to make a claim against the council or highway authority.
Slips and trips can happen in icy conditions at work, such as in the car park or on paths leading to the building. If your job involves you being outside often then you’re at especially high risk of injury.
Your employer has a duty of care to keep outside areas clear of ice and snow – if they haven’t done this then they’ve acted negligently and might be responsible for your injury.
Making a compensation claim against an employer can seem scary, but it’s against the law for them to treat you differently or dismiss you for your claim. Also, your compensation will be paid by their insurance company, not by them personally.
Owners of businesses such as shops, supermarkets and bars have a duty to make sure their customers or visitors are safe. They should take reasonable precautions in freezing weather to avoid injuries from happening.
The government has a set of guidelines for clearing snow and ice for land owners, including:
We know it can be difficult to prove whether or not a land owner has followed these steps, but if you’re injured following a slip on snow or ice on private property, then you might still be able to claim.
We know you might be unsure whether you could make a compensation claim for your slip or fall, but you can speak to a trained legal adviser to help you find out.
When you speak to an adviser, they’ll ask you some questions about your accident and injury so they can get a better idea of the impact it’s had on your life. Then, they’ll be able to let you know whether they think you can make a claim.
You might just want to ask some questions and get advice – in which case, you’re free to leave it there. But if you decide you’d like to go ahead with your claim, your adviser will save you the hassle by finding the right solicitor for your case. And your adviser can normally transfer you to them for a free chat straight away.
The simple answer to this is yes – almost all personal injury claims are made on a no win no fee basis.
No win no fee means you only pay if your claim is successful – if you don’t win, then you won’t need to pay any money. A no win no fee agreement also protects you from hidden fees, and there aren’t any upfront costs.
Due to this, you don’t have to worry about being left with a bill you can’t afford if you lose your case.
When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.
By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.
If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.