If you have suffered an accident as a result of slipping on ice or snow you may be able to make a claim for compensation for personal injury. In order to be eligible to pursue a claim, you must have suffered injury and the fall must have been the fault of someone else.
Whilst we appreciate it impossible to control the weather, there are methods of reducing the risk of slipping accidents when the weather is bad.
In most circumstances, slipping and tripping accidents fall under the responsibility of the local council and claims are often brought under the Highways Act 1980. This act imposes a duty on the council to ensure, as far as is reasonably possible, that the pavements and roads are safe to use. However, for a claim to succeed, we must be able to establish that there has been a breach of duty by the council that has caused you to suffer injury. It is widely accepted that any council would have difficulty in trying to make every pavement and highway safe during poor weather conditions. It may nevertheless be possible to make a claim against your local council if you have slipped on ice or snow. For example, the council should have an adequate policy for salting and gritting roads during icy weather, particularly on pathways and roads that are subject to heavy footfall.
If the accident occurred on private property (such as supermarkets, hospitals, schools and other public places) you may be able to make a claim under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957. Under this Act, the owner has a common duty of care towards visitors and is required to provide safe access to all visitors. This duty extends to ensuring that all pathways and external walking areas are free from ice and snow.
Similarly, if the accident happened whilst you were at your place of work you may able to pursue a claim against your employer. All employers have a duty to provide a safe place of work and this duty includes avoiding potential slipping hazards in the work place or taking action to reduce the risks posed by poor weather conditions.
The first step in the claim process is to therefore identify who is responsible and at fault for the accident. It is always helpful if you are able to take photographs of the accident location and also note details of any witnesses at the accident scene.
If you have been injured in a slipping accident, Levins can offer you free advice regarding a potential personal injury claim. If we consider your claim to have prospects of success, we will act on your behalf on a ‘no win no fee’ basis (legally referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement).
For further advice feel free to contact the personal injury department at Levins on 0151 480 5777.