Slipping and falling on ice or snow
Slipping and falling on ice or snow causes thousands of injuries each year.
When winter weather hits, accident and emergency departments across the UK fill up with people who have suffered falls.
Injuries caused by slips and falls on ice can range from minor bumps and bruises, to sprains and strains, or even broken bones and head injuries.
In some cases, injuries sustained can be very serious, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal injuries.
In icy conditions, there is always going to be an additional risk of slip and fall injuries. However, if you can prove that your fall would not have happened if someone else had taken greater care, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Can I claim for slipping on ice in public?
If you have been injured following a slip on an icy pavement, you may wonder if you can make a compensation claim against the council.
Your local authority has a responsibility to ensure roads, pavements and public footpaths are safe, including in adverse weather conditions. Legally, they must take measures which are ‘reasonably practicable’ to ensure that roads and paths are as safe as possible. However, they are not obligated to keep all routes completely clear of ice and snow – this would be unreasonable and impractical.
Proving that a local authority is liable when someone slips on ice or snow can be difficult.
Generally, the busier the street, the greater the responsibility to keep the area safe for road users and pedestrians. It is reasonable to expect councils to grit the busiest streets in the area, as well as entrances to public buildings such as hospitals, schools, and leisure centres. This means your case is usually stronger if you fall in an area where high pedestrian traffic can be expected.
Similarly, if you fall at the entrance to a supermarket or shop, you may be able to make a claim against the business.
However, businesses are not required to keep customer car parks entirely free from ice and snow. If you fall in a shop car park, you will need to prove in any accident claim brought against the store that there was a clear risk that the store could have prevented. For example, if other people had already reported accidents or near misses in that area, the store would have been aware of the danger and should have taken steps to reduce the risk.
At Thompsons, we have a team of solicitors who specialise in personal injury claims, including public liability claims. If you are unsure whether you can claim after a slip on ice or snow, contact us for free, no-obligation advice.
I slipped and fell on ice at work, can I claim?
If you have slipped or fallen on ice or snow at work, you may be able to make a slip and fall claim against your employer.
Health and safety legislation requires your employer to maintain a safe working environment.
If your employer has failed to take measures to avoid icy flooring on the premises, such as failing to apply grit or salt to the entrance of your workplace, then they have failed in their duty of care. They can be found liable for any injuries sustained by their employees as a result.
While all employers must take additional care during the winter months, some people work in low temperature environments where there is a risk of slipping on ice all year round.
For example, many warehouse and supermarket workers are required to work in cold stores and refrigerated rooms on a regular basis.
While working in such conditions is often unavoidable, employers must make sure that health and safety procedures protect their workers as much as possible. Employees and contractors can claim for any injury suffered as a consequence of insufficient safety measures.
If you have fallen on ice at work, get in touch with our expert team of accident at work solicitors.
Our specialist solicitors will be able to advise whether you can make a claim, and how much compensation you can expect to receive.
How much compensation could I receive for slipping on ice?
The amount of damages you are likely to receive depends on several factors, such as the severity of your injury, and the extent to which the organisation responsible failed in their duty of care.
For an estimate of how much compensation you could receive, speak to one of our accident lawyers.
Is there a time limit to claim for falling on ice?
As with most personal injury claims, you have three years to claim for slipping on ice or snow.
How to claim for falling on ice or snow
If you sustain an injury from falling on ice, the following steps can help strengthen your claim:
- Ensure you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Receiving care from a medical professional is essential to your health and recovery. The documentation of your treatment can later be used as evidence in your claim
- Take photographs of where you fell and speak to people in the area to see if anyone else has also fallen
- Report the accident to the organisation you believe is responsible – this could be a local authority, a business or your workplace
- Speak to our personal injury solicitors who can provide free, no-obligation advice and help you start your claim.