While winter is a favourite season (especially amongst children) it can cause treacherous road conditions. Ice can be very slippery if not cleared correctly and snow can hide defects in footpaths which consequently become trip hazards. If you’re injured after a slip or fall on snow or ice, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries. We’ll explain when that might be possible throughout this article.
To help you begin the claims process, we offer a no-obligation telephone consultation. During your call, a specially trained advisor will listen to what happened, consider any proof you have for a claim and explain your legal options. If they believe you should be compensated for a fall caused by ice or snow, they’ll refer you to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. If they agree to represent you, it will be on a No Win, No Fee basis. As a result, legal fees will only be payable if you receive a compensation payment for your injuries.
We’re here to help so please call 0800 652 1345 for free legal advice. Alternatively, please read on to learn more about a slip or fall on snow or ice compensation claims.
Can I claim compensation after slipping or falling on snow or ice?
Before we consider the types of accidents that could result in a snow or ice claim, let’s look at the criteria our personal injury lawyers will use to check the validity of your claim. They will assess whether:
- You were owed a duty of care by the party you’re claiming against (the defendant); and
- You slipped or fell on snow or ice because the defendant was negligent; and
- You sustained an injury as a direct result of the incident.
The first part of proving a snow or ice slip or fall claim is that you were owed a duty of care.
Proving a duty of care existed
If you’ve been injured on a public highway because snow or ice wasn’t cleared, you may be owed a duty of care according to section 41(1A) of the Highways Act 1980. It states that a highway authority (usually the local council) has a duty to ensure “so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice”. A public highway is any road or path that you’re allowed to use without asking for the owner’s permission.
Rather than getting too involved in learning which legislation applies, you could speak to one of our advisors who’ll check which law applies in your case. That will leave you more time to collect proof to support your claim which we’ll explain in more detail later on in this guide.
Common injuries caused by slips and falls on snow and ice
Any type of slip, trip or fall can result in serious injury. Some might take a matter of weeks or months to recover from while others may take years and require remedial surgery. Some of the most common injuries that lead to slip or fall on snow or ice compensation claims include:
- Broken bones (especially in the hands, wrists and arms).
- Severe bruising.
- Soft tissue injuries (torn or pulled muscles, ligaments or tendons).
- Head injuries.
- Back injuries.
- Cuts and lacerations.
Whatever type of injury you’ve suffered, please get in touch and we’ll review whether you could be entitled to compensation for your suffering.
Claiming compensation against the local authority after slipping on ice
If you have slipped on ice or snow on a public footpath maintained by the local authority, you may have grounds to claim compensation for your injuries. Establishing whether the council should have gritted a footpath can be tricky because factors such as the location, the amount of footfall and the amount of ice need to be considered.
Our solicitors specialise in council compensation claims so it may well be worth your while to let us review your claim for free before proceeding.
Slipped on ice or snow at work
Legally, your employer has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to try and keep you as safe as possible at work. This involves identifying risks and removing them where possible.
That means that if you slipped on ice or snow in the company’s car park or on its premises because your employer did not grit the area, you may have grounds to seek damages for your injuries.
Claiming compensation for falling on snow and ice in a public place
As well as the examples set out above, you could be able to claim compensation if you’ve been injured after slipping on snow or ice in a public place. Essentially, the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 means that premises should be kept as safe as possible for all visitors. As such, if you fall after slipping in any of the following places, you could have a valid personal injury claim:
- Children’s playgrounds.
- Parks or recreation grounds.
- University campuses.
If you believe you’ve injured yourself after falling on snow or ice because of somebody else’s negligence, call our team today to see if you’re entitled to compensation.
How much compensation for slipping on ice can I claim?
If you decide to seek damages after you’ve slipped and fallen on ice or snow, you’ll need to justify the amount of compensation you ask for. The process allows you to claim general damages for any suffering caused as well as special damages for any out-of-pocket expenses.
As such, if your fall on snow or ice compensation claim is successful, it could cover:
- Any physical suffering (immediate and ongoing).
- Psychiatric harm such as distress, anxiety or depression.
- Any negative impact on your normal activities and hobbies (loss of amenity).
- Lost earnings and future loss of income for longer-term injuries.
- Medical costs such as private physiotherapy.
- The time somebody else spent caring for you (a professional carer, friend or relative).
- Travel expenses linked to your claim or treatment.
- Replacement or repair costs for clothing or other items damaged in your fall.
- Mobility aids or home modifications if you’ve been left disabled after the fall.
If your claim is handled by one of our solicitors, they’ll ensure everything is fully considered before your claim is filed. By doing so, they’ll try to maximise the level of compensation you’ll receive if the claim is won.
How does my solicitor know how I’ve suffered?
In most cases, a personal injury claim will be supported by an independent medical report. Usually, you won’t need to travel too far for this and your appointment shouldn’t take too long. A medical expert will simply examine your injuries and spend some time discussing how they’ve affected you.
The report they file with your solicitor (and the defendant’s representatives) will be used to determine the amount of compensation you’ll receive if your claim is won.
Providing proof for a snow or ice fall compensation claim
Regardless of who you claim against, the defendant or their insurance company is likely to deny responsibility for your accident or injuries from the start. For this reason, you’ll need to prove exactly how your accident happened and how you’ve suffered as a result. The types of proof that might help you to corroborate your claim include:
- Photographs. It’s good practice to take pictures of the accident scene as soon as possible following your fall on ice or snow. Also, pictures of any visible injuries can be useful too.
- Medical evidence. If your injuries were assessed and treated by a doctor at a hospital, GP surgery or minor injuries unit, you can request a copy of your medical records to help prove your diagnosis.
- Witness information. When liability for an accident is denied, a witness statement can help to clarify what happened. So, supply the contact details of any witnesses to your solicitor.
- CCTV or dashcam footage. If your slip or fall was caught on CCTV cameras, you’re entitled to ask for a copy of any relevant footage. Be aware, though, that data is usually wiped regularly so won’t be available forever.
- Accident report forms. If you slipped on snow or ice in an accident at work or on a company’s premises, ask for a copy of the accident report form that they are legally required to file.
- Financial records. Wage slips, bank statements, receipts and benefits statements could all be used as proof to try and recoup any financial losses linked to your injuries.
We are happy to review any proof you’ve managed to collect already when you call for a free consultation. It could help convince one of our solicitors to take on your claim so please have it ready when you call.
Injury claims time limits
The limitation period for personal injury claims in the UK is 3 years. As you’ll usually be aware of your injuries immediately after a slip or fall on ice or snow, your time limit will usually start from the date of the accident.
If your child has fallen on ice or snow, though, the 3-year time limit does not start until their 18th birthday. Until that point, you are free to apply as a litigation friend and start a claim on your child’s behalf at any time.
We would suggest that it’s best to start the claims process as soon as you can. This will allow plenty of time for proof to be gathered and medical assessments to be arranged.
Also, if you’re struggling because of lost income or you need to pay for a carer or medical treatment, your solicitor could ask the defendant to pay an interim award before the claim is settled (this might be possible where liability has been agreed upon early).
No Win No Fee claims
We strongly believe that you have a better chance of winning your claim and receiving a fair settlement amount if you take on specialist legal representation. However, our solicitors realise that many people don’t want to risk money on legal fees in case the claim is lost. As such, all claims accepted by our solicitors are handled on a No Win, No Fee basis.
As a result, without being paid any legal fees upfront, your solicitor’s main priorities will be to:
- Speak with you in detail to understand how your injuries have affected you.
- Seek out solid proof to support your claim.
- Book a medical assessment.
- Lodge the claim with the defendant or their insurer.
- Manage communications for you to avoid you having to answer any legal or medical questions.
- Discuss any settlement offers with you to ensure they reflect the amount of suffering you’ve endured.
If your claim doesn’t work out, you won’t need to pay for any of the work listed above. Should the claim be won, a success fee will be deducted from your settlement to pay for your solicitor’s work.
Legally, success fees are capped at 25%. Before you agree to work with your solicitor, they’ll send a No Win, No Fee agreement for you to sign so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll pay in legal fees if your claim is won.
Start a slip-on-ice compensation claim today
Now that you’ve read this article, we hope you’ll call our team on 0800 652 1345 to discuss your claim. You’ll be under no obligation to proceed to a claim but you’ll receive free advice about your options during the initial consultation.
If you do proceed, your solicitor will try to reduce the stress associated with claiming by working for you on a No Win, No Fee basis if your claim is accepted.
If you need to know anything else about slip or fall on snow or ice compensation claims, please connect to our live chat service now.