Spring is on its way, but cold snaps are still forecast meaning an increased risk of slips and trips in public places or road accidents caused by inclement weather.
Therese Classon, a Partner in our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence department at WBW Solicitors in Newton Abbot, explains how to go about claiming compensation if you are injured in an accident caused by icy conditions.
Whether you can claim for injuries suffered in a slip or fall in a public place or in a road traffic accident due to icy weather will depend on whether you can prove negligence. This requires you to show that someone owed you a duty of care, that they breached this duty, and that you were injured as a result.
Public liability is the duty of care of someone responsible for a public area to ensure that it is safe for public use. In bad weather, highway authorities have a duty to put measures in place to improve road safety. This includes gritting, salting or ploughing snowy or icy roads, or erecting signs warning of potential hazards and urging drivers to slow down.
If your car slides and you crash in icy conditions on a road that should have been treated, you may want to make a compensation claim. As to a slip or fall on a pavement or footpath in icy conditions, it would not be reasonable to expect local authorities to treat every path and pavement they are responsible for, as they would not have the money or the manpower to do it. Each case would depend on its own facts as to whether a claim for compensation could be made.
However, some duty of care requirements exists even in bad weather. Indoor public places should be regularly checked and cleaned to minimise the danger of slips and falls; workplace and school car parks, yards and entranceways should be treated, as should steps and platforms at bus and train stations. If you tripped and fell in icy conditions, you may have a claim.
If you have been injured in a public place in cold weather, you should seek expert legal advice as soon as possible. Our expert personal injury solicitors will quickly be able to tell you if you have a valid claim and work hard to get the compensation you deserve.
They will help you get together the evidence you need to strengthen your claim and ensure you are examined by a medical expert who will assess the cause of your injuries and the effect they have had on your life.
The compensation you receive will depend on how serious your injuries are and your prognosis but could include damages for your medical care and rehabilitation, as well as long term living and loss of earning costs if your injury is serious.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.