01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | In the Deep Mid Winter...

In the Deep Mid Winter…

snowplow removing snow in bad weather


Extreme Winter weather, and in particular snow and ice, is a nuisance for us all.  As temperatures plummet, we’re often advised only to venture out if our journey is absolutely crucial.   That’s all well and good, but the fact is that life can’t just come to a standstill because the roads and footpaths become more treacherous, and no matter how much care you take, the fact is that accidents are going to happen, and people are going to get injured.

So if you injure yourself like this, when can you claim compensation, and who can you claim against ?

Slipping on Public Highways

Any local authority has a duty, enshrined in the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highway at public expense (Section 41(1)), which has been updated more recently to confirm that they must  “… ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice “ (Section 41(1A)).

A “highway” for this purpose would include any public road or footpath.

The key here is the phrase “ ….so far as is reasonably practicable…”.

The Court does not expect a local authority to grit, or clear, snow and ice, from every inch of the highway that they are responsible for.  What is expected is that they have a reasonable gritting policy in place, and that they can show that (when needed) that gritting policy was actioned as it should have been.  Such a policy would include details of how and when weather forecasts should be monitored to predict bad weather; what kind of forecasts should trigger gritter lorries being sent out; and which streets or footpaths should be gritted (and in what order).

The Courts have traditionally been reluctant to pin blame on local authorities in claims relating to accidents in the snow and ice, and that approach continues today.  Unless there is no gritting policy in place (which would probably never happen in reality), or it has not been carried out (which can be hard to prove) then legal liability is unlikely to attach to the local authority in question.

In practical terms, therefore, unless you slip on a main route, which has obviously not been gritted, your chances of succeeding with a claim against the local authority are quite small.

Slipping On Private Land

The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 places a duty on occupiers of premises to “… take such care as in all the circumstances is reasonable to see that the visitor is reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted to be there “ (Section 2(2)).

An “occupier” is the person with main control over the premises in question.

The word “premises” is construed to mean land (whether or not a building is present), and includes places such as railway lines, airport runways, private footpaths and car parks.

So if you slip and injure yourself on an icy car park, or footpath, on private land then it will be up to the occupier of that land to prove that they did everything which was reasonable to avoid the accident occurring.  What is  reasonable will depend upon a number of factors, but may vary depending upon such matters as what the land is used for; whether the occupier knew or ought to have known about the hazard having developed; and whether it was foreseeable that any accident would happen if the hazard wasn’t identified and cleared.

Generally speaking, it will be easier to attach legal liability to the owner of private land if you slip and fall on their property.

Slipping at Work

Any employer owes each of their employees the duty of care in their capacity as occupier of their work premises (or areas where their employees are sent to work, subject to their having a certain level of control over the same)

However, on top of this, employees also enjoy the benefit of a raft of health and safety regulations which place obligations on their employers to (for example) provide a safe place of work and carry out risk assessments to identify and avoid potential dangers in the workplace.  In particular, The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992, specifically state :

12.—(1) Every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be of a construction such that the floor or surface of the traffic route is suitable for the purpose for which it is used.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), the requirements in that paragraph shall include requirements that—

(a) the floor, or surface of the traffic route, shall have no hole or slope, or be uneven or slippery so as, in each case, to expose any person to a risk to his health or safety

An employee who slips on ice and injures himself whilst at work, therefore potentially has far more potential arguments as to why his employer is legally liable for that injury, than those who slip on the public highway or on private land.

A common feature of all of the above claim types is that the Defendants (and their insurers) are likely to argue strongly against any liability, right from the start.

If you slip and hurt yourself this Winter, our experienced personal injury lawyers will be able to advise you (at any early stage, and free of charge) whether your claim has realistic chances of being successful, and if so, work for you on a no win no fee basis, to maximise your chances of receiving compensation.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Case still ongoing

"Case still ongoing, excellent communication between myself and solicitor.. 🤞🏻 for good outcome"

Quantity

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent and fast

"Excellent and fast. I won’t go anywhere else from now on"

Aimee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Listened too, great advice and feel rejuvenated by their response. Really helpful feedback and will… "

Mr Procter

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great Service

"Hudgell Solicitors dealt with my case very quickly and effectively. The contact and communication was… "

Tracy

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Fantastic service

"Fantastic service, on the ball with everything and good outcome"

Hayley coleman

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very professional

"Very professional, took all the stress off my hands and very pleasant to deal with.… "

Steve

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgsell’s were our insurers with…traffic accident in France - successful claim.

"Hudgsell’s were our insurers with regard to road traffic accidents occurring abroad, (France) we were… "

P. Nevitt

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always honest with there appraisal and…

"Always honest with there appraisal and willing to listen"

Tim Edge/

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Made the whole holiday illness claim…

"Made the whole holiday illness claim stress free. Updates given regularly- overall a pleasure to… "

Kate

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I was fortunate to find Hudgell…

"I was fortunate to find Hudgell Solicitors after having an official complaint upheld. After I… "

James Henderson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great service

"Great service. Kept informed at all times. Good results"

ROY NAYLOR

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very professional and pleasant…

"Very professional and pleasant solicitors .. kept me up to date and was very prompt… "

Julie

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended!

"Friendly, Helpful, and fair. Would recommend Hudgells to anyone I know."

Paul

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly professional service.

"Excellent service all way through."

Sakina begum

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thrilled

"After not knowing what to do, hudgell have helped me thoroughly through the process and… "

Adam Shutt

Rated 9 out of 10 based on 481 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU
DX 437 Chancery Lane
SRA No. 607141

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU
DX 11923 Hull
SRA no. 521372

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU
DX 744770 Leeds 19
SRA No. 544561

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE
SRA No. 655049

VIEW DETAILS

© 2019 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90