As the winter weather approaches snow and ice will fall and form on roads, pavements and other public areas causing dangerous conditions for pedestrians and motorists alike. If you have an accident as a result of these weather conditions it may be possible for you to make a claim for personal injury if you can show someone was at fault.
Slips at work
Traffic routes on work premises are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations) 1992. Your employer has a duty of care to ensure “as far as reasonably practicable” that employers are kept reasonably safe. Employers should have a snow and ice policy in place to ensure that work areas including car parks and entrances are cleared and / or gritted to minimise the risk of employees slipping.
Slips on the roads / pavements
Under section 41 a of the Highways Act 1980, the Council are under a duty to “ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice”. The Council does not have to grit and / or clear all roads and pavements in their area, they must consider the character of the route in question, the types of traffic using it and their available finances.
Slips in public places
The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 covers the duties imposed on occupiers of premises or land for example; the owners of businesses or homeowners. Section 2 (2) of the act imposes duty to take such care as in all the circumstances is reasonable to see that visitors are reasonably safe. This duty will extend to pathways to the premises and car parks. As with accidents on the highway each case will turn on its own merits. The type of business, weather conditions, steps taken to clear the snow and / or ice and the presence of any warning signs displayed at the time of the accident will all be taken into consideration.
Advice for homeowners / tenants
It is extremely unlikely that a homeowner or tenant who has attempted to clear ice and / or snow in a conscientious manner will be held responsible if someone slips on their property. You should however ensure that you are not making the area more dangerous. Visitors to your property should also ensure that they take care for their own safety. The Government advise that you try and move snow and ice as early in the day as possible as it is easier to clear away when fresh. This will also enable you to put salt or grit on the path to stop it freezing again. Work from the middle of the area out towards the sides but ensure that you do not block people’s paths or drains.
If you do have the misfortune to slip on ice or snow this winter, please contact Clare or Sarah on 01952 426134 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01952 426134 end_of_the_skype_highlighting now to discuss whether you have a valid claim. If you refer your personal injury claim to us you could be entitled to £100 bonus payment please see our offer.
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