Winter weather can make life extremely difficult and dangerous for everyone. For those walking the street in snow, the biggest hazard is the risk of slips, trips and falls.
Risks of walking the street in snow
In addition to snow and ice presenting people walking the street in snow with the risk of potentially serious injuries by slipping, snow may also make it impossible to see potholes in pavements or suffer trip injuries by tripping over curbs or other obstacles hidden beneath loosely-packed snow.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act
Section 2 (2) of the 1957 Occupiers’ Liability Act imposes a duty of care towards the safety of visitors, professional or otherwise, on owners and occupiers of business and private premises. This duty of care includes the duty to clear areas and pathways likely to be frequented by visitors of potential slip, trip and fall hazards, which, of course, includes snow and ice. This is of particular importance in the context of slips, trips or falls in shop, office or other business premise entrances, private car parks, and so on.
Owners and occupiers of private premises or land do, however, not have to clear public highways. Typically defined as public access routes, roads and pathways, public highways fall under the responsibility of local highway authorities. According to Section 41 (1A) of the 1980 Highway Act, local highway authorities are responsible for ensuring, as far as it is reasonably practicable, that members of the public are not put at risk of sustaining injuries by slipping, tripping or falling by the presence of ice and snow.
Injured while walking the street in snow
If occupiers or owners of private properties or the local highway authority fail in their duty to protect you against slip, trip or fall injuries by not clearing snow and ice, you could subsequently be entitled to personal injury compensation.
Establishing liability and conducting your claim
In some cases, the question who was responsible for your injury by tripping, slipping or falling may be a little difficult to answer. Backed by public liability claim experience in excess of 15 years, our legal team has all the skills and know-how to not only establish liability quickly, but to conduct most of the claim procedure over the phone and, in most cases, achieve satisfactory settlements without the claim going to court. Discover how Accident Advice Helpline solicitors can help you make a successful personal injury claim by calling our 24-hour advice line on freephone 0800 689 0500 or, if calling from a mobile 0333 500 0993 now.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown