Your rights for compensation if you slip on ice or snow – and who is to blame

Storm Arwen caused chaos last weekend, with parts of the UK blanketed in snow, battered by 100mph winds and thousands of homes left without power – but are you entitled to compensation if you slip on ice?

Who is to blame if you slip on snow or ice?

The temperature is dropping and winter means many of us will be trying to side-step ice on the pavements.

But are you entitled to any sort of compensation if you fall and hurt yourself on slippery surfaces?

Storm Arwen caused chaos last weekend, with parts of the UK blanketed in snow, battered by 100mph winds and thousands of homes left without power.

It was last week confirmed that 15,000 households could get up to £140 a day energy refunds after they were left in the dark for days.

The energy regulator, Ofgem, has said the usual £700 limit on compensation has been waived.

The payouts come from network operators – the firms which handle the physical side of supplying energy like fixing pipes.

Can you claim compensation if you slip on ice?

Kathryn Hart, personal injury partner at Lime Solicitors, discusses whether you can make a personal injury claim if you fall on ice.

Unfortunately, like the act itself – this is also a slippery area.

To be eligible to claim compensation, you must have sustained injuries in an accident that was caused by negligence from someone else. This can be tricky to prove.

Falling on snow can be a slippery area when it comes to claiming compensation


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

When it comes to slipping on the street, Ms Hart says local authorities are legally required by the Highways Act 1980 to inspect, maintain and repair public roads and pavements.

“Highway authorities are under a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice,” she said.

“So while the local authority does owe a duty of care on public roads and pavements, you might be in for a hard time claiming.

“This is because any compensation award has to be paid out of everyone’s council tax and the courts apply a very strict test to what is reasonably practicable, bearing in mind time and prioritisation and allocation of resources.”

As far as injuries at work are concerned, Ms Hart says the onus falls on your employer to make sure your workplace is a safe environment to work in.

This means they must do everything reasonably practicable to prevent employees slipping on ice and snow in the workplace

Ms Hart added: “This will include areas such as car parks, entrances and exits. It is important to understand that it has to be realistic.

“It is also worth knowing that it is illegal for your employer to sack you for making a compensation claim against them. This would amount to unfair dismissal.”

Falls on private property would be classed as an occupiers’ liability claim, she said.

The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 states that the occupier of a building must take reasonable care in all the circumstances to keep lawful visitors reasonably safe.

Here, you must be able to prove the owner of a building had not taken reasonable steps to ensure there was no build-up of ice or snow in car parks.

Ms Hart added: “However, it is worth bearing in mind that the law does not require people are kept completely safe from harm, only that steps are taken to ensure they are reasonably safe from harm.”

Read More

Read More

Source link

Back to top button