A guide to making a No Win No Fee ice slip accident claim
According to Hospital Episode Statistics for England, 7,031 people needed treatment in hospital after slipping on ice or snow in 2012/13. In the milder winter of 2013/14 the number was far lower at around 1,200.
A clear indication that ice slip accidents are weather dependent.
Whilst it is impossible to control the weather, it is possible to reduce the risk of ice slip accidents by keeping roads and footpaths cleared. But who is responsible?
Roads and Pavements
The Highways Act 1980 states that the Highway Authority - usually the local council - has a duty to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that the pavements and roads are safe to use.
Shops, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and other public places
The Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 states that occupiers have a legal duty under to take reasonable care to see that visitors are reasonably safe whilst using their premises. This extends to ensuring paths, walkways and other areas are cleared of ice and snow.
Employers have a legal duty to make sure that their workplace is reasonably safe. This includes clearing snow and ice as well as all other health and safety measures.
The key term in all areas is ?reasonable'
What is reasonable?
It may not be possible for a local authority to clear every road and footpath as soon as snow or ice forms. Most authorities have a maintenance plan which prioritises the busiest roads and footpaths.
A person falling on a newly frozen surface may find it difficult to prove the local authority negligent as it could reasonably offer a defence of not having had sufficient time to remedy the situation.
If though, the authorities have had sufficient time to clear a pavement then there may be a legitimate personal injury claim.
In a public place, whilst it is not always reasonable to expect the occupier to clear all snow and ice, there are many steps that may be taken to ensure visitor safety. The larger the public place, the greater the number of visitors, and therefore the more steps the occupier may be expected to take.
Occupiers should take note of weather forecasts and be prepared to clear and grit pathways. They can also put up warning notices - or even close the premises. It is not a defence to state that members of the public ?invited' on to the premises do so at the risk of slipping on ice.
At work, an employer that does not take reasonable steps may be negligent. The general rule is the larger the workforce the more steps the employer might reasonably be expected to take.
Main walkways leading from car park to place of work should be cleared or gritted, even if they are unable to clear the whole car park.
Public places and workplaces should also ensure that excess water can be removed from visitors' feet to prevent interior surfaces becoming wet and slippery.
How does someone injured in an ice slip accident seek compensation?
A slip on ice can be serious, especially for older people. It is likely that injuries may require medical treatment and a prompt consultation will provide an official account of the injuries sustained.
Because there are many different circumstances in ice related falls it is important to record as much detail as possible - the location of the fall, how long the surface had been icy, if it had been reported, and if anyone else had fallen as a result? If there are any witnesses it is useful to gather their accounts.
This will help to establish if the Defendant had failed to take reasonable steps to reduce the risks. A personal injury solicitor will then advise if bringing a claim for compensation is possible.
Quittance's panel of solicitors have successfully pursued claims for Claimants who have sustained broken bones, dislocated joints, severe bruising and whiplash through slipping on ice, so speak to us now about your injury.
What compensation could you get?
Recommended compensation for general damages is set by the Judicial College (formerly the Judicial Studies Board) in their guidelines for personal injury awards. Compensation awards reflect the seriousness and type of injury, including long-term effects and are laid out in the form of minimum and maximum amounts.
Although the Judicial College guidelines are not technically law, use of the guidelines is common in Court and the majority of insurance companies will refer to them before making an offer.
It is possible to claim special damages for loss of earnings and future lost earnings and any expenses arising from the accident including the cost of care and treatment and travel to and from hospital.
Guaranteed No Win, No Fee - Pay nothing if you lose
Typically a no win no fee arrangement (technically referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between a claimant and lawyer.
A Conditional Fee Agreement is essentially the terms under which the solicitor works for their client.
It details what the solicitors will do and how they will be remunerated if the legal case is ultimately successful.
If you instruct Quittance Personal Injury for your ice slip injury claim there will be no hidden or extra charges , no up-front fees and the complete peace of mind that you wont be out of pocket.
What to do next
Find out more
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If you have more questions before calling, see our FAQ pages.
The majority of injury solicitors work for Claimants on a no win no fee (conditional fee) basis, but what will their fees be if compensation is granted?
For a clearer idea of how much more compensation you could keep with our panel of personal injury solicitors compared to most other solicitors - compare personal injury quotes here.
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Phone an injury lawyer on 0800 612 7456 to begin a compensation claim, or begin your injury claim online here.
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Our team of personal injury specialists look forward to helping you. Need more information? You can request a callback or call us on 0800 612 7456 today.