Slipping on ice is very common during the colder months, however, the severity of the fall and the injury that you sustain may not be noticeable straight away. While the majority of slips don't result in anything more than a few bruises, there are times when you could be left with a serious injury, such as broken bones or ligament damage, lasting well into the summer months and beyond.
If you have slipped on ice during winter and your injury continues to affect your daily life, you may question whether you can make a personal injury claim or whether it's too late.
In this article, we look at the common injuries that are suffered from a slip on ice, and the difference between falling on private and public grounds. For personalised advice about your accident, get in touch with our team today.
You have up to three years from the date of your accident to make a claim. It's important that any Court action must be started within this time or you'll lose your right to claim.
When you slip on ice, the sudden impact against a hard surface can cause damage to various parts of your body. While bruising and tenderness are expected, you may be able to claim compensation if your fall has resulted in one of the following injuries:
This list is not exhaustive, and it is possible you may have suffered more than one injury. If you do not see your injury above, please contact our personal injury lawyers to see if you can make a claim.
Section 34 of the Roads (Scotland) Act requires that "reasonable" steps are taken to ensure the smooth passage of pedestrians and vehicles over public roads. Local authorities are responsible for treating these areas to ensure that they do not become a hazard. Therefore, if your fall could have been prevented through reasonable maintenance of the area, then you may be able to make a claim.
However, the legislation and existing case law also states that it would not be reasonable to expect every road and pavement to be treated due to limited resources. This gives the local authorities the flexibility to prioritise certain roads and pavements over others.
The resources of the council will typically be directed towards main roads, motorways and roads which lead to schools and hospitals. Each local authority operates a Winter Maintenance Policy that explains how they will prioritise their resources when the cold weather hits.
What this means for those who fall or get injured on public property is that it can be difficult to get compensation. To have a successful claim, you would have to demonstrate that the council failed to follow its own Winter Maintenance Policy.
Private properties are also susceptible to the cold weather and are areas of potential hazards if they are left untreated. Case law and legislation impose a different set of responsibilities on occupiers of private property than those imposed on local authorities.
The occupiers of private property are required to ensure that they have a reasonable system of inspection that is designed to ensure their property is kept free of hazards. What is considered a reasonable system of inspection will depend on the circumstances and can therefore vary from case to case.
In order to be successful with your claim, you will have to show that a reasonable system of inspection was not in place at the time of your accident. The occupier must have known, or ought to have known, about the hazard before the accident occurred and did not take reasonable steps to deal with the hazard.
If you have suffered injuries after slipping on ice and want to discuss your case with an experienced solicitor, we can help you. Our expert team of expert personal injury lawyers can assist you from beginning to end to ensure the best possible outcome for you. Contact our specialist personal injury team today on 0808 278 9244 or complete our online enquiry form.