The law on icy paths is quite a complicated one. Because ice and snow are acts of nature, and to most right-minded people represent a slipping hazard, usually you are not able to make a claim for personal injury if you slip on an ice-covered path. However, there are variations in the law and under certain circumstances you may be able to make a claim.
How common are slip injuries?
During the winter, when ice and snow cover the ground, slip injuries are common. When it is freezing cold, accident and emergency rooms up and down the country are full of people who have fallen over on the ice and hurt themselves. Broken bones, bruises and cuts are amongst the most common injuries. However, some injuries are much more serious. Nevertheless, if you slip on an icy path and hurt yourself, no matter how badly, the chances are that you will not be able to file a claim for personal injury.
Determining liability for a slip on an icy footpath
Ice is a natural occurrence and is therefore unpreventable. This means that councils, businesses or householders can’t be held accountable for ice on their pavements or pathways. In addition, most people realise that ice is slippery and represents a slip hazard, so people who venture out in icy weather do so forewarned that there is a possibility that they could fall over. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, which means that if you do fall over on an icy path, you could possibly have a case.
Exceptions where a personal injury claim is possible
While ice is a natural occurrence, gritting it or attempting to clear ice from a path or pavement could make matters worse. A poorly gritted path or pathway could lead people into a false sense of security, causing them to slip over and injure themselves when they thought it was safe. This means that if somebody has gritted or attempted to clear ice from a pavement or pathway, they could be held responsible for any accident that causes injury. Therefore if you have slipped on a path that has been partially cleared or gritted, speak to a personal injury solicitor who may be able to advise you as to whether you can claim.