Can I claim injury compensation for slipping on ice or snow?

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In winter we get many calls from clients who want to know if they can claim for slipping ice, commonly at work or while shopping. While they may have sustained nasty injuries – usually fractures to wrists and arms, or hip and pelvis injuries, does that mean they have a valid claim? This depends on the duty of care of the people or authority responsible for the area in which they fell.

It is often possible to claim personal injury compensation after a fall that wasn’t your fault and we have previously covered whether or not you may have a valid slip and trip accident claim for this. However, there is a big difference between suffering an injury as a result of negligent health and safety practices and being injured after falling due to ice or snow.

Adverse weather conditions are out of our control and present less of a foreseeable risk, hence it is harder to prove someone else is at fault for an accident. That being said, in certain circumstances there is a duty of care when it comes to ice and snow. and in some cases you may be eligible to claim.

Table of contents

When you can claim for slipping on ice at work

Employers are duty bound to provide a safe working environment and follow health and safety practices to prevent accidents at work. While icy weather can’t be prevented, employers do have responsibility to reduce the risk to workers from slipping on ice. If it can be proven they should have done more to stop such accidents happening, and you injure yourself as a result, we can help you to make a claim for a fall at work.

So what is your employer’s duty of care to prevent slips on ice at work? In the same way risk assessments are required to prevent other accidents, they should also be carried out for areas that are likely to become slippery during snowy or icy weather. This means assessing and preparing for such weather conditions, making changes to reduce risk and ensuring staff are aware of any dangers.

In some instances this may mean providing safety equipment to employees who have to work in icy conditions, but on the whole your workplace should reduce the risk of slips and falls on ice by:

  • Identifying and assessing the most used routes by staff
  • Clearing snow, gritting or salting ice in these areas within a reasonable timeframe
  • Warning staff where there is a danger of slipping on ice
  • Providing alternative, safer routes if possible
  • Allowing staff extra time to travel to and from work in extremely cold weather

If your employer hasn’t taken any action to avoid accidents in an icy workplace and neglected their legal duty of care, they can be held responsible for any injuries. If you’ve been injured after a slip and fall on ice at work and you think your employer has failed to protect your safety (with inadequate PPE, for example, or proper training for work in icy conditions) you may well be able to claim personal injury compensation. Make sure you understand your rights following a work injury, particularly if you’re still working and worried about your health.

When you can claim for slipping on ice in public

As with places of work, if you slip on ice in a public place you might be able to claim if it can be shown there was a likely risk of injury that could and should have been avoided. Such places are responsible for visitors’ safety under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957.

For example, car parks and entrances to schools and hospitals should be cleared of snow and icy patches salted or gritted – or signage situated to warn of the hazards. Steps and platforms at bus and train stations are also subject to higher duties of care. The Health & Safety Executive outlines what should be done to protect the public from ice, frost and snow on its website.

Where there’s a risk of injury due to slipping on ice at the entrance to a shop, or supermarket, for example, the management has a responsibility to clear the ice in a reasonable time, erect a hazard sign to warn customers of a possible danger and ensure that the area is treated to prevent ice developing. If the business can be shown to have failed to take these steps, they could be held liable for injuries sustained should a customer slip and fall.

If you fall in any of these places because you slipped on ice, ensure that your accident is recorded in the accident book and seek medical attention. It is likely that we will be able to take such a claim forward for you.

Another scenario in which you could pursue a claim, albeit a more difficult task, is if you were injured in a road traffic accident on a major road and it could be proven that a local authority had failed to treat the highway in question when they should have done.

When you’re unlikely to win a claim for an accident due to ice

The same rules do not necessarily apply to all locations. For example, if you were to slip on ice in the car park of a supermarket, it is unlikely that you could hold them liable for your injuries. Whilst they would have a responsibility to ensure that the entrance area, trolley storage area and shop floor were free from hazards, it is doubtful that a court would agree they should have ensured the car park was also free from ice and fully gritted or salted.

The same applies to accidents on pavements. Local authorities have a responsibility to grit the roads and they do so in order of importance, with major routes like motorways and A-roads being prioritised over lesser roads. Pavements are generally left untreated as it isn’t really feasible to expect the local authority to have the manpower or equipment to treat all roads and pavements in winter weather.

Typically, should someone slip and fall on an icy footpath, it is highly unlikely that they would be able to prove sufficient liability against the local authority highways department responsible for the path. So in a nutshell, if you are walking on icy paths, take care – you are unlikely to be able to claim compensation for any injuries sustained.

How to prove your claim is valid

To prove a claim for slipping on ice you will usually need evidence and/or witnesses to back it up. Without evidence your slip happened, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim, so you’ll need to report the details of your accident to the right people.

Ideally, the accident should be recorded with the people responsible for the area in which it happened. Your employer and any location open to the public should have an accident book and a way of recording incidents. This provides evidence your injuries occurred on their patch.

In the case of a slip on an icy footpath, the matter should be reported to the Highways Department of the local authority.

If you fall in a shop or restaurant, it should be recorded in an accident book within the premises. If you can’t do that, take photos or send a letter reporting the incident to the management.

Medical evidence will also be used to value your injury claim, so it’s important to seek professional medical treatment for your injuries at the earliest opportunity.

If all this seems a bit complicated, or you haven’t done any of the above, don’t worry – if you  we can talk you through it and help you to complete the necessary steps.

Compensation amounts for injuries caused by slips on ice

How much compensation you can claim is calculated from the severity of the injury, your financial losses and the impact on your quality of life. For example, a wrist injury that has resulted in permanent pain and stiffness could amount to between £10,000 and £20,000. On top of that, a claim would include an amount that takes into consideration:

  • The pain and distress caused to you by the injuries sustained
  • Associated costs and losses
  • Lost earnings if you have been away from work as a result of the accident
  • Medical treatments, rehabilitation therapies and post accident care
  • Restrictions on your ability to fulfil your usual activities and social life
  • Miscellaneous expenses (bus fares, painkillers etc)

There are guidelines issued by the courts for solicitors, but it’s impossible to say exactly how much you can expect as all cases vary. The figures below are for the injury only, and exclude the extra considerations above, so the final settlement may be much higher.

Type of injuryCompensation amount
Neck injury£2,000 - £140,000
Minor brain or head injury£2,070 - £11,980
Finger injury£4,000 - £85,000
Wrist injury£3,310 - £44,690
Hip or pelvis injury£3,710 - £24,950
Fractured forearm£6,190 - £18,020
Permanent back injury£11,730 - £26,050
Serious shoulder injury£11,980 - £18,020
Ankle injury£12,900 - £46,980

Make a no win no fee claim

With a No Win No Fee agreement a claimant will pay nothing if their claim is unsuccessful, so you have nothing to lose and much to gain if you can make a successful claim. Only if you win compensation do you pay your solicitor’s success fee, which is usually around 25% of the total received.

If you are unsure whether or not you can claim personal injury compensation as a result of slipping on ice, the best thing to do is ask us. We’ll let you know whether or not we think you have a viable claim and if so, help you to win a settlement for your injuries, expenses and lost earnings.

You can call us on 01225 430285 or , and one of our expert team will be in touch. We’ll only need a few minutes of your time to let you know if you can make a claim. With over 28 years’ experience, you can use our knowledge and expertise to get your claim off to the best start. There is no charge for assessing your case.

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming, plus slip on ice claim examples...

Hi. My brother has recently suffered a slip on ice, resulting in him breaking a number of ribs.

The slip occurred on a local authority maintained pavement. However, the ice on that particular stretch of pavement was due to a neighbour washing their motorbike early in the morning, with the water used then freezing and creating a sheet of black ice. The weather forecast was for sub-zero temperatures – would that create potential negligence on behalf of the neighbour washing their motorbike that day?

Both the fall, and the earlier washing of the motorbike, were witnessed by neighbours.

Ian Morris

Establishing negligence on the part of the neighbour could prove difficult, but witness evidence confirming that it were they who created the ice hazard and failed to adequately minimise the risk of injury by gritting or salting the area or failing to erect any hazard warning signage or barrier would certainly help with that.

The further potential ‘problem’ with a claim against an individual rather than a business is whether the individual has the appropriate insurance cover that would be able to meet the costs of settling the claim should the matter be a success in the claimants favour. This puts the Solicitor at a real risk of not being able to recover their legal fees even if they were to win the claim, which would make a Solicitor reluctant to pursue such a matter on a No Win No Fee basis.


Hi, I slipped on ice outside a bus stop on a major road and bus route, the local councils winter policy stated this road should have been gritted but it wasn’t, I ended up breaking 3 bones in my ankle had to have surgery, alot of pain and won’t even be able to think to walk again properly for along time, will I be eligible for a claim?

Ian Morris

We can certainly look in to this matter for you. Local authority highways departments do have a duty of care to grit their highways and they do have to follow a hierarchy system of ensuring that the major routes (motorways, A roads), bus routes and other relevant/important areas are gritted. However, it is not always the case that they are expected to also treat pavements and footpaths.

Our Solicitors would be happy to further consider your enquiry.

If you have any photographs of the untreated areas around the bus stop, that would be really helpful to your claim.


Hi, my mother slipped in a supermarket car park on Christmas day. The store wasn’t open but surely the supermarket still has duty of care and should have ensured the car park was gritted?

Ian Morris

In this case, it is unlikely that the courts would find that the Supermarket had been negligent. If their business is closed, they have no duty to ensure that the car park for their store is cleared of ice or snow.


A few days ago my mother slipped while crossing the road on ice caused by a South West Water leak that had been reported to them weeks previously. There was a lot of surface water in the gutter by the pavement which she avoided. She suffered a fractured pelvis and is currently in hospital. It was witnessed by a local bus driver and some neighbours who complained to the Water Authority and by that evening they were outside repairing the leak, having erected warning ‘Ice’ signs and gritting the area. Would we be able to claim negligence as they were aware the leak had been reported to them ?

Ian Morris

This is certainly a matter that has potential and warrants pursuit. When ice is involved as a cause for an accident, it is normally the case that there is no liability or negligence against which to pursue a claim. Ice is a naturally occurring weather phenomenon and the highways authorities do not have a duty of care to grit/salt all pavements and pathways, just major roads, bus routes and similarly important areas.

However, in this case it would seem that the relevant authorities were on notice of an issue that they failed to deal with in an adequate time and this has therefore meant that your Mother was not given adequate warning or protection from the risks that the build up of ice would have caused. We can argue that the water authority knew that there was a leak, knew that the weather was extremely cold and that ice would form creating a hazard for pedestrians and that they had ample time to at the very least apply grit, erect warnings or cordon the area off.

We would be very happy to have this matter considered in more detail. As you can imagine, the prospects of succeeding with this claim will be enhanced greatly if evidence can be provided to confirm that the leak had previously been reported, such as witness statements from the neighbours and any photographs of the subsequent erection of warning signs and gritting of the area.

For further help on a No Win No Fee basis, please call us on 01225430285 or email us at with some further details and contact information and we’ll be very happy to help you.


I live in a privately rent flat. The only access is via metal steps that are lethal in winter when there is ice or snow. The steps do have a hand rail. My tenancy agreement does not stipulate who is responsible for clearing or gritting the steps. Today my landlord called my employer to ask him to call me to advise me not to go to work. I just wonder whether he did this because he has a duty of care and was worried that I would slip or fall on the steps and then claim for compensation.

Ian Morris

This is an issue you should raise with the owner of the property in writing. It is important that both tenants and landlords understand what procedures are in place and who should undertake what activities.


I was riding my bike and as I crossed the back of the co-op, there was a thick layer of black ice where it looked like the staff from co-op had chucked water either from cleaning or where they had tipped out the water from the buckets the flowers are kept in. There was no grit and salt put down and this thick layer of ice basically threw me off my bike, injuring my back. Where it happened there are cctv cameras.

Who is responsible for this?

Ian Morris

Although ice is a naturally occurring weather phenomenon, it can be possible to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation as a result of a slip on untreated dangerous surfaces. Individuals cannot make a claim against a local authority if they slip on a footpath that has some ice on it in cold weather as there is not a duty of care for the pavements to be gritted. However, in the circumstance that you have described, it would appear that the store and their staff may have acted negligently in allowing a build up of water to then freeze. As it can be argued that they would have (or should have known) that the temperatures would lead to ice, for them to discard mop bucket or flower display water in an area that people may cross, without erecting any hazard signs or placing any grit on the surface, it may well be possible to establish that they have been negligent and to therefore succeed with a claim.

It is imperative that you ensure that there is an accident report made to the Co-Op in question and you should request (in writing) that they retain their CCTV footage of the incident. With this in mind, you should contact their head office to report the incident and inform them as to how the area became wet and therefore icy.

When you have done this and sought medical attention for your back pain, please call us on 01225430285 and we’ll see if you can then make a No Win No Fee claim for personal injury compensation.


Good morning. I had a slip at work on snow around the building in 2021. Causing me injuries to my left arm fractured ribs and a back injury. I used a solicitor I seen on the internet. They value my claim at 6000 but I still have issues with my lower back. The company I am using is a trainee solicitor that I’m finding absolutely useless! I was just wondering if I could change my solicitor for a good 1 who actually looks after the customer interests.could you please advise me on what is best for me please?

Ian Morris

Switching Solicitors during a No Win No Fee claim for personal injury compensation is not as easy as it should be, or as easy as you would think. The main reason for this is that any new Solicitor will have to give an undertaking to the previous Solicitor to cover the costs of the work that the initial Solicitor has done, should the new Solicitor go on to succeed with the claim. This requirement essentially makes it impossible for the new Solicitor to run the case in a cost effective manner – meaning that they would essentially work for almost nothing. Whilst it is possible to switch cases in certain circumstances, it really is the last resort and usually only possible when a claim is in it’s early stages or of an extremely high value.

In your case, the best course of action would be to make a formal complaint to your Solicitor about the person handling the claim and demand that a more senior, experienced specialist take over the handling of the matter.


I slipped on black ice resulting in a broken femur 07/01/2022. I was going for a walk at 07:45 leaving the park homes complex where I live walking on the road as there is no footpath, there seemed to be no problems then to late I stood on the ice, the street lighting is very very poor and I didn’t see it comming do I have a claim.

Ian Morris

When there is a slip on ice on a public footpath that is adopted by a local authority and subject to statutory highways regulations, there is unlikely to be grounds to make a claim. The local authorities are not obliged to grit (or remove) any icy path surfaces as they have a duty of care to ensure that major road networks, bus routes and other important areas are treated.

In your case, is the Park Homes area where you fell managed by a private company? If so, there could be grounds to pursue a claim against them for negligence. However, if the area is managed by the local authority, there is little prospect to pursue a claim despite the obviously serious injury that you have sustained.


Last week I slipped on the icy carpark at work. I banged my head back and cut my hands open. I told them what happened but I decided to carry on with my work. After breakfast I was sick and felt a bit dizzy. The first aid woman advised to go to A&E which I did and spent all day there. I had a small concussion and had to take 48 hours to rest. I’ve now looked at my bank balance and my employer hasn’t paid me. I feel this is unfair as I only did as the company asked. Please advise. Thanks.

Ian Morris

With regards to the payment issue, unless you are entitled to sick pay, your employer is not obliged to pay you – even though you were off work through no fault of your own and for injuries caused in an accident at your workplace. However, one would hope that you could make an appeal to your employer to accept that it would only be right and fair for them to cover your salary for the two days of enforced absence.

In terms of your rights and options to make a claim for compensation, as you slipped on ice, it is not necessarily a straightforward matter. However, you can (and our Solicitors have successfully in the past) pursued claims for people who have slipped on ice at their workplace. We need therefore to consider whether the employer should have known or had ample time to know that the car park and access routes to the workplace would be hazardous and whether they should have applied grit or salt. Do you know if the employer usually applies grit or if they have a policy in place for inclement weather?



I came out of work at 20:10 last night, I work in a care home, I walked around 20 meters down towards the exit when I slipped on ice/snow (not sure as it was dark) and managed to stop myself from falling on the floor but I have hurt my ankle in doing so. My dad was waiting in the car just outside the gates and when I went and told him I slipped and my ankle was hurting he immediately said that I had a right to make a claim as they have no outdoor lighting and not one area outside the building had been gritted, is this right? They do have lights outside but they was turned off months ago for some reason. I messaged my manager and informed her and asked how I go about filling in the accident book, I also asked her to inform other staff. That’s when she did and the staff (care staff) took it upon themselves to find salt and put salt down outside to prevent any more incidents.

Ian Morris

As you can imagine, pursuing a claim for injury after slipping on ice or snow is not a straightforward matter as defendants can mount a defence of the cause of the injury being a weather phenomenon or ‘act of god’. However, as the lights in the area are switched off and the snow/ice had not been gritted or treated in anyway, there are questions to ask and our Solicitors can consider your situation in greater detail. In this case, we can argue that the lights should have been on as that would have enabled you to identify the riskier areas and try to avoid them and that if grit or salt had been applied to the area – something that the employer appears to have had time to do, you may not have fallen. Clearly, the employer had salt/grit as after your accident, staff have applied the same to the area in question.

You do need to make sure that the details of your accident are recorded in writing at work. Make sure that the lighting issue and lack of salt are noted – along with the fact that salt was applied to the area as a result of your fall.


While at work I have slipped on icy floor. I have hit my head to the floor and had small concussion. There was no signs of icy surface on the door and there was 2 accidents on the same ground before. Would i be able to claim?

Ian Morris

It sounds like you may have a valid claim given the lack of signs and previous incidents. Of course, we need to find out more information before we can be certain, but from what you have said, this is a claim that should be investigated.


8 weeks ago I fell on ice in our local high street, council had failed to clear. I broke 2 bones in my wrist was in plaster for 6 weeks now in a splint in a lot of pain, and wrist deformed. What are the chances of succeeding with a claim against my local council?

Ian Morris

When it comes to succeeding with a claim after a slip on ice or snow, one must demonstrate that the landowner has been negligent and not upheld their responsibility to make an area safe for pedestrians and in the scenario you describe, you may well struggle to prove negligence.

Snow and Ice are naturally occurring weather phenomenons and in such conditions, pedestrians and road users are expected to take some responsibility for their own safety. Local authorities are charged with the gritting over major roads, but not pavements or footpaths and must ensure that the motorways, major A roads and bus routes are cleared before they turn attention to anything else and it is unlikely that they would be expected to treat a High Street pavement or clear snow from the same.


I was recently delivering pallets for company when I got stuck in snow so I tried digging myself out of snow when I fell over and dislocated my shoulder would I be entitled to put a claim in?

Ian Morris

It is hard to see how your employer could be held liable for the injuries you sustained in this incident.


I am a grocery home delivery driver and fell on black ice on a customers property just outside the front door on the owner’s path. I have badly torn 3 rotator cuff tendons. As the customer knew of the timed delivery slot but did not leave any lights on nor ensured their property was safe while a severe ice weather warning was in place, can i claim against the customer?

Ian Morris

Sadly, the prospects of succeeding with such a claim are too slim to enable such a matter to proceed on a No Win No Fee basis. You may however have grounds to pursue a claim against your employer if they do not provide adequate guidance to both staff and customers regarding the risks in such weather circumstances. Do you know if the employer makes any requests to customers awaiting delivery regarding ice or leaving lighting on?


I clean the staircases in a car park for the council and slipped over on the snow an ice on the 11th Feb and hurt my left arm the following day the car park was gritted ive been off work now for a week.

Ian Morris

Who is responsible for applying grit to the area? If that is not part of your job, you may well be able to make a claim for your injuries. We would be happy to investigate this for you.


I have slipped on ice in the road directly outside my house which has not been gritted at all since it snowed 8 days ago. The road has been in terrible shape since it first snowed and no attempts have been made to make it safe as it is not a major road but it hasn’t snowed in 4-5 days now. Would I have a claim?

Ian Morris

Is the road in question a residential road? Unless it is a bus route or a major road, it is unlikely that the local council would be expected to apply grit or salt to the road.


Hi, I have slipped on some ice that was there as a result of a rain drain pipe coming out onto the pavement and the water from it freezing. There was no ice anywhere else on the pavement but there was some snow around . Can I claim compensation and how should I do it?

Ian Morris

Was the guttering draining directly on to the pavement and not in to a drain? Was this on a private residential property or a commercial property?
Please obtain some photographs of the ice showing the guttering draining on to the pavement. It would also be prudent to report your injuries to the property owners.

If the premises is a private property, there is a potential to pursue a claim against the homeowners via their insurers. However, this is not necessarily straightforward. If the premises is a business premises, report the incident to the business.

Please email the photographs of the ice and guttering to us at along with your contact number and we will call you to advise.


I fell and injured my leg while assisting a work colleague in the works carpark due to him being stuck in snow because the works hadn’t cleared the car park over 24 hrs after it had snowed.
Can I persue a claim for injuries sustained?

Ian Morris

Does your employer usually operate a snow removal policy in snowy weather?


If a premises does salt their car park in icy/snowy conditions and you still slip over and injure yourself is there still not a claim as they have been aware and tried to make an effort to make the premises safe?

Ian Morris

The fact that gritting has been done, or not been done does not mean that a claim can or cannot succeed. Much will depend on the weather conditions and what policy the landowner has in place to deal with such matters.


Early this morning, I came out of my council property & the outside Steps were full of ice/snow but no grit had been applied.

I slipped down the steps, bumpting my back on the ground at the bottom of the concrete stairs. My back is grazed and my side is swollen and very sore. I am now in serious pain. What should I do?

I have muscular dystrophy in my shoulders, back, pelvis and spine.

Ian Morris

Apart from seeking urgent medical attention to get your injuries assessed and noted on your medical records, you should report the incident to your Housing Office (in writing). If there is usually a gritting procedure but it was not undertaken on this occasion, please make note of that.

Once you have reported the incident,we’ll investigate your claim and have our specialist Solicitors advise you.

Chat with us for friendly, expert advice 01225 430285