I’ve slipped on ice or snow. Can I claim personal injury compensation?

66

In usual circumstances – not involving ice and snow – it is often possible to claim personal injury compensation after a slipping accident and we have previously covered the subject of knowing whether or not you may have a valid claim for this. However, there is a big difference between suffering a nasty personal injury as a result of negligent health and safety practices and being injured after falling on ice or snow.

In winter we get many calls from clients who have fallen on icy paths and steps, and sustained nasty injuries – usually fractures to wrists and arms. But does that mean they have a claim? Unfortunately, in the vast majority of these cases, we are unable to assist and have to reject the claim. It falls down to a duty of care and the strength of liability against the people or authority responsible for the area in which the individual fell.

Typically, should someone slip and fall on a public footpath due to ice, it is highly unlikely that they would be able to prove sufficient liability against the local authority highways department responsible for the path to enable them to win any claim for personal injury compensation.

Ice and snow responsibilities

In usual circumstances, a slipping accident is generally caused by a spillage or a leak. In this case, a business, shop or restaurant has a responsibility to clear up the spillage in a reasonable time, erect a hazard sign to warn customers of a possible danger or to ensure that the leak is repaired. If the business can be shown to have failed to take these steps in a reasonable time, they could well be held liable for injuries sustained should a customer slip and fall. This is reasonable and can be labelled as ‘foreseeable risk’.

There is also a duty of care when it comes to ice and snow. For example, work yards where an employer expects staff to operate must be treated within a reasonable time of the ice appearing. Car parks and entrance ways at places of work or schools should also be treated – or signage situated to warn of the hazards. Steps and platforms at bus and train stations are also subject to higher duties of care.

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

However, 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 that they should have ensure that the car park was free from ice, or fully gritted and salted.

The same applies to slipping on pavements if they are icy. Local authorities have a responsibility to grit/salt the roads and they do so in order of importance, with the 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 inclement weather. 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.

Road users such as motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists must also accept that using the roads in icy or snowy weather is inherently risky. However, 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 (a very difficult task!) you could then pursue a claim for compensation.

Find out if your claim could succeed

In any event, if you are unsure whether or not you can claim personal injury compensation as a result of slipping, falling, crashing or coming off of your bicycle as a result of snow or ice, the best thing to do is contact us. We’ll let you know whether or not we thing you have a viable claim and if so, help you to make your claim for personal injury compensation.

66 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

Leave a question

Your question will appear once approved and we'll answer it as soon as we can. Your email address will not be published, your name will, so feel free just to use a first name.

  1. I’am a taxi driver in Glasgow and I slipped and fell and broke my wrist in two on an untreated road on black ice in Glasgow when I tried to warn my elderly passenger who was just coming out of her house about how bad the ice was at the start of December and was then off work for two months and after 3wks of being in a player cast the hospital said that I needed an operation and they had to break my arm again and reset it and I’ve now got a metal plate and pins holding my wrist together and I lost thousands of pounds loss of earnings as December is our busiest month and I nearly lost my flat as Ihadn’t the money to pay my rent and bills after the first month all my money was going out and none was coming in I had to get a loan of my brother to help me cover my bills or I would’ve been left homeless too can you help me to get the compensation I think I deserve and being left with a horrific scar and a metal
    plate please thank you

    • Despite your obvious loss financially and the terrible pain you will have endured, I am afraid your case is not something that our Solicitors would be able to help with. Claims after a slip on black ice on pavements are notoriously troublesome and it is extremely difficult to establish liability against the local authority as it is a public liability claim. Previously the courts have ruled that local authority councils can’t be expected to grit all their pavements and roads when the weather is cold and icy.

  2. I am provided with accomodation rent free at my place of work. I fell on the ice outside the door on my way into work and broke my wrist badly. It had to be operated upon and I have been unable to work for the last two months as I am a chef. Can you please advise if I can claim compensation from my employers who own the property?

    • Yes, you would have a right to claim compensation. Whether or not you could succeed with a claim would depend on what defence your employers insurers raise to any claim you make.

  3. Whilst leaving the private livery yard where I keep my horses and going to my car In their car park, slipped and fell on the ice breaking my ankle. I had already gritted the ramp which leads to the muck heap as it was icy. The car park by the afternoon was like sheet ice and although I was taking care had this heavy fall witnessed by four people. I’m off work and having to pay now for daily care for my horses and dog. It’s my understanding they should have had a duty of care to their clients to make sure the car parking area was safe. I informed the yard manger but I don’t believe this information was passed onto the owners. Is there liability ?

    • Claims for compensation after injuries sustained when slipping on ice can succeed, but as you can imagine, with ice being a natural weather issue and presenting an inherent slip risk, it is not always the case that one can pursue a claim successfully in such circumstances.

      However, given your injury and the scenario you describe, it would be sensible to further investigate whether or not we can hold the livery business liable in this matter. It would be wise to ensure that the report you made to the yard manager is put in writing and presented to the owners of the business. Once this is done, please use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to make further contact in order that we can look further in to your claim for personal injury compensation.

  4. In February 2018.i slipped in a supermarket carpark on ice and broke my ankle. when a member of staff came out to check if I was okay after laying in the snow for quiet some time and fetched me a wheel chair. The first words that came out of her mouth was its not our carpark. Is there a chance to claim compensation

    • Claiming compensation after slipping on ice or snow is possible, but it is not always easy or straight forward. Of course, ice and snow are weather events that are beyond any persons control and ice and snow present an inherent risk of slipping. Whether or not you can make a claim for compensation will depend on whether or not the owners of the car park have a duty of care to grit the surface and reduce the risk of slipping.

      When it comes to applying grit or salt to public highways and paths, the local authorities work on a restricted budget so would not be expected to apply such products to all areas. The courts would expect the highways authorities to treat roads in order of importance, starting with motorways, major A Roads and busy highways. They would then be expected to work on local roads and bus routes. With regards to the car park, if it is a local authority car park it is probably unlikely that they would have a duty of care to apply grit as a priority.

      Do you know who is responsible for the car park in question?

  5. I am a support worker that works in various areas for the local council. It was very icy that day, and the service users house had a long steep drive, I therefore held onto the rail until I got to the very bottom where the drive meets the pavement. Suddenly I slipped and was in agony. The lady living opposite saw me fall and phoned for an ambulance.
    After laying on the floor for 2 1/4 hours covered in blankets, the ambulance finally came and took me to hospital.
    After an x-ray it was found my ankle was broken in 3 places and after 2 operations my ankle is now held together with plates and screws.
    Estimated time that I will spend off work is 4 – 6 months, can I claim ?

    • The situation you describe is an unusual one in that you were injured whilst at work, but not on employer premises or in an area that the employer has any direct control over. As such, my honest answer at this stage is that I am not sure as to whether or not you can make a claim for compensation. Given the severity of your injuries, I think it is worthwhile presenting a claim enquiry to our specialist Solicitors so that they can consider this for you and offer detailed advice to you.

      Given that the weather was cold and icy, it would be foreseeable that the area could be icy and slippery. Neither the local authority or your employer would have a duty of care to grit residential areas, so it would not be possible to claim compensation on that basis. However, there could be a possible claim against the employer if it can be shown that they have not adequately assessed the risk to health by sending you to this property in the weather conditions as they were. Perhaps the employer should have issued you with a warning or required certain footwear etc and it is with that in mind, that I believe it would be worthwhile submitting a claim for you.

      Please use our ‘start a claim’ page if you would like us to get this considered by a specialist Solicitor for you.

  6. Last week I slipped and fell at my workplace on an untreated car park. The surface was snow covered with underlying ice forming the hazard.
    My employers are UK government tenants, renting office/car park facilities via a landlord who engage 3rd party managing agents.
    These agents who are contracted to grit.

    Despite assurances gritting would take place overnight before it snowed and freeze it did not in fact occur. Records also prove that no gritting actually took place as promised and initially claimed, so I believe there is negligence via a contractual failure.

    My injuries are limited to aggravation of an old fracture (metal plated wrist) and some minor discomfort. My view is the false claim of services rendered and not actually delivered equates to a liability. Can you concur my thinking please?

    • On face value, their contractual obligation has been failed and it can be therefore argued that they are liable for the fall you had and any associated injuries or losses that you have incurred as a result.

      Given the scenario you describe, we would be happy to present a claim on your behalf to our specialist Solicitors. We work on a fully no win no fee basis and you can start your claim by visiting our website and using the ‘start a claim’ page to make further contact with us.

  7. Three days ago I slipped on an icy patch in the car park of a fitness club where I am a member. It was witnessed by a member of staff who was putting down sand on another part of the car park. I fell backwards and hit my bottom, back and head. I haven’t broken anything but am in some pain and very bruised. Are there grounds to claim against their insurance?

    • There is certainly potential to pursue a claim for compensation. The fact that an employee from the gym was working to reduce the risk of slipping by placing sand on the ice indicates that the business knew that there was a risk to health and a possibility of injury.

      If you would like to begin your claim, please use the ‘start a claim’ option on our website and we’ll contact you.

  8. My workplace had washed the vans the night before which caused the water to became ice the following day. Due to this I unfortunately had a fall where we normally load our vans for our deliveries. I hit the back of my head and now have pain in my back. There are no cameras in the area and my employer has offered i can come back in tommorow with the help of a collegue to help with the lifting and doing mainly driving.

    • If your employer has created a hazard – such as making a floor wet and then icy, one would expect that the minimum they should do is erect hazard warning signs and in this case, grit the iced area. If they have failed to do that, you may have a valid claim for compensation.

      Please use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to take this further.

  9. Who’s responsible in the event of an accident due to the result of a burst water-main?

    A friend of mine slipped this morning after water from a burst water main had iced over and has now gone to hospital.

    I took photos of the site shortly after just as workers from the local water supplier had started repair.

    The leak was on a public pavement outside a commercial property.

    • The water board have responsibility for the management and maintenance of the water infrastructure and could be responsible in this matter. However, the realistic prospects of succeeding with a claim in this instance could be very low – especially if the pipe had only been leaking for a short while. Whilst there is not doubt that the leaking pipe created water, which then iced up and became hazardous, the courts are likely to find that the waterboard could not prevent this hazard due to the weather issues.

      • Thanks Ian, expected this would be the case.

        Fortunately x-rays came back with no breakages so no serious harm done. Good to know the situation.

  10. I recently slipped on an patch of ice in a pub car park. I fell badly and hurt my leg but fortunately did not break any bones. I was in severe pain for a week. I am now slowly recovering and my leg is getting better with but still have some pain. I am hoping that there is no permanent damage. I have a witness to my accident. Could I claim? Thank you.

  11. Hi me and my husband run a shop. out side the shop there are some steps to get into the shop if it snows and the steps are slippery and some one falls are we lieable. If we don’t clear the steps

    • Do you own the steps? Are they your responsibility? The sensible thing to do would be to place a warning sign at the top and bottom of the steps in clear view. You could then remove the snow and put grit or salt down. If you regularly repeat this and keep a record of inspections, you would likely to have been seen to have done all you could be expected to to reduce the risk of injury. Of course, the public are aware that snow is slippery and must take some responsibility. The other thing you should do is ensure that your public liability insurance cover is in place!

  12. I crashed my car whilst on way to work on November 2nd. I have done some investigating the council said according to their records they gritted 1st November yet I came off they road as the road is full of pot holes and I swear hit ice has by the pictures on news and google maps can see the bend is not sharp but as I turned the wheels nothing happened! Is it going be hard beat the council as I suffered serve injuries. still off work.

    kind regards

    • Sadly proving liability against the local authority in this matter will be extremely difficult and with regards to a No Win No Fee claim, it is very unlikely that a claim for the situation you describe would be pursued. If the road was icy, it would not necessarily follow that you could then hold the local authority liable if you then lost control of your vehicle and crashed due to the ice.

  13. I recently slipped in my works car park. It was like an ice rink, it had not been gritted. I had high heels on at the time. I had to go to hospital and my elbow is broken as well as the bone in my forearm. Can I claim compensation?

    • As you can appreciate, claiming compensation for injuries sustained when slipping on ice can be difficult. As anyone will appreciate, when it is cold and ice develops, surfaces can become slippery and it is not always possible to avoid the risk of slipping in such conditions. It is also not always practical to expect an employer or any other organisation to remove the risk of slipping on ice.

      However, with regards to an employers car park there could be a possible claim to be made after you slipped on ice. We would be happy to investigate this for you if you would like to get in touch further.

  14. If water flows from our drive naturally onto the pavement (no leakage from pipes) is it best if I salt any ice or leave it – can I be sued if I put salt on it andsomebody falls and could I be sued if I dont salt it and somebody falls

    • From what you have explained, I don’t think you have any obligation to grit the public highway/footpath outside your property. If the only water coming off your drive is from rainwater hitting the ground and not due to any leaking pipe or overflow etc then there should be no concern.

  15. My partner was turning a corner and skidded into a roundabout due to snow which had not been gritted. I was wondering if he can claim damages from the council as his car is damaged.

    • Sadly, I cannot see how he can pursue any claim to recover the cost of the damage to his vehicle in this matter. Whilst the local authorities have a responsibility to grit the highways, there is no liability to be attached if a driver loses control on a snow or ice covered road and then collides with a vehicle or static object.

  16. I slipped on the steps outside my house owned by the council and broke my foot. Should the council grit them steps? Do i take it further?

    • Sadly, it is unlikely that the council would have a responsibility to treat or grit the steps outside of the property where you live.

  17. Hi
    I recently slipped when stepping off the train on to a very icy platform with no grit or salt. The person in front of me nearly slipped so I was careful to get down but the moment my foot touch the platform I slipped backwards landing on my back then someone else landed on top of me. I was in pain but was helped up. I already have a broken coccyx which was healing so was very concerned that this would affect it , so I was asked by the guards if I was ok and wanted to fill in the accident form, which I did. I continued my journey to work but have been in a great deal of pain with a constant headache and joint and muscle pain. I have been to the walk in centre but have booked into my doctor as other parts of my body have started to show signs which I’m worried about. They did tell me why the reason it wasn’t gritted however I was wondering if I had a case? Thank you for your time.
    Regards
    Cindy

    • You may have a claim for compensation. Please call us on 01225430285 so that we can speak with you in detail to find out more about the accident and advise you as to whether or not you can take your claim for slipping accident compensation further.

  18. I had a fall on ice on friday 18th January this was because of a leak from a united utilities tap that was reported back in July has not been rectified spilling water onto the footpath and road

    • Given the fact that the cause of the hazard and your subsequent fall is an item requiring maintenance that was reported over 6 months ago, you may well have a valid claim for compensation.

      We would like to speak to you further regarding your fall and need to know more about the injuries you have sustained. It would help your claim massively if you can provide evidence or supporting information regarding the reporting of the leaking tap to United Utilities last summer and if you were to also report the accident to them.

      Please use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to make further contact with us. Alternatively, you can call us on 01225430285.

  19. Hi, I wanted to know if I had a chance of claiming for my injury which happened on the 15th of November on the 7 eleven entrance of a gas station. It had snowed quite a bit that day and as I came out the store I had slipped and fell backwards and injured my wrist. A gentleman pumping gas had came over to help me up. The snow in front of their store hadn’t been cleared, neither had any salt/grit been put down. My aunt did make a record with them and she took me to seek medical help and a half cast had been put on which later was changed to a full cast. What’s the chances of having a case?

    • Did your accident happen in the UK? If so, we maybe able to assist you as UK law would give a requirement to the store to ensure that so far as possible, the risks of slipping on ice or snow were minimised. As such, UK law would require a store to clear their entrance area if possible and apply salt or grit. At the very least a warning of a slipping hazard should be expected.

  20. I slipped in a hospital car park where l work when l was going into work. I was walking in a path that’s designed for staff to walk on. Slipped fractured my ankle and dislocated heel. I had surgery and a still off sick. The Company responsible for gritting the place are refusing to take responsibility even though as soon as I fell, they went and gritted the path.

    • Have you got a specialist Solicitor representing your claim? If not, you should perhaps consider speaking with an expert specialist firm, such as ourselves. With regards to your fall, is there any evidence to prove that the path had not been gritted (such as an accident book entry in which that comment is made) or any evidence to confirm that the company that has the responsibility for gritting the paths did so immediately AFTER your accident? (such as supportive witness statements or a copy of a request for them to do so following a fall?).

  21. Whilst out walking our dog, with my husband, in March this year, on our local park in the heavy snowfall we had. I tripped over the base of a traffic cone and ruptured my achilles tendon. I was off work for 12 weeks with my leg in a cast/crutches and then an air walker boot. Im still having physio and struggling to walk properly. Would i be able to make a claim from our council.

    • It would be hard to prove negligence against the local authority for your tripping accident. Whilst the base of the cone was covered by snow, I would imagine that the rest of the cone was visible? Also, the cone was located to warn of a hazard and the local authority would have no control over the snow falling.

  22. I was involved in a accident 6 months ago and I am just about healing from it now. I was walking home one night and slipped on a train track crossing it was a very icy night and knocked myself unconscious on the line and a train ran over the top of me I sustained a lot of injuries and I am lucky to be alive. I would like to know if I would be able to claim?

    • It is difficult to advise as to whether or not the cause of your slipping accident would lead to a successful claim, but given the severity of your injuries and the long term implication of this incident, it would be sensible to further investigate making a claim for you.

  23. As an Nhs employee we are expected to make every effort to get to our regular place of work or nearest base during adverse weather conditions. I am a community worker and not part of an emergency service. Under a red weather warning on the 1st March I slipped on the stairs when leaving my home during a fresh snow blizzard sustaining a bi malleolar ankle fracture which required surgery. I do receive my regular pay for 6 months however do I have any rights as an employee regarding injury or if I should refuse to walk to work under such conditions in the future?

    • It is unlikely that you would be able to hold your employer liable for the conditions of the stairs at your home address and although you may be required to make every effort to get to work despite weather conditions, that is different from the employer obliging you to make it to work no matter what the hazards.

      As such, whilst your injury sounds awful and painful, we don’t think that you would succeed with a claim.

  24. Hi, I fell on ice on my way to work on the company’s property, I was off work with a full spinal whiplash for about a month. The company said as they gritted the area the night before that they are refusing liability, and that it was basically my own fault.

    • As the employer has gritted the area the night before, they may have a defence against any claim you were to pursue, but that should not stop you from speaking with us and our expert Solicitors because there could still be a claim. As we work on a fully no win no fee basis, contacting us so that we can have a more in-depth discussion with you to find out more about the area where you fell, what gritting policy the employer has and what the weather conditions were like is a no brainer. If we can’t take this further, it would not cost you a penny and we may well be able to identify a way of pursuing your claim.

  25. I was out on deliveries in the snow. I was at my forth drop when I opened the cab door, stepped on to the footplate, lowered myself down onto the road. My right foot slipped. I went down like a sack of potatoes and discovered later in hospital that I had broken my ankle, boarder line surgery. I have been off 13 weeks and intend to go back to work on Monday. I was asked if I wanted to consider sueing the company, to speak to the union. I don’t know what to do?

    • We would happily investigate this matter for you. Do you know if the footplate of your vehicle has a non-slip surface? Does your employer advise you to wear a certain type of footwear?

      There are a few important things for us to discuss with you regarding the accident but we feel that there could well be a possibility of attaching employer negligence here and that if so, we could succeed with a claim for compensation. Clearly, you have a serious injury and have lost income as a result. Therefore, we would like you to start a claim and send us some information. Our expert team will then be in touch with you to discuss your claim in detail and explain your rights.

  26. Hi i am a support worker that works in the community. Recently i slipped on snow outside a service users house and as a result have suffered a fractured leg and will be off work at least 8 weeks.
    Am i entitled to claim for anything?

    • As you may imagine, it is not always possible to claim compensation for an injury and lost income and this often applies in cases where someone is injured as a result of slipping on snow or ice.

      However, we think it is worthwhile for us to investigate a possible claim for you a little further and for you to speak to our specialist Solicitors regarding your situation and the nature of your accident. It could be possible to succeed with a claim for compensation if it can be shown that your employer didn’t provide adequate warnings to community workers such as yourself or correctly risk-assess your workload given the snowy conditions.

      Please call us on 01225430285.

  27. Going to my work as a carer, slipped on the snow sustained injury to my foot ankle back for X-ray on Monday , got big boot on my foot in severe pain can I claim against council or my work , for going out in bad conditions underfoot

    • It is unlikely that you would be able to hold the local authority liable for your injuries as they would not necessarily have a duty of care to remove snow or ice from public footpaths or to apply grit or salt to them either.

      However, there could be a possibility of pursuing a claim against your employer on the basis of a lack of risk assessment or adequate warning to you regarding the risks and providing knowledge to you as to how to minimise the risk of injury after a slip on snow. We will not know more until we have spoken with you.

  28. I slipped on black ice on a smooth paved area that’s notoriously slippy. This fall resulted in my knee being displaced and my patella split resulting in an operation. The pain I have endured has been excruciating and I’ve been told I will probably need a further operation and will have long term damage by causing an arthritic condition due to the injury.
    I have read that you say it’s not feaseable for councils to grit all pavements but I think this is very wrong especially on a pavement known for being prone to ice and in a very central area.
    Through no fault of my own I have been left with a permanent injury yet part of my council fees is surely to make sure pavements are safe to walk on on way to work. Also the council have put very smooth paving here which makes it a whole lot more dangerous as just a few yards further the paving has gritted surface which is far less slippy.
    Am I to accept I have no redress against them? If so I truly think it’s shocking as this will continue to happen as it did to someone else I know on the same day as my accident..
    The council will just continue its neglect
    Janette

    • It is very hard to pursue a claim for compensation after injuries sustained when slipping on an icy footpath. There is no strict statutory duty for local authorities to treat footpaths and in previous case law, the courts have largely found in favour of defendants in such actions. In most cases, the highways department treat roads in a hierarchical system, dealing with major routes (motorways, A-Roads, bus routes etc). It is hard to expect them to have the resources and man/woman power to grit and treat footpaths throughout their regions.

      We are not saying that you definitely don’t have a claim, but explaining how the ‘system’ works in this regard. The best thing to do at this time would be for you to forward some photographs of the area where you fell to us. If you could provide some close up shots of the path surface where you fell and also the surface a few yards away that is less ‘smooth’ as well as a few showing them together (from a distance), we can at least get our specialist Solicitors to have a look and give you their view?

      You can email any photographs to us at: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk If you do forward photographs, just draw our attention to your comment on this page and our response and we’ll be able to identify you and the details of your accident.

  29. Visitor
    Hi i fell on a massive patch of black ice outside my local shop. I skidded trued to balance myself but the patch was too big and i ended up flying backward and landing on my back. The problem is no one saw it happen and i went straight into the shop and told them to sort it out to which they poured boiling water on it. I have been led up all day in agony as i also suffer with fibromyalgia and have problems with my L5 and my S7 in my back and the fall has cause me major pain in my back neck shoulder and legs. My partner went back to where i fell a little while later to get a picture as i was in too much pain to think about it but it had gone. Would this cause a problem if i was to put in a claim. I am also attending a doctors appointment tomorrow to be checked over.

    • Carole

      Thank you for letting us know about your accident. I hope that you are recovering well.

      I would suggest that we should put your claim to our solicitors as I believe that you may well have a viable prospect of succeeding with this.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      Regards

      Ian

Direct2Compensation Personal Injury Claims

Speak with a claims expert

We're happy to answer any questions you might have, or let you know if you are eligible to claim. Just fill out the form below. You can also call us on 01225 430285.