Winter Accident Claims – Am I entitled to claim?

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What happens if you have an accident that was not your fault during the hazardous winter months? 

Frosty and icy conditions, wet and slippery roads, fading daylight – it is no wonder the potential for accidents increases over winter.

The conditions during the winter months increase the likelihood of accidents on the road, at work, and in public places as a result of slip, trips and falls. Many of these incidents that occur cannot be avoided. However, there are instances where the negligence or mistake of a third-party is to blame.

Below, our expert personal injury team guide you through the different types of accident and help you understand whether you can claim for compensation if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault.

Accidents on the road during winter

The UK’s roads can be dangerous at the best of times, but during winter the icy and dark conditions make it particularly perilous. There is no surprise that the number of road traffic accidents reported rises suddenly during the winter months, so much so that we are 20% more likely to have accident between December and February.

If you have been injured in an accident on the road, whether you are entitled to compensation depends on a few factors. If, for example, another vehicle is involved, the way in which both cars were driving will be considered.

If you were crashed into and the culprit is found to have been driving dangerously, or not adjusting their driving to take into account the risky conditions, the compensation claim is more likely to be successful. Passengers in the car who may have suffered an injury are entitled to claim compensation also.

Whiplash, fractures and spinal injuries are all common types of injury after a road traffic accident.  We advise ensuring that your car is winter-ready and that you take extra care on the roads to avoid any of these injuries.

Accidents in the workplace during winter

Employers have a duty to protect their employees as best as they can from all that winter throws at them, particularly employees working outside such as roofers, cable maintenance workers and people on building sites who have to endure the worst of the conditions.

Accidents in the workplace during winter can include:

  • Slips on walking surfaces, such as pavements, car parks and wet interior surfaces created by snow and ice
  • Falls when removing snow and ice from rooftops and working at heights
  • Accidents caused by poor winter driving conditions (if driving is your profession)
  • Workers being struck by vehicles and other mobile equipment when drivers lose control
  • Being struck by falling trees, collapsing telephone poles or overburdened roof structures

An injury at work, however, is not necessarily enough for you to claim compensation against your employer. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) categorise an accident as “work-related” only when the work activity itself contributed to the accident. This takes into account the conditions of the site or premises and whether or not the machinery used was safe.

Health and safety is a matter that businesses should place at the forefront of all operations, particularly during the hazardous winter months. It is up to employers to ensure that strict policies are in place to ensure all staff are kept safe when carrying out their daily duties.

Accidents in public places during winter

Despite the bad weather, winter can be one of the busiest times for many, with parties, travelling and shopping. Coupled with all of the bad conditions mentioned above, you have thousands of eager Christmas shoppers crammed into small shopping centres, creating a recipe for disaster.

Every supermarket, restaurant and store owes its customers a duty of care that covers their premises, including their car park. This means that, as difficult as it may seem, all areas of their store must be hazard-free to their customers to minimise the risk of slips, trips and falls.

Failure to ensure their customers are safe can lead to a serious breach of duty of care and can cause injury to Christmas shoppers. Pragmatic steps are expected to be taken by managers to ensure that risk is reduced. For example, high-volume areas should be gritted to avoid any ice developing. 

If these precautions are not taken by store managers and you suffer an injury that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. If you do suffer a slip or fall as a result of their negligence, take photographs of the neglected area if possible, and be sure to try and get contact details of eyewitnesses.

It may also be the case that the accident was caught on CCTV, in which case it might be possible to obtain a copy of the footage to support your claim and prove the store’s negligence.

How can Percy Hughes & Roberts help?

At Percy Hughes & Roberts, our team understand being injured can be a stressful and traumatic time. This is only heightened during winter, a time that should be about spending quality time with friends and family.

This is why, if you have suffered an accident that was not your fault, our personal injury team is on-hand to guide you through any potential claim you may have, as quickly and as stress-free as possible.

Our personal injury team are all fully qualified solicitors with a wealth of experience to ensure you get fully compensated for your injuries and financial losses. You will have direct contact with your own personal solicitor who will regularly update you on the status of your case.

If you would like to contact one of the team, get in touch with our expert accidents at work solicitors today by calling the number at the top of the page or, alternatively, fill out our online form and one of our advisors will get back to you right away.