As the grip of winter tightens, the prospect of leaving the house for many often becomes fraught with anxiety and trepidation. Ice, snow and reduced visibility wreak annual havoc on busy transport routes, leaving many people with the sole option of travelling by foot to work and use essential shops and services.
Whilst the majority of those who do go out are unlikely to face any danger, accidents do happen. With estimates of over 3,000 hospital admissions per year being directly attributable to slips on ice, it is important for individuals to know what steps they can take to ensure the cost of their injuries are properly compensated for if someone else is to blame.
Both employers and local authorities have a duty of care to ensure roads and walkways are kept clear of dangers that might cause individuals harm. Despite this, the law places a relatively high bar on claimants to show that the steps taken to prevent this harm fall short of a reasonable standard. Local authorities in particular are recognised by courts as having only a finite level of resources and thus cannot be expected to ensure every travel route is completely hazard free.
Given such challenges to surmount, the importance of claimants having specialist legal advice to guide them in making claims for compensation is brought into sharp focus. At Jones Whyte, we have developed extensive experience in acting on behalf of those affected by ice slip injuries.
Recently, our team successfully secured a settlement agreement for our client which gave her both the peace of mind to move forward with her life, as well as vindication for the injuries she suffered. Her case neatly demonstrates the stages involved in such claims and is a useful tool to show how success can be achieved.
On a freezing winter’s morning last year, our client was on her way to work when she entered the grounds of her employer’s premises. As she walked towards the main door of their offices, she found herself struggling on a path where ice had developed overnight. She was, unfortunately, unable to maintain her footing and fell onto her knees.
She began experiencing immediate pain and had to be assisted by colleagues nearby. She was thereafter taken to hospital where she underwent an x-ray and was informed she had injured a ligament in one of her knees. As a result, she was required to take considerable time off work.
After a couple of weeks of recovery, our client began to move her thoughts onto the cause of the accident and why it was allowed to happen. She made an initial enquiry and our team considered the details of her case – ultimately advising that we could investigate the circumstances further.
CCTV and documentation relating to the inspection regime of her employer in respect of gritting pathways on their property were ingathered. Upon a thorough review, it was clear that there was no reasonable system in place to ensure the safety of employees and other individuals entering the premises. No one was directly responsible for gritting and it was left to individuals to take it upon themselves to do so.
Once a sufficient level of evidence had been gathered and our client’s position was strengthened by our further investigations, we put our allegations towards the negligent employer. Whilst they undertook their own investigations, it ultimately became clear to them that they were at fault. They accordingly admitted liability for the accident shortly after.
Our team thereafter began compiling the necessary evidence which helped quantify the extent of our client’s injuries and the other knock-on effects they had on her life. We instructed a specialist orthopaedic surgeon to examine our client and recommend a suitable course of physiotherapy for her life to return to normal.
As well as this, our client provided us with wage slips which helped us calculate the earnings she lost as a result of her absence from work. We took this and the medical evidence and drew up a valuation of her claim to present to the other side.
Upon consideration of the evidence, the other side decided to make an opening offer that was not reflective of the seriousness of the injuries. It was our advice to our client to reject this and seek a considerable increase. We reverted to the other side and threatened further action should they not meet our valuation.
The increase came and, having been advised further by our team, the client opted to accept the new offer. She believed it to be fair and was delighted to be able to move on with her life with the burden of blame shifted onto those who were ultimately responsible for the harm. She was extremely grateful for our assistance along the way and felt that any stress on her had been minimised considerably. The case was settled earlier this year.
If you have experienced a similar incident in the last 3 years and would like to explore the prospect of making a claim, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 0141 375 1222, via the online or at .
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