Accidents in the snow: where does the blame lie?

People all over the UK have experienced the affects of the bad weather over the past couple of weeks and forecasts suggest that more snow and ice is on its way. Snow and ice can cause multiple injuries to people who slip, fall or crash their cars whilst trying to get around, but there is often confusion about whether they can claim compensation for those injuries. So who is responsible?

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There are many complications when it comes to accidents in the snow and people have to use common sense to ensure the safety of themselves as well as others.

(PRWeb UK) January 6, 2011

People all over the UK have experienced the affects of the bad weather over the past couple of weeks and forecasts suggest that more snow and ice is on its way. Snow and ice can cause multiple injuries to people who slip, fall or crash their cars whilst trying to get around, but there is often confusion about whether they can claim compensation for those injuries. So who is responsible?

Car Accidents Caused by Snow
Road traffic accidents are increasingly common during the winter months. Insurance company AXA reported that motoring claims had risen by 23.8% during the week of snow in December compared with the previous week without snow. Many car crashes in the snow happen due to careless driving, and in such cases an innocent victim can claim compensation from the other driver.

AXA also revealed that there was an 85% increase in single vehicle accidents caused by snow and ice on the roads. In such cases, it is not always certain whether compensation can be claimed or not as it is tricky to determine who is responsible for the accident happening.

Michael Jefferies, of accident claim specialists First Personal Injury, explains that it isn’t always straight forward.
“The councils have a duty to ensure the roads are safe but they do not have unlimited resources to get rid of ice or snow. This together with the extremity of the weather conditions will be taken into account in deciding if the council are responsible for an accident if they did not do all that they could to make the road safe.”

Slips & Falls in the Snow
A&E departments in hospitals have also seen a rise in injuries caused by slips and falls due to the icy pavements. One department commented that they have seen three times the number of injuries caused by slips and falls which include wrist fractures, concussion or leg and ankle injuries. Again, a claim cannot always be made against a slip on the snow or ice, as where the blame lies is not always clear.

If the accident took place within the car park of a hardware store for example, which had frozen over with ice – an employer or business owner could be held responsible should it be found that they did not do all that they could to prevent any potential accidents which were likely to happen.

Jefferies advises anyone who is unsure whether they can make a claim or not to speak to personal injury lawyers, stating that “there are many complications when it comes to accidents in the snow and people have to use common sense to ensure the safety of themselves as well as others.”

ENDS

About First Personal Injury
First Personal Injury is a trading name of Jefferies LLP one of the UK's leading personal injury law firms. Jefferies LLP has over 16 years experience in personal injury accident claims. They have won justice and personal injury compensation for tens of thousands of people all over the country from its base in Altrincham, South Manchester. The firm deals with all levels of personal injury claims - from minor to catastrophic.

Contact: Hannah Gibson
Attacat (PR Division)
Tel: 0131 220 1441
Email: hannah.gibson(at)attacat(dot)co(dot)uk

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