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What to do if you are injured as a result of winter weather

View profile for Pauline Smith
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What to do if you are injured as a result of winter weather

As I look out of my office window onto the view of the canal, I see a typical January day. Freezing fog, frost and the remnants of snow laying on the ground. A typical internet search of winter weather news doesn’t bring any cheery results. Reports of road traffic accidents, travel delays, and more wintry conditions abound.

It’s logical to want to stay indoors on days like these, but what if you don’t have the option to stay under the duvet, and you have an accident on the way to work, or whilst out and about?

Firstly ensure that your insurance company are aware of any road traffic accident that you may be involved in, and if you have suffered personal injury, ensure that you seek appropriate medical treatment at the earliest possible opportunity. Make sure that you get the details of other drivers’ involved in the collision and take photographs of the damage to your car – this will help if you intend to make a claim for personal injury. Make a note of any damaged items in your vehicle, and retain them if possible. If a slippery or icy road has led to the accident, then make sure that you notify your local council and seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible.

If you slip and fall whilst out shopping, walking etc, then the first thing you need to do it to report the accident to the landowner, or local authority. Claims involving slipping on ice against local authorities are notoriously difficult, as the snow and ice are deemed to be “transient” defects, and councils argue that it is unreasonable to expect them to grit every single pathway or road in their borough. A claim against a private occupant, such as on a supermarket car park, or an employers’ or school premises is likely to be easier to prove as they should be taking reasonable steps to ensure that lawful visitors to their premises are kept safe in the case of inclement weather. If you can take photographs of what caused you to fall then do so, along with photographs of any injuries and again seek medical treatment if necessary.

With the likelihood of even more snow and ice coming the way of the UK, the most important thing is to try to keep as safe as possible, wear good walking shoes, and keep travel to a minimum unless absolutely necessary.