The temperatures have plummeted once again and the de-icer will be back out in light of the further snow and ice that some parts of the UK are experiencing.

So where do you stand if you have an accident on a road or footpath as a result of the adverse weather conditions? If the accident occurs on a public road or footpath then it will usually be The Local Authority, who will be responsible. Under the Highways Act 1980 the Local Authority is responsible for ensuring ‘safe passage’ along a highway, the definition of which includes adopted roads and public footpaths.

Their duty only extends so far to ensure that ‘reasonably practicable’ steps are taken to ensure that the pathways or road does not cause a danger to pedestrians or road users. This takes into account the fact that Local Authorities have limited resources and cannot be expected to react instantly once ice forms or snow has fallen, to clear all roads and footpaths and make sure they remain clear during periods of prolonged adverse weather. There is not a requirement to keep all routes clear, all of the time. However, all Local Authorities should have a winter maintenance policy where they deploy their resources and prioritise appropriately for example in high foot fall areas and the busiest roads

If the Local Authority has implemented their winter maintenance policy and can evidence the same or, if your accident occurs on an untreated minor road or footpath you may be less likely to be able to bring a claim. However, if it can be established that the Local Authority has not implemented their winter maintenance policy correctly or in a sensible or timely fashion, then they may well be liable for your accident.

If you have been unfortunate enough to have an accident on a road or a footpath as a result of snow and ice you may potentially be able to pursue a claim for compensation, contact Ringrose Law on 01522 561020 today to discuss whether you have the potential to pursue a successful claim. We have offices around Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire and may be able to take your claim on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis.

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