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Can the Local Authority be responsible for slips and trips injuries caused by the presence of snow or ice?

With treacherous snow conditions looming, can the Local Authority be responsible for slips and trips injuries caused by the presence of snow or ice?

Many years ago the Highway Authority was under a duty to prevent the accumulation of ice and snow on the highway to avoid such accidents. However, in the case of Goodes v East Sussex County Council the House of Lords ruled that there was a difference between the Council maintaining the fabric of the road as oppose to the duty to prevent the formation or accumulation of ice and snow. It was also held that that the Council did not have an absolute duty to remove snow and ice as this would be impossible.

However, in October 2003 the area of law was re-visited and a new section has been inserted so that a highway authority is now under a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice.

This of curse does not prevent the Council from defending claims as long as they can establish that reasonable steps were taken to ensure the highway was not dangerous for traffic.

We have acted successfully in the case of X -v- Newport Borough Council whereby the Claimant received a settlement of £6,000 for injury, loss and damage. The Claimant was driving her motor vehicle Vauxhall Corsa along Cats Ash Hill, Lancstone, Newport when her car skidded and went onto an embankment. The car toppled over and landed on its roof causing injury. Liability was established following receipt of a Met Office report and inspection records which confirmed that gritting took place after the Claimant’s accident had occurred.

Our personal injury lawyers will always advise what is best for you, contact a member of our team on 0161 832 6972 or email a summary of your slips and trips injuries claim, with your contact details, to

Find out more about our Personal Injury department
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