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Winter accidents: what to do and how to claim

Along with darker nights, wetter conditions and icy morning, winter brings a sharp rise in the potential for accidents.

Every winter people are at risk of succumbing to wet and slippery surfaces, poor visibility and the cold weather. In these types of conditions even the simplest tasks can become dangerous, however, it’s not all doom and gloom, there are a few ways that risks can be minimised and accidents can be avoided.

In this article, we’ll be sharing some of the tips that can help you stay safe during the winter months as well as what legal options are available to you if you’re involved in an accident that isn’t your fault this winter.

Common winter accidents

Before sharing some tips on how to stay safe let’s look at some of the most common accidents that occur during the winter months.

Slipping and falling on ice or snow

As temperatures plummet, snow and ice become ever more likely and the risk of slipping on a patch of ice increases greatly.

Injuries can range from minor scrapes to broken bones or even concussion if you hit your head as you fall.

Driving

Heavy rain, sleet or snow can make for very dangerous driving conditions. As a car plays a vital role in most people’s day to day life in the UK, it’s important to ensure that your car is winter-ready and that you take extra care on the roads.

It’s important to bear in mind that road traffic collisions aren’t the only form of accidents that could cause an injury whilst driving. You could also suffer injuries if your car skids on ice or on a large body of water and you collide with an obstacle like a lamp post or trees. Whiplash, fractures, spinal injuries

At work

Some workers, particularly those who work outdoors during the winter such as builders, roofers, maintenance workers or other outdoor vocations, are at higher risk of injury because of the nature of their work.

Extended exposure to the cold can lead to all manner of illness and injury and if your employer doesn’t supply you the proper equipment for cold weather work, you could potentially make a compensation claim against them.

Falling from height is always a risk for those who work on construction sites however the risk is increased during the winter as high winds are more frequent and rain, sleet and snow can make surfaces slippery and hazardous.

What can you do to minimise the risk of winter weather injuries?

Whether you’re stepping outside to go for a walk or to shovel snow from your doorstep or heading out for a drive on a cold wintery night, there are several things you can do to minimise the risk of suffering a personal injury.

Wearing suitable footwear is one of the essential elements of making sure you’re winter-ready. Look for footwear with soles that have solid traction so you can help yourself avoid a nasty injury due to a slip.

Make sure you take it easy when going through shopping centres, any liquid that gets onto the surface of a shop floor can turn it into an ice rink that could lead to a nasty fall.

Although many shops do take the proper precautions to warn shoppers of any potential slippery surface, it’s always best to remain aware of any potential danger yourself.

Ensuring you wear the right clothing is also important when trying to avoid an illness or injury in winter. Keep warm and don’t overexert yourself as this could lead to hypothermia if your core temperature gets too cold.

Precautions when driving

When you’re driving in winter you face dangers that you may not face at any other time of year.

We’ve put together a short checklist to help you stay safe on the roads. Here are some measures you can take to stay safe whilst driving, particularly during the dark nights of winter.

  • Ensure you have a first aid kit in your vehicle
  • Have your car inspected before embarking on any long journey
  • Keep an ice scraper in the vehicle throughout the winter months
  • Make sure you have jump leads and a pair of gloves in the vehicle in case you break down
  • Check your windscreen washer at least once a week to make sure the fluid is always refilled

What to do if you’re involved in an accident

Regardless of where the accident occurs, if you have taken the proper precautions and you suffer a personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a work-related accident then you may be able to claim against your employer.

In the case of a road traffic collision the driver at fault may be held accountable and a claim against their insurance may be viable.

Should you become injured as a result of badly maintained roads or walkways then the council may be held liable for your winter accident.

No matter what type of injury you suffer, if the accident wasn’t your fault then we can help.

Our specialist team of personal injury solicitors provide effective, friendly and honest advice when dealing with your personal injury claim. Although we are based in Macclesfield, we have dealt with many successful claims for personal injury serving clients located in Manchester, Cheshire and throughout the UK.

We offer a free initial interview in order to review your specific circumstances and assess the viability of your personal injury claim.

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team to discuss your potential claim, please call us today for free on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form.