03 February 2011
More Snow And Ice On The Way: Local Authorities Take Note
I sat in the park over the weekend and had lunch on a park bench while the snow was coming down. Mad! I hear you may say, but I could think of nothing nicer than having lunch in the park, away from the 'hustle and bustle' of a restaurant or café and sitting in the fresh air.
It did of course begin to snow. Not entirely surprising surprising since it felt cold enough for polar bears to walk around London!
The point is of course that we are due more snow and the forecast indicated that this is likely to happen at some stage in the near future.
I wrote upon briefly before on how local authorities last year had forgotten to grit. They had felt that there was no obligation to do so and if they did not bother gritting, they could not be criticised. They were in fact wrong and as I have indicated in previous blogs local authorities and indeed all of us have a duty to ensure that the area over which we have control, the land, roads, highway etc are appropriately kept in such a state to avoid any accidents occurring.
This is once again the question of reasonableness. If a local authority has not acted reasonably, and in time, in gritting a road which is well used and ought to have been gritted, it will face claims for accidents that have occurred.
A colleague of mine is dealing with a claim for a gentleman who lost control of his car on black ice. This client is now in a wheelchair. He is unlikely to walk again. He has a young family. If the local authority can establish that they had acted reasonably then so be it. If they cannot and ought to have gritted the road and thereby potentially have prevented the accident, then shame on them.
Tristan Hallam is a Principal Lawyer in Personal Injury in the London office of Slater and Gordon Lawyers. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.
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