While everyday activities can place great pressure on the joints and ankles, these pressures are greatly enhanced due to accidents such as slips, trips and falls or sports related accidents. Even though many of us take our mobility for granted, an ankle injury can have a major impact upon your private life and your working life. If your ankle injury was a consequence of negligence by a third party however you could claim ankle injury compensation which could help immensely.
Common Causes Of Ankle Injury Compensation Claims
The very nature of an ankle injury means it can happen at any time, any place and anywhere. Amongst the most common reasons for ankle injury compensation claims include:
- Ankle injuries on the sports field.
- Ankle injuries in the workplace.
- Slips and trips on public pathways and highways.
- Road traffic accidents.
- Falling over due to slippery floors in shops.
- Dangerous stairways.
While those deemed to have a “duty of care” can be found negligent if they failed to carry out their duties in a satisfactory manner causing an ankle injury claim, there is also emphasis on the claimant to use common sense. A ruling of negligence could take in anything from an icy pathway which should have been cleared to a failure to provide suitable footwear for employees. It will be up to the courts to conclude any degree of negligence and hence any degree of liability in paying compensation for an ankle injury.
Different Types Of Ankle Injuries
Before we look at the process for claiming compensation for an ankle injury it is worth noting the various injuries which commonly occur.
Whether slipping on pavements, falling down the stairs, road traffic accidents or any other incident which results in an ankle injury, they can be extremely painful. Insofar as claims for compensation, the most common types of ankle injuries include:
- Severe bruising.
- Breaks and fractures of the ankle.
- Ankle dislocations.
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Ankle sprains.
- Ankle strains.
There is obviously a significant variation on the severity of the ankle injuries listed above although they are all potentially entitled to some degree of compensation in the event that negligence and liability is proven.
The most common types of ankle injury are sprains and strains which can take anywhere from two to six weeks to heal. Even though ankle dislocations are potentially more painful than ligament damage, it can sometimes take longer to recover from ankle ligament damage due to the type of damage. Some of the more severe ankle injuries will require surgery and potentially weeks or months of rehabilitation and physical therapy. As with knee injuries it is imperative that ankle injuries are fully healed before exposing them to the rigours of everyday life.
Assuming a compensation claim is successfully concluded in the courts the degree of compensation will depend on the severity of injury and exactly how it happened. Very often we see additional compensation, referred to as special damages, as a consequence of time required off work resulting in a loss of earnings. Each ankle injury compensation claim will be considered on an individual basis because not only will the severity of the injury vary but, to a greater extent, the impact on a person’s life.
Potential Ankle Injury Compensation Claim Amounts
As with the majority of ankle injury compensation amounts there are two different types of potential payment. The first relates to general damages, direct compensation relating to the ankle injury, which includes:
- Pain and suffering.
- Impact on a person’s standard of living.
Some examples of ankle injury compensation amounts are displayed below. Although these amounts are a guide for personal injury solicitors to follow when calculating ankle injury settlements, due to differentiating factors in all personal injury claims involving ankle injuries the eventual settlement figure awarded could be higher or lower.
- For modest ankle injuries that might include fractures, sprains and ligament injury the settlement awarded could be up to £10,450. You should note that this settlement amount will depend on recovery time for the ankle, whether the ankle fully recovers, if there is scarring, discomfort, aching and so forth. If the ankle completely recovers with no ongoing symptoms or scarring the compensation is unlikely to be higher than £5,850. Where the ankle injury has made a complete recovery in under a year the compensation is unlikely to be higher than £4,175. Modest ankle injuries that take little time to heal will attract lesser settlements.
- In moderate ankle injuries like fractures and ankle ligament tears that lead to less severe disabilities such as difficulty walking for a long time, awkwardness on stairs, walking on uneven ground, and a potential risk of future osteoarthritis, the compensation or settlement amount could be from £10,450 to £20,200.
- In severe ankle injury claims cases where long periods of time have been spent treating the injury, where pins and plates might have been inserted into the ankle with the injury leading to significant disability, you might receive between £23,800 to £38,050.
- For very severe ankle injuries which might be considered limited or unusual. This type of ankle settlement amount would compensate for an ankle injuries such as transmalleolar fracture of the ankle and extensive soft tissue damage leading to deformity with a risk of future damage to the leg and therefore amputation. Very severe ankle injury compensation claims such as this could be settled for between £38,050 to £53,000.
When you consider potential periods of immobility, and the impact upon a person’s ability to work, the subject of special damages is very important. In effect special damages relate to costs incurred and expected costs going forward. These can include:
- Loss of earnings.
- Future loss of earnings.
- Medical expenses.
- Travel expenses.
- Additional equipment required.
The level of general damages and ankle injury settlement amount will obviously depend upon the severity of the injury to the ankle but guidelines are released on a regular basis showing a range of compensation amounts for similar injuries. The issue of special damages is more straightforward because it will simply reimburse the claimant for expenses incurred to date and any additional expenses going forward. When it comes to rehabilitation costs and other medical expenses the courts will require official guidance from medical professionals. As long as the calculations, data used and assumptions are deemed “fair” the court will generally rule on the side of the defendant in a successful ankle injury compensation claim.
Documenting The Ankle Injury
As we touched on above, there are many different situations in which an ankle injury can occur. This can include anything from walking down the path to a road traffic accident, slipping on private premises to a fall at school. As soon as the injury occurs the first thing to do is to obtain medical attention if required. This will allow an examination, by a medical professional, of the immediate damage caused to the ankle and also the potential dangers going forward as some injuries will not emerge immediately. This report will be very important if you do pursue an ankle injury compensation claim.
Once medical attention has concluded and if you haven’t already done so we strongly recommend making a detailed note of where, when and how the accident occurred. It is also important, where possible, to take photographs of the area in which the accident occurred and obtain the details of witnesses who can back-up your ankle injury claim. Far too many people leave it too late to document the injury with very important details often forgotten or omitted. The more detailed your account of the incident, the more chance of proving any instances of negligence and consequently liability.
Claiming Ankle Injury Compensation With A Personal Injury Solicitor
At this point it is advisable to approach an experienced personal injury solicitor who will review your ankle injury claim and advise you about any potential action for compensation. This is why it is vital that all information, some of which may seem rather innocuous at the time, is made available when seeking to appoint a personal injury solicitor who should have long-standing experience in personal injury law and ankle injury claims.
If there is a case for compensation then all evidence should be forwarded to the defendant to make them aware of what occurred and how you intend to pursue your claim. If it is a straightforward case of negligence and liability they will likely pursue an out-of-court settlement in conjunction with their insurance providers. Where there is split negligence/ liability or some doubt about who was to blame for the ankle injury it may go to the courts. Even though the vast majority of ankle injury compensation claims are settled out of court, you may be asked to give your version of events if it does reach the court.
No Win No Fee Option
While some people are critical of the No Win No Fee option on which many ankle injury compensation claims are taken on, this format does play an integral role in most accident claims. On one hand it ensures that only valid injury claims will be pursued and because there is no upfront payment of legal expenses there is no potential financial loss for the claimant. We have seen some major changes in health and safety issues over the years as a consequence of ankle injury compensation claims which would not necessarily have been pursued were it not for the No Win No Fee option.