We tend to automatically assume that foot injury compensation claims revolve around bone fractures and breaks when in reality they can take in many more different types of injury. However, some of the more common bone fractures and breaks to the foot area include:
- Ankle bone.
- Heel bone.
- Metatarsal bones.
- Toe bones.
In many cases, but not necessarily all, a broken bone in the foot can also attract various degrees of ligament and tendon damage which are often more difficult to treat. The more serious foot injuries tend to occur where there is heavy equipment which can cause a crush type injury. In a worst-case scenario other than a fatality a serious foot injury could lead to amputation or permanent deformity which cannot only have a significant impact on a person’s working life but also their private life.
Aside from bone injuries there are also other types of foot health conditions which can occur leading to foot injury compensation claims particularly where the individual is standing for long periods of time often in heavy protective footwear. There may also be occasions where an individual is working in a damp environment which can lead to an array of long-term complications. Some of the more common foot health care conditions include:
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- Fungal infections such as “athlete’s foot”.
These lists are by no means inclusive as there is an array of different injuries which can impact the foot with both short to long term health implications. We will now look at the duty of care which all employers have towards their employees with a legally binding obligation to ensure safety at all times in the workplace.
Foot Injury Compensation Claims In The Workplace
Foot injury compensation claims in the workplace can be varied from claiming compensation for a simple laceration to potential amputation. Crush injury claims are particularly common as a consequence of falling heavy equipment and often a lack of protective footwear. Under the legal duty of care all employers are required to:
- Undertake risk assessments where there is potential danger.
- Provide initial and top-up health and safety training for employees.
- Avoid potentially hazardous scenarios where possible.
- Ensure the workplace is free of hazards.
- Provide relevant safety equipment such as steel capped boots.
- Ensure appropriate lifting equipment is available for hazardous tasks.
- Ensure that all equipment is correctly maintained.
If you incur a foot injury as a consequence of negligence by your employer then you may well have a valid foot injury claim for compensation. It will be up to the claimant to prove negligence on behalf of their employer, beyond all reasonable doubt. Thankfully, the attention to detail in government regulations and guidelines can often assist in proving that action taken, or in some cases not taken, by the employer resulted in the foot injury.
While foot injuries are possible in all areas of employment there are particular industries where this type of accident is more prevalent which include:
- Construction industry.
- Storage facilities.
- Vehicle repair businesses.
This list will give you an idea of where foot injuries are more commonplace and even though progress has been made with regards to health and safety, there is still much work to be done.
Compensation You Might Claim For Foot Injuries
There are two basic types of compensation available in foot injury compensation claims which are referred to as general damages and special damages. General damages account for compensation due to:
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental trauma.
- Life changing injuries such as amputation.
There is a level of discretion in relation to general damages although guidance is provided by the Judicial College which regularly references previous foot injury compensation claims and indeed across an array of different injuries.
Foot Injury Compensation Payouts
The guidance to compensation payouts from the Judicial College is well respected by the courts and insurance companies and is often used as a basis for any foot injury compensation payouts. While in no way legally binding and dependent upon a multitude of conditions like the severity of the injury to the foot, pain experienced and how long the injury is likely to take to heal, some examples of compensation guidance includes:
- Modest foot injuries such as a simple metatarsal fracture, puncture wound, torn ligaments would likely see a compensation payout of up to £10,450.
- Compensation payouts for moderate foot injuries such as displaced metatarsal fractures that leave a permanent deformity, £10,450 – £19,000.
- For serious foot injuries that lead to continuing pain and might require prolonged treatment the compensation payout could see £19,000 – £29,800.
- Compensation payouts for severe foot injury that for example lead to a substantial restriction in mobility, £31,900 – £53,200.
- For a very severe foot injury with serious and permanent disability, for example a traumatic forefoot amputation, £63,825 – £83,325.
- For an amputation of one foot, £63,825 – £83,325.
- For an amputation of both feet, £128,750 – £153,200.
A mentioned above there is a degree of discretion in order to take into account both the seriousness of the injury and the physical/mental impact on an individual’s life. The other type of compensation available is known as special damages and includes:
- Loss of earnings.
- Future loss of earnings.
- Medical expenses.
- For any future medical expenses.
- Adaptions required to the home.
- Additional transport expenses.
In basic terms, special damages are a way to compensate the victim for costs incurred as a consequence of the foot injury and any future funding requirements. When you consider how important your foot and balance is to not only your working life but also your private life, the different elements of compensation can soon build up. If for example a footballer was to suffer a foot amputation as a consequence of negligence by a third party we can only estimate the potentially enormous level of lost earnings.
Proving Negligence In Foot Injury Compensation Claims
The key to a foot injury compensation claim is to prove negligence on behalf of one or more third parties. Whether this is an employer, local authority or a business premises owner it is initially the task of the claimant to prove negligence. In order to do this it must be proven that the negligent third party:
- Failed to fulfil their duty of care to employees.
- Took direct action, or inaction, which resulted in the injury.
There will be circumstances where there is shared negligence/liability amongst two or more third parties. Many victims are under the misapprehension that they need to prove the level of negligence for each party before they can pursue a foot injury compensation claim. As long as the claimant is able to prove at least one of the parties was negligent, with others potentially taking a share of the blame, they can proceed with lodging their foot injury claim. While all parties will need to be mentioned in the report it will be up to the judge to apportion the share of negligence and liability.
In some incidents there may well be shared liability with the claimant, or another employee, where perhaps they have ignored company guidelines. However, even where it is shown that an employee was partially responsible, it is still possible to prove a level of negligence against the employer. This may take in issues such as substandard training, use of inexperienced personnel or even a lack of comfort breaks.
Can I Claim Foot Injury Compensation?
Obviously the first task in the event of a foot injury is to ensure medical attention is received as soon as possible. It will depend upon the severity of the injury as to what kind of treatment is required but early stage treatment is important. As well as ensuring treatment is received as soon as possible, details of the medical assessment and treatment together with details of the accident, where it happened, when it happened and why it happened, will be noted on the victims medical records. These are unconnected third-party records which can prove to be extremely useful in the event that a foot injury compensation claim goes before the courts.
While perhaps not the first thing to cross your mind in the event of a serious foot injury, other useful supporting evidence would include photographs of the accident location, injuries incurred as well as witness statements and even details of the companies accident book. The idea is to give a broad picture of the incident and all supporting evidence should be gathered as soon as possible. This information should then be collated into a timeline report and presented to your personal injury solicitor who will advise whether you have a valid foot injury compensation claim.
In the event you have a valid claim the vast majority of personal injury solicitors will offer a No Win No fee arrangement. This allows those with a strong compensation claim to pursue the negligent parties even where they have insufficient funding for immediate legal fees. Under this arrangement, any compensation awarded would be split between the claimant and your solicitor on a predetermined basis. The benefits of a No Win No Fee arrangement are there for all to see, offering victims the opportunity to pursue negligent parties without prejudice to those who may not have sufficient finances to cover legal expenses.
We know that financial penalties are by far and away the most effective tool by which to prompt employers and other negligent third parties to amend their working practices and improve overall safety for employees.
Lodging A Foot Injury Compensation Claim
Once it has been agreed that the victim has a valid foot injury claim for compensation, details of the incident, supporting evidence to prove negligence and the level of compensation requested will be passed to the courts. A copy of this report will also be forwarded to the defendant to give them the opportunity to consider the evidence, at which point they may request an out-of-court settlement in the event that negligence is fairly obvious.
There will be instances in foot injury compensation claims where negligence is contested, or more than one party could be potentially negligent, which are more likely to go before the courts. In these situations the judge will review the evidence from all parties and rule on potential negligence and any split between the various parties.
To speak with a personal injury solicitor about a potential foot injury compensation claim and what compensation payout you might receive contact us today.