The ankle is the area where the foot and the leg meet. It consists of three bones, the tibia, fibula and talus, and plays a fundamental role in our movement. If the integrity of any bones, ligaments or tendons that make up the ankle joint is compromised, you might be unable to walk or stand during recovery.
An ankle injury could severely interfere with daily activities like working, doing household chores or driving. Aside from physical pain and suffering, this could bring you substantial economic losses and emotional distress. You might have to take time off work during recovery and require care and assistance with daily activities.
The most common causes of ankle injuries are slips and trips, but you could also get hurt in a road accident, at the workplace, during sporting activities or because of negligent medical treatment. Injuries may range from minor sprains, strains and lacerations to complex fractures and amputations.
A severe ankle injury may have catastrophic permanent effects on your life. If another party was responsible for your accident, you might be eligible to make an ankle injury claim.
Am I eligible to make an ankle injury claim?
There are many different scenarios in which you could suffer an ankle injury. Even mild sprains and strains may have distressing short-term effects on your daily activities, while severe ankle injuries may change your life forever.
If you were not entirely responsible for your accident, you might want to claim compensation for all your losses. A brief conversation with a legal adviser can let you know if you are eligible to make an ankle injury claim. Usually, this should be possible if:
- Another party owed you a duty of care.
- They acted negligently, causing you an accident.
- You suffered an ankle injury as a result within the last three years.
There are many laws, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and the Road Traffic Act 1988 that solicitors use to confirm a duty of care. After establishing liability, you will need relevant evidence to support your claim, such as:
- Medical records showing the extent of your injury and any long-term effects
- Photographs of the accident scene, taken before anything is moved
- Pictures of your injuries, when appropriate
- Accident reports confirming the time and location of your accident
- Contact details of anyone involved in the accident and of any witnesses who may state how the events unfolded
- CCTV or dash cam footage of your accident
- Evidence for any financial losses you incurred because of your injury
If your injury was due to medical negligence, your solicitor will work with medicolegal experts to prove:
- Breach of duty – your doctor failed to provide a reasonable standard of care, as expected from a skilful and competent professional with the same level of training in the same circumstances.
- Causation – their negligent treatment was the direct cause of your ankle injury, which would have been otherwise avoided.
- Damages – you will need relevant proof of your physical injury and any related psychological or financial damages you want to claim compensation for.
What are the most common types of ankle injuries?
Ankle injuries can be sustained by falling, tripping, coming into contact with sharp objects or due to blunt trauma. Injuries may range from minor wounds that might heal on their own to severe damage with permanent effects. The most common ankle injuries include the following:
Bruising is usually not dangerous, but when associated with severe trauma, it can give rise to hematomas, which may cause more severe symptoms.
Cuts and lacerations are usually caused by sharp objects and may be superficial or deep wounds that might need surgical repair. Even minor injuries can give rise to infections without proper cleaning, so you should always seek medical assistance after having an accident.
Burn injuries to the ankle may be particularly disabling, especially third or fourth-degree burns that may severely affect the underlying muscles, bones and nerves. Severe burns usually require hospitalisation, skin grafts and other interventions and might need months to heal.
Ankle sprains are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries, accounting for up to 5% of all A&E visits in the UK, or approximately 5,600 injuries per day. Around 14% of them are usually classed as severe, amounting to 42,000 severe ankle sprains per year.
An ankle sprain happens if one or more ligaments have been torn or stretched due to falls, trips, landing awkwardly on your feet or injuries during sports activities. Failing to treat an ankle sprain properly may lead to chronic pain, joint instability and arthritis.
Ankle strains occur when the muscles or tendons in the ankle are stretched beyond their normal limits or torn. Acute tendon tears may result from sudden trauma or force, such as a direct blow, slip or trip, overstretching of the ankle or excessive contracting of the muscles.
Both sprains and strains can be very painful, and cause swelling and inflammation, loss of motion and weakness. While mild injuries may heal with rest, severe tears may need surgery and extensive recovery.
Achilles tendonitis or tear usually occurs due to repetitive straining and inflammation and is less commonly caused by acute trauma like falling or tripping. An Achilles tear involves a popping noise or sensation accompanied by heel pain and almost always requires surgical repair.
Tendinosis is caused by microscopic tendon tears that accumulate over time due to overuse and repetitive stretching and do not properly heal. Symptoms involve ankle pain that worsens with physical activity and swelling. If left untreated, it can progress to a tendon rupture.
An ankle dislocation is a severe injury that involves an abnormal separation between one or more bones in the ankle joint. It usually causes immediate pain, swelling, a deformed look to the ankle and an inability to put any weight on it. Treatment includes splints and casts but may also require surgery.
Ankle fractures range from minor breaks in one bone that might not prevent you from putting weight on it to severe fractures that might require surgery and many months to heal. They may be caused by awkwardly twisting or rotating the ankle, tripping or falling and impact trauma. If your injury was due to another party’s negligence, you might be able to claim broken ankle compensation.
Stress fractures develop slowly over time due to overuse of the bones and muscles in the ankle. Unlike traumatic fractures in which a significant amount of force is applied suddenly, the bones break but usually do not shift position and usually heal on their own with a reduced level of activity and protective footwear.
Amputations may be caused by crushing or severing accidents or might be medically required to remove tissue damaged by infections or tumours. Once the wound heals, patients may learn to walk using a personalised prosthesis.
Regardless of the severity of your ankle injury, if somebody else was responsible for it, you could claim ankle injury compensation. To find out if you have a valid claim, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser.
What type of accidents could result in an ankle injury claim?
An ankle injury may be caused by any kind of accident involving a sudden and awkward twist or forceful trauma to the ankle. Some other injuries like tendinosis or stress fractures develop over long periods due to overuse and repetitive movements.
The most common accidents leading to an ankle injury are:
Some of the most common ankle injuries caused by car accidents include sprains, strains and fractures. During a collision, your foot might get stuck behind a pedal or under a seat, causing a ligament, tendon, or muscle to overstretch or tear. If the front of the car takes the impact during a crash, this can easily lead to an ankle fracture and other injuries.
Due to the limited protection, cyclists are considered vulnerable road users. During a bicycle accident, the impact trauma with the vehicle or ground may cause an awkward twisting or stretching of the ankle, causing a sprain or strain. If the impact force is strong enough, the bones in the ankle joint may also break or be displaced from their normal position.
Furthermore, overuse of the ankle during cycling often due to training too quickly may cause ankle pain and Achilles tendonitis.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are common in the UK, with around 430 fatalities every year. Ankle sprains, strains and fractures are common in pedestrians that get hit or run over by a vehicle. The impact force during a collision may cause the ankles to twist and tear or fracture.
Accidents at work
There are many causes of ankle injuries at work, some due to a single traumatic event, while others may develop over time. Overexertion, repetitive motions and standing or walking over long periods may cause stress fractures or damage to the ankle ligaments.
Being struck by an object or forklift truck, slipping and tripping, falling from a height or being caught in heavy machinery may cause lacerations, puncture wounds, sprains, strains and fractures or even traumatic ankle amputations. If your employer failed to take all reasonable measures to keep you safe from risks, you could make a work accident claim against them.
A slip, trip or fall
If you slip or trip over an object such as a raised paving slab, this may cause your ankle to roll or twist while falling. People instinctively try to stop their fall by stepping down hard on their feet, which may cause an awkward turn or twist of the ankle. The action may lead to tendon tears, ligament and muscle strains and even ankle fractures.
Sports activities are among the most common causes of ankle injuries, particularly ankle sprains due to landing awkwardly after a jump, running on uneven surfaces or unnaturally twisting the ankle during activities. Athletes are also at high risk for developing Achilles tendonitis, a painful inflammation occurring with long term overuse.
Incorrect or delayed diagnosis or wrong treatment may cause avoidable damage to the ankle joint or lead to the worsening of a pre-existing condition. This may result in chronic pain and disability, arthritis and even unnecessary amputations.
If you or a loved one suffered an ankle injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be able to make an ankle injury claim. To find out more, speak to a friendly legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 or requesting a call back using our online claim form.
How much compensation can you claim for an ankle injury?
After investigating the details of your accident, your solicitor will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the ankle compensation you might receive if your claim is successful. The compensation amount you might be entitled to will depend on:
- The type and extent of your injury
- The circumstances of your accident
- Any long-term medical expenses
- The care and assistance you require
- The impact on your daily life
- Any other financial expenses you incurred
In every personal injury claim, the compensation award will cover both financial and subjective damages, such as:
- The cost of short-term and long-term medical care
- Lost wages, including future losses
- Loss of earning capacity or of a unique career
- Cost of mobility aids and prostheses
- Care and assistance costs
- Physical and psychological pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment and disability
- Loss of amenity
Calculating a suitable compensation award for general, subjective damages is not as straightforward as assessing financial damages. The guidelines published by the Judicial College are used as a reference by solicitors and judges. According to their recommendations, you could get:
- Up to £6,560 for minor injuries with complete recovery
- Up to £11,730 for mild sprains, strains or dislocations
- £6,820 to £11,820 for minor Achilles tendonitis with recovery within a few weeks
- Around £36,060 for a very severe Achilles injury causing permanent stiffness and instability
- £11,730 to £42,710 for moderate ankle injuries with increased risk of osteoarthritis
- £42,710 to £59,480 for severe ankle injuries resulting in significant deformity or disability
- Up to £65,420 for broken ankle compensation, depending on the severity and long-term implications
- £78,800 to £102,890 for leg amputations at the ankle level
How long do I have to claim for an ankle injury?
The time limit to claim ankle injury compensation is usually three years after being involved in an accident that was not your fault. After this period, your claim becomes statute-barred, and you will no longer be able to start a claim.
If your injury developed over time due to repetitive movements or overuse, you have three years to start a claim from the date of knowledge of your injury. Based on your circumstances and the chronology of your symptoms, a judge may rule whether your date of knowledge falls beyond the three-year limit for making a claim.
The three-year limitation period may vary in certain circumstances. For example:
If a child under the age of 18 suffered an ankle injury, a parent or another litigation friend could claim compensation on their behalf at any point. The three-year countdown begins when the victim turns 18 if a claim has not already been made on their behalf.
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, there is no limitation date to claim compensation on behalf of a victim who lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings due to:
- High levels of stress or major depression
- Severe sleep deprivation
- An intellectual disability like Down syndrome
- Schizophrenia or another severe mental disorder
- A neurodegenerative disease
- Having suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury
The three-year countdown starts if the victim regains intellectual ability.
If you suffered an injury in a criminal assault, you could claim ankle injury compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years after the incident.
Under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, if your ankle injury was due to a faulty product or machinery, you can claim within three years after the product defect was discovered.
As a general rule, the sooner you seek legal advice after an injury, the easier it will be to gather all the necessary evidence to build a strong claim and get the ankle compensation you deserve. To start your claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.
Can ankle injury claims be made with no win no fee?
If you suffered an ankle injury in an accident that was not your fault, you might be able to claim compensation on a no win no fee basis. If you have a valid claim, your legal adviser will likely offer you a no win no fee agreement, meaning:
- You do not have to pay any upfront solicitor or legal fees
- There are no legal fees to pay if your claim is ultimately unsuccessful
- You do not have to worry about any hidden charges
By reaching a conditional fee agreement, you can benefit from expert legal advice and support without worrying about taking any financial risks. Your solicitor will take out an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy in your name, which provides full financial coverage for all legal expenses if your case fails.
Furthermore, your solicitor will help you gather all the relevant evidence to build a strong case and will take care of the required paperwork. They might also arrange for a free consultation with an independent medical professional to assess the full extent of your ankle injury.
In no win no fee claims, you only have to pay anything if you receive compensation. At the start of your claim, you will agree on a success fee with your solicitor to cover the time and effort they invested into winning your claim. The success fee cannot exceed 25% of your compensation for general damages and past financial losses.
If you win the case, you may also have to cover some basic legal fees that cannot be recovered from the defendant and the ATE insurance premium. Otherwise, you do not have to pay anything to anyone.