Human feet are complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints, more than a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments. The integrity of the foot is essential for standing, walking and running.
Foot injuries can lead to loss of mobility, support and balance, making it difficult to engage in work tasks and daily activities. Furthermore, you might experience a great deal of pain and suffering. Depending on your injury, recovery might take weeks or even months.
You might need extensive physical therapy and mobility aids for a while. In severe cases, foot injuries may cause permanent loss of mobility and balance. An amputation will leave a permanent disablement, which may profoundly affect your daily life and cause significant emotional and psychological distress.
You could suffer a foot injury in an accident at work, a slip, trip and fall, a car accident or other unfortunate circumstances. As long as you were not entirely responsible for your injury, you might be entitled to claim foot injury compensation.
Can I make a foot injury claim?
If you suffered a foot injury without being at fault, you might be wondering whether you could claim compensation from the responsible party. A free conversation with a legal adviser can help you understand who might be liable for your injury and how you can claim foot injury compensation.
Usually, it should be possible to make a claim if:
- You suffered or was diagnosed with a foot injury in the last three years
- Another person who owed you a duty of care was responsible for the injury
The party who might be liable to pay you compensation will depend on the circumstances of your accident. Usually, this would be:
- Another road user like a vehicle driver, cyclist or pedestrian whose negligence caused you a foot injury.
- Your employer, if you had an accident at work because they failed to follow the relevant health and safety guidelines.
- The local council, if you injured your foot due to a pavement trip, poor road maintenance, faulty playground equipment in public parks, or another poorly maintained public place.
- A manufacturing company or repair shop that delivered you a faulty product like a chair, bicycle or trampoline, causing you to have an accident.
- The owner of a shop, restaurant, supermarket or other business, if you were injured in an accident on their property.
- A medical professional who gave you substandard care or treatment, causing an avoidable injury to your foot.
- Another individual, if you suffered a foot injury in a violent attack or after being attacked by a dog.
To have a valid foot injury claim, you will need relevant evidence to show that another party was at least partially responsible for your injury. Even if you feel that you don’t have enough proof, don’t hesitate to call a personal injury solicitor. They will offer their support and advice and help gather everything you need to make a solid claim for foot injury compensation.
Some evidence that will help support your case and you should try to gather after an accident includes:
- Photographs of the accident site, trying to capture the exact cause of your injury, whether it was a vehicle collision, faulty machinery or a road defect
- Photos of your injury and regular pictures during recovery
- Contact details of anyone involved in the accident, and their license plate and insurance if you were involved in a road accident
- Contact details of any witnesses that could give a statement about how the accident occurred
- Medical records stating the extent of your injury, treatments received and recovery prospects
- CCTV or dash cam footage of the accident
- Accident reports to the police, especially if you were involved in a hit and run accident or suffered an injury in an unprovoked assault
- Written notes of how the accident occurred, what you were doing before getting hurt, and how your injury affected your life
- If you suffered an injury at work or in a privately owned business, make sure your accident gets recorded in the accident log book. Get a signed copy of the report as proof that you informed the relevant supervisor or manager.
- Receipts of any financial expenses you incurred because of your accident.
Your solicitor might also arrange a free medical visit with an independent physician who will give a thorough report of your injury and any long-term effects it may have.
What are the most common foot injuries?
There are many types of foot injuries that could lead to a foot injury compensation claim. As long as another individual was at least partly responsible for your accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering and any financial losses you incurred.
Foot injuries can be minor annoyances that heal within days or weeks or might cause you a permanent disability. You could be entitled to make a claim regardless of the severity of your injury.
Depending on the severity and cause of your foot injury, physical symptoms may include:
- Throbbing pain
- Pain that increases with activity
- Redness and swelling
- Tenderness and inflammation
- Difficulty walking and inability to put any weight on the foot
The most common injuries that might lead to a claim include:
Ankle sprains and strains
Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural wrench or twist, causing overstretching or tearing of any ligaments that hold the ankle together. Primary symptoms include pain, swelling and bruising. The severity of the sprain will impact the type and duration of treatment.
While minor sprains can be treated at home and will fully heal within a few weeks, some ligament tears may require surgery and a recovery period of several months.
Ankle strains can be acute, following a traumatic accident, or chronic, due to long-term overuse of the ankle muscles. Common symptoms include pain, muscle spasm and cramps, limited range of motion and local inflammation.
The ankle joint is made of three bones, the tibia, fibula and talus. Forceful trauma, falling or tripping may cause any of the bones to break. Common symptoms of a broken ankle include immediate and severe pain, bruising, swelling and deformity.
If you suffer an ankle fracture, you might not be able to put any weight on the injured foot for at least six weeks. Treatment may involve wearing a cast or removable brace, but severe and displaced fractures usually require surgery.
Foot fractures can be the result of a traumatic accident, or you can develop stress fractures due to repeated straining over long periods. The most common types of foot fractures involve the toes, metatarsals or heels.
Toe fractures may occur after stubbing the toe against heavy objects and usually heal within six to eight weeks without the need for surgical interventions. Metatarsal and heel fractures may require casts, splints or surgery and could take up to several months to fully heal.
Stress fractures are commonly seen in athletes, dancers and military personnel and involve hairline cracks that generally heal well with the use of crutches or supportive shoes.
Achilles tendonitis or tear
The Achilles tendon is the largest in the body and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Tears or ruptures usually occur due to repetitive straining and inflammation but could also be caused by sudden trauma like falling from a height or tripping due to uneven pavements.
An Achilles rupture usually involves a popping noise or sensation followed by sharp pain and mobility issues. This type of injury often requires surgical repair with a recovery period of up to two months. Nonetheless, you may need up to a year before being able to return to full activity.
Foot amputation may involve the removal of one or more toes, part of the foot or the entire foot, either by surgery or by severe trauma due to a car accident or machinery accident at the workplace.
Medical negligence can also cause the worsening of a condition such as diabetes or infections, which may lead to an unnecessary and avoidable foot amputation. If a healthcare professional was negligent in your diagnosis or failed to provide proper treatment, you might be entitled to foot injury compensation.
Other foot conditions
Occupations involving standing for long periods of time, wearing heavy protective shoes or putting a lot of strain on the feet can cause inflammation and wear and tear injuries that might permanently affect your mobility and ability to stand. Some of the most common conditions include:
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the heel and foot arch
- Osteoarthritis of the feet
- Athlete’s foot, a fungal skin infection caused by warm and humid environments
- Metatarsalgia, inflammation of the ball of the foot caused by strenuous activity or ill-fitting shoes
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome, caused by repeated pressure that results in nerve damage
You could also claim compensation if you suffered minor or severe cuts, lacerations, puncture wounds or burns to the feet in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
Regardless of your foot injury, it is essential to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Seeking medical care will prevent further complications and serve as relevant evidence if you make a foot injury claim.
What accidents result in foot injury claims?
Regardless of the circumstances in which you suffered a foot injury, as long as another person was to blame, you might be entitled to compensation for the damages you incurred. The most common situations leading to a foot injury claim include:
Slips, trips and falls
A slip, trip and fall can happen anywhere in a public place or privately owned business. Such accidents are commonly caused by uneven surfaces, poor lighting, wet or greasy surfaces, icy streets or tripping hazards left in walkways.
You might trip and fall on the same level, which usually results in less severe injuries, or after a fall from a height, which could have severe consequences. Common injuries include sprains and strains, cuts and lacerations and fractures to any part of the foot.
Accidents at work
Foot injuries at the workplace could be caused by a single accident or develop over time due to a lack of risk assessments and proper maintenance. Common reasons for a foot injury at work include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Falls from a height
- Repetitive motions and overexertion
- Stepping on sharp objects
- Wearing heavy protective footwear
- Being caught in heavy machinery or vehicles
- Standing or walking for extensive periods
According to the Health and Safety Executive, your employer must take all reasonable measures to provide a safe working environment. Typical injuries at the workplace include sprains and strains, foot fractures, puncture wounds, tendonitis and cartilage damage or even amputations.
Road traffic accidents
Injuries to the feet are common in road accidents, especially in high-speed collisions. It is an automatic response for the body to tense in anticipation immediately before an accident. Often, the ankle and foot twist or stretch unnaturally and might absorb the full force of the impact.
As a result, you may suffer sprains, strains and fractures. The impact with parts of the car or flying objects can also lead to cuts, lacerations and bruising. In severe collisions, your feet may get crushed between car parts, which could result in foot amputations.
Thanks to the Motor Insurer’s Bureau, you could make a foot injury claim even if you were involved in a hit and run or an accident with an uninsured driver.
Many sporting activities like gymnastics, football, dancing, basketball or running put a lot of strain on the feet and are commonly associated with foot and ankle injuries. Ankle ligament sprains account for almost 75% of injuries, with half of them having the potential to cause chronic problems if not diagnosed and treated appropriately.
Repetitive activity or heavy impact during sports may also cause stress fractures, broken ankles and toes, bursitis, Achilles tendonitis, metatarsalgia or heel pain, a common running injury. Poorly fitting shoes can also cause many of these injuries and others like athlete’s foot, calluses or plantar fasciitis.
While doctors generally treat people with care, skill and knowledge, there are times when things go wrong. Although not all medical mistakes can be considered negligence, if your healthcare provider failed to provide a reasonable standard of care accepted in the field and that caused you an injury, you might be able to receive foot injury compensation.
Negligent diagnosis, treatment or surgery can cause severe nerve, bone or muscle damage to any part of your foot. Delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis or poor management of diabetes or infections may cause injuries as severe as foot amputations, leading to permanent disability.
Falling victim to an unprovoked attack can be very distressing and nerve-wracking. Apart from physical damage, it may also cause severe emotional and psychological trauma and financial losses. You could injure your foot in an assault due to a sprain, strain, puncture wound, laceration or a crush injury.
Victims of assault and physical abuse may claim foot injury compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
No matter what accident you were involved in, if you think someone else was to blame, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
For a free consultation with a personal injury solicitor, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a foot injury claim and answer any questions you may have.
How much is a foot injury compensation claim worth?
Suffering a foot injury can be very upsetting, expensive and may disrupt the overall quality of your life, at least during recovery. Some severe injuries may have long-term effects on mobility, and you might never be able to do certain activities like running again.
If somebody else was responsible for your accident, you deserve compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses. If you have a valid foot injury claim, your solicitor will consider how your injury affected your life to calculate a suitable compensation award.
Usually, the compensation award will cover:
Financial losses such as:
- Medical expenses, including private treatment, medication or surgery costs
- Long-term rehabilitation
- Counselling and psychological support
- Travel costs to and from the hospital or any other arrangements you had to make if you were unable to drive
- Costs of medical and mobility aids, including prostheses
- Adaptations to your home or vehicle
- Lost wages, including compensation for future lost earnings
General damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of a unique career
- Inability to pursue a hobby
- Loss of prospects
- Loss of job satisfaction, if you had to give up your dream career
It is not that straightforward to calculate a suitable compensation award for general damages, which involve personal, subjective losses. The guidelines offered by the Judicial College are used as a starting point by solicitors and judges. Some examples of the potential compensation awards for various foot injuries are:
- Up to £5,250 for a minor, short-term injury with expected full recovery
- Up to £9,010 for straightforward toe fractures
- £9,010 – £12,900 for multiple fractures or crushed toes
- £12,900 – £19,770 for severe crush injuries leading to partial amputation of one or more toes
- Around £29,380 for big toe amputations
- £34,270 – £52,620 for very severe injuries leading to amputation of all toes
- Up to £11,730 for minor sprains, strains or fractures with full recovery within a year, without any scarring
- £11,730 to £42,710 for ligament tears and fractures causing disability and increased risk of osteoarthritis
- £42,710 to £59,480 for severe injuries resulting in significant deformities or disabilities
- £6,820 – £11,820 for minor damage with recovery within a few weeks
- £11,820 – £19,770 for a partially ruptured tendon causing disability or permanent scarring
- £23,460 – £28,240 for complete tear of the tendon with long-term disability and no chance of recovery
- Around £36,060 for a very severe injury causing permanent restricted movement and scarring
- Up to £12,900 for minor fractures, lacerations, contusions or puncture wounds with complete recovery within two years
- £12,900 – £65,710 for metatarsal or heel fractures resulting in permanent disability and restricted mobility
- £78,800 – £189,110 for very severe foot injuries, including amputation of one or both feet
How long will it take to make a foot injury claim?
If you suffered a foot injury without being at fault, you have up to three years to claim compensation. Every foot injury claim is different, and the time it might take to receive compensation can vary significantly, depending on:
- The type and severity of your injury
- The circumstances of your accident
- The estimated value of the compensation award
- Whether the defendant admits liability for your injury
- The nature of your claim
- The long-term effects of your injury
For example, in straightforward claims following a road traffic accident, the average claim duration is 4 to 9 months. On the other hand, a complex medical negligence claim could take up to five years to settle.
According to NHS Resolution, medical claims under £25,000 settle on average in under two years, while those worth more than £1 million could take around five years to conclude.
If you think you have a valid foot injury claim, you should contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. If they decide you have a valid claim, it might take a minimum of 3 to 4 months to gather all the relevant evidence and prepare all legal documents.
After preparing your claim, your solicitor will send a claim notification form (CNF) to the defendant, stating your allegations of negligence. They will have 14 days to acknowledge your claim and up to four months to conduct their own investigations regarding the circumstances of your accident.
If the defendant accepts liability, you can start negotiating your compensation award. This might take weeks, months or even longer, depending on how diverse your opinions about a fair compensation amount might be.
If the other party denies liability or you cannot reach a settlement, you may have to issue court proceedings. Although the court hearing usually takes 3-5 days, you might have to wait up to a year to receive a court date. Claims rarely end up in court, and more than 95% are settled between the two parties.
After considering the details of your claim, an experienced solicitor can give you an estimate of how long the claiming process might take.
Will I be offered a no win no fee service?
Foot injuries can have a significant impact on your work, family and day to day life. If another party was responsible for your harm, you might be eligible to make a foot injury claim. The compensation you might be entitled to aims to provide financial ease and put you back in a position similar to where you would have been without having the accident.
Nonetheless, you might be reluctant about investing a lot of time, effort and money into claiming, which is perfectly understandable. That is why most personal injury claims can be funded with a no win no fee agreement.
If your solicitor believes you have a valid claim with a fair chance of success, they will work on your behalf without asking for any upfront solicitor fees. Furthermore, they will take out After the Event (ATE) insurance for you, which provides full financial coverage for all legal charges if your claim is unsuccessful.
Therefore, you are taking no financial risks by making a no win no fee foot injury claim. If you win the case, the defendant will have to cover most of your legal charges. You will only have to pay the premium for the ATE insurance and a success fee to cover the work your solicitor did on your behalf.
The success fee cannot exceed 25% of your compensation award, and you will agree upon it before starting legal proceedings. In a no win no fee claim, you don’t have to worry about upfront fees and legal charges, and you don’t have to pay anything if you end up losing. For these reasons, no win no fee, also called a conditional fee agreement, is the preferred way to fund personal injury claims.
What is the time limit to make a foot injury claim?
Usually, you must start a foot injury claim within three years after suffering an accident or being diagnosed with a foot condition. This is known as the claim limitation date, after which it is no longer possible to start legal proceedings.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the time limitation date is not always three years. For example:
- In claims involving children, a litigation friend can claim compensation at any given time before the child turns 18. Afterwards, the victim will have until their 21st birthday to start legal proceedings if nobody took legal action on their behalf.
- You could claim compensation for a foot injury that happened abroad, but the claim limitation date can vary significantly between countries and might be as short as six months. You should contact a solicitor as soon as possible to avoid losing your chance to claim.
- If you were involved in a violent attack, you might be entitled to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years after getting hurt.
- According to the Mental Health Act 1983, there is no limitation date for a litigation friend to claim foot injury compensation on behalf of a victim who lacks mental capacity. The three-year countdown only begins if the victim regains intellectual ability.
- Under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, if your foot injury was due to a faulty product or machinery, you can make a claim within ten years from the product’s launch date.