Foot injury compensation claim
It’s not just Premier League footballers, ballet stars and tightrope walkers whose feet/nifty footwork could be the keys to their future successes, as let’s face it; most of us would be a lot worse off if we – for whatever reasons – found ourselves incapacitated (either temporarily or unfortunately, permanently) as a result of being off our feet.
So, what is it with feet exactly? From an early age we’re always told to stand on our own two feet, bring someone to heel if they get out of line, readily informed that we haven’t got a leg to stand on, not to drag our feet, to avoid having two left feet, putting either one of them in our mouths or shooting ourselves in said feet, to embrace having the world at our feet, to always keep our feet on the ground and to place our best foot forward. On this basis alone feet are hugely important, irrespective of whether you own clodhopping size 12s or diminutive size 3s.
And lest we forget if your job is in retail, healthcare, hairdressing, postal sorting and distribution or education, the chances are you’re on/using your feet for a significant percentage of each and every day. So what happens when an injury to your feet puts you out of action/lays you up for an undefined period of time?
Why are foot injuries potentially such a big deal?
Largely because our feet help us to stand and perform various activities (think walking, jumping, running, etc…) on a daily basis and any injury – both minor or major – to this part of the body requires a lot of rest in order to completely heal up before you can comfortably recommence those daily activities/work.
If you’ve ever suffered from a sprain, dislocation, fracture of the foot then you’ll know exactly what we mean here. And long before making a compensation claim for a foot injury (which would only be pursued if you readily believed – and could prove – that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence), it’s important to understand more about what parts of the foot can sustain injuries and to what end with regards to holding another party accountable in the foreseeable future.
Why are feet susceptible to injury?
For a start our feet are divided into three main parts; namely the fore foot (which comprises of five toes and five longer bones), the mid foot (essentially the collection of bones in the middle) and the hind foot (the heel and ankle).
Perhaps unsurprisingly then, there are a variety of different types of foot injury we can suffer; unsurprising from the perspective that our feet account for some 25% of our body’s total bone structure. This is based on the fact that there are 26 bones in each foot, together with 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. No wonder a lot of things can – and regularly do -go wrong.
As you can already appreciate each foot is a very complex structure that has a major remit to fulfil each day, including providing support, balance and mobility. With each step we take, we place our entire body weight onto our feet, so when you think about it this fact alone makes them prone to injuries.
Plus, with an increasing number of people routinely participating in a smorgasbord of sporting pastimes which put even greater emphasis, pressure and reliability expectations on our collective feet, it’s little wonder that records of foot injuries are on the rise annually.
What are the most common types of foot injury?
Many injuries which befall the foot can be acute, meaning sudden onset or chronic (which come on gradually often through overuse). Below we take a quick look at the primary foot injuries people here in the UK report to their GP surgeries/hospitals with, and explain the core symptoms and differences between gradual and sudden onset to afford you a clearer idea.
Gradual onset heel injuries
- Plantar fasciitis – Causes pain under the heel which comes on gradually and may radiate beneath the foot. It is likely to be worse first thing in the morning
- Bruised heel – This also causes comes on gradually and is typically characterised by the presence of pain underneath the heel (only which doesn’t radiate under the foot), and improves with rest
- Sever’s disease – This describes is a foot injury which affects children between the ages of 8 – 15 years old, causing gradual onset pain at the back of the heel
- Achilles bursitis – This causes pain at the back of the heel which comes on gradually, often with a prominent lump (or swelling) at the back of the heel
Sudden onset heel injuries
- Calcaneal fracture – This is a broken heel bone and is referred to more as a sudden traumatic injury; and which is effectively caused by a heavy landing with severe pain and swelling
Gradual onset midfoot pain
- Navicular stress – This is a stress fracture of the navicular bone in the middle of the foot. Symptoms include poorly localized ache in the midfoot which gets worse upon exercise
- Extensor tendonitis – Is the medical term given to the gradual onset pain and inflammation of the extensor tendons, which run along the top of the foot and straighten the toes
- Stress fracture of the foot – This bears the symptoms of gradual onset pain through overuse and can apply to any of the bones in the midfoot area, including the aforementioned navicular bone
Sudden onset midfoot pain
- Mid-tarsal joint sprain – Best described as an injury to the ligaments in the midfoot area, whereby pain will be felt on the outside middle of the foot and which might include swelling visible on the outside top of the joint
Gradual onset forefoot pain
- Extensor tendinitis – This is inflammation of the tendons which run along the top of the foot and straighten the toes. Pain is felt along the top of the foot
- Mortons Neuroma (or Mortons syndrome) – Refers to a condition resulting in pain between the third and fourth toes, caused by compression of a nerve
- Metatarsal stress fracture – Is a fine fracture in one of the long metatarsal bones in the foot which occurs through overuse and/or poor foot biomechanics. And yes, it’s the one which David Beckham famously was side-lined by, pre-Word Cup
- Metatarsalgia – Is a general term used to cover any forefoot pain, yet usually refers to inflammation which occurs in the joints between the metatarsal bones in the foot and phalanges bones of the toes
- Bunion (Halux valgus) – This is a painful swelling of the soft tissue on the inside of the joint at the base of the big toe. Often the big toe will look as if it is bent in towards the other toes, or even can lie across them
- Gout – Ostensibly a form of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid within the body which is a waste product of metabolism. Symptoms which include intense pain in the joint around the big toe tend to come on quickly and then last for around a week before easing off
Sudden onset forefoot pain
- Turf toe – This odd-sounding foot injury/clinically condition can occur after a very vigorous upward bending of the big toe, resulting in a specific sprain directly affecting the ligaments found under the toe. Symptoms include swelling and pain at the joint
Gradual onset toe injuries
- Black toenail – This tends to be caused either by direct trauma to the toe or by repetitive rubbing against the inside of a shoe; for example in the case of long distance runners. And hence why it’s alternatively called Jogger’s Toe
- Ingrown toenail (or onychocryptis) – This is a common (and frustrating) foot issue and resultant pain, often caused by the wearing of improper footwear which stifles natural toe nail growth. Elsewhere it can present after recurrently poor nail cutting
- Hallux rigidus – This is a stiff big toe with pain, swelling and inflammation in the joint
- Hammer toe – Is a condition which causes one (or more) of the smaller toes to become bent upwards. The toe can be straightened, but if ignored may become a permanent deformity
Sudden onset toe injuries
- Broken toe – This is a fracture to any of the bones in the toes, usually the big toe. Symptoms include pain of which is instantly observed along with swelling which also has a tendency to manifest quickly
- Dislocated toe – This usually occurs from a direct trauma to the toe, resulting in intense pain. A visible deformity may be obvious but this is not always the case
In what cases could I make a foot injury compensation claim?
Well, during 2013 – 14, the Health and Safety Executive’s figures show around 629,000 people had an accident at work during, with approximately 351,000 people went off work for more than 3 days due to the injuries they sustained in a working environment.
A proportion of these workplace injuries were foot injuries, for which workers can claim compensation if they prove that it was negligence on the part of an employer which led up to/directly caused the injury which an individual suffered. In terms of what’s legally considered to be ‘claimable foot injuries’, there are the two predominant types worth noting. They are ‘bone injury – fractures and breaks’ and ‘foot health injury’. Below we briefly examine the synopsis of each;
Bone injury – fractures and breaks – Fractures and breaks in the bones of the foot (and ankle) are a frequent type of accident injury, and can include fractures and breaks which impact on the anklebone (talus bone), heel bone (calcaneus bone), metatarsal bones (just above the toes) and toe bones, whilst also sometimes having an equally adverse knock-on effect with damaged ligaments and tendons. This damage may produce foot deformities and on-going impairment, which can particularly be the case with burn injuries to the foot. In severe foot injuries, bones may have to be surgically fused, which can also result in permanent disability. In very severe cases, amputation of the foot may be necessary
Foot health injury – Foot health injury can be occur in occupations which necessitate long periods of standing, or where heavy protective footwear is required. Injuries of this type often comprise of bursitis of the toes (inflammation of the fluid filled sacks protecting the toe joints as highlighted earlier), tarsal tunnel syndrome (compression of the nerve behind the inner anklebone) and a range of fungal infections
How much compensation could I receive for a foot injury claim?
Typically, the part of the foot which has suffered the injury will determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to at the end of the day. And again as we’ve previously intonated, even a minor foot injury can drastically impinge on our daily routines, and therefore with that in mind a foot injury claim may also include loss of earnings as well as treatment and rehabilitation costs. The compensation amount would also vary according to the type of injury caused and its severity.
How to make a foot injury compensation claim?
If you have suffered a foot injury following an accident that was not your fault, and would like to learn more about making a claim for compensation, it’s strongly advised that you speak with a specialist personal injury claims solicitor who can discuss your individual needs, establish whether or not you have lawful grounds for a claim to be pursued against a certain party deemed responsible for your injury, and thereafter how best to go about seeking a financial settlement.
Get in touch with CL Legal now to discuss your claim in more detail: