A broken ankle is not only debilitating but can put you out of work, leaving you stuck at home, unable to drive and move around much. If you have experienced this type of injury and feel alone and unlucky, your situation might be more common than you think.
In the UK, statistics reveal broken ankle injuries happen a lot, with over 86,000 cases reported annually.
The good news is that seeking rightful compensation for a broken ankle can be the right step towards recovering physically, emotionally, and financially. But, if you are not a legal expert, you might wonder, “Where do I start?” That’s where this guide comes in.
You are just about to discover everything there is to know about broken ankle compensation. This article covers everything from navigating the legal process to establishing liability. You’ll learn about choosing a solicitor, gathering evidence, the claims process, and going to court.
You will also gain insight on the basics of broken ankles, including causes and medical treatment options. We’ll go over the types of compensation available for you, whether you should settle out of court or not, and so much more.
Compensation For Broken Ankles
The Importance Of Pursuing Legal Action
Suffering a broken ankle due to someone else’s negligence could entitle you to compensation. Pursuing a legal claim can seem daunting and complicated. However, it will ensure you receive the support you need to get back on your feet.
Compensation doesn’t just help with the financial burden of medical bills and lost income. It will also provide a sense of justice and closure after a traumatic event.
Types Of Compensation Available
There are two types of compensation available for those who have suffered a broken ankle:
- General Damages: This compensation aims to cover the non-financial losses incurred due to a broken ankle. Here, we’re talking about pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress. The amount of general damages awarded will depend on the severity of the ankle injury and its impact on your quality of life.
- Special Damages: This compensation covers the financial losses suffered from a broken ankle. That includes medical expenses, lost income (both past and future), and the cost of home modifications or care. These damages seem easier to quantify than general damages because they would reflect expenses you can prove with receipts and other evidence you provide.
In addition to these two types of compensation, you may also be eligible for interest and legal costs.
Proving Fault In Broken Ankle Cases
When pursuing compensation for a broken ankle, it is crucial to find out whether you have a valid claim in the first place. Liability determines who is responsible for the injury or who is accountable for providing compensation.
Getting to the bottom of who is at fault for your personal injury is straightforward. You only need to prove the responsible party’s negligence.
In the case of a broken ankle, the liable party could be an employer, property owner, your local authority, or another individual. For example, let’s say someone slips and falls in Tesco due to a wet floor and sustains a broken ankle in the process. The store where the accident happened would be potentially liable for such an injury. However, you’d have to demonstrate that they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident.
Another vital step in the broken ankle compensation claim process is gathering evidence. Evidence should support your assertion that someone else is responsible for the injury.
The evidence can be in the form of photographs or witnesses’ testimonies. It could be documentation of the injury, medical reports, and proof of lost income.
These pieces of information will help you to more comprehensively prove the extent of the injury and the resulting financial impact. The more substantial proof you have, the stronger the likelihood of a successful claim.
If the responsible party denies liability, expert testimony might be necessary to help sway the case in your favour. Professionals, such as medical analysts and accident reconstructionists, can provide key testimony to demonstrate that someone else is at fault for the injury.
Another reason expert testimony is valuable is to show the severity of your ankle injury and demonstrate its impact on your life.
For example, when determining the value of a claim, experts like occupational therapists can testify about the impact the injury has on the claimant’s mobility. They could also demonstrate the cost of further treatment required.
Finally, legal experts such as personal injury lawyers can contribute to the case substantially. Their input includes helping gather evidence, negotiating on the client’s behalf, and offering advice. They can use their wealth of experience and knowledge to help claimants build a persuasive case and demonstrate how the responsible party was negligent.
The Legal Process For Broken Ankle Compensation
Choose A Solicitor
When pursuing legal action for broken ankle compensation, it is crucial to select the right solicitor. Look for a legal professional who specialises in personal injury claims and has experience dealing with cases similar to your own.
Personal recommendations from friends and family can be helpful in finding a solicitor. Alternatively, you can search online for solicitors who handle personal injury claims using the contact form on this page.
The Initial Consultation
Once you have chosen a solicitor, you will have an initial consultation where you will discuss the details of your case. During this meeting, your solicitor will ask you about the accident that led to your injury. You will also discuss your medical treatment and what impact it has had on your life.
Be prepared to provide as much information as possible. That will help determine the merits of your case and provide direction on the best course of action.
After the initial consultation, your solicitor will advise you on whether or not you have a valid claim for broken ankle compensation.
The Claims Process
If your solicitor believes you have a valid claim, they will begin the claims process on your behalf. That will involve gathering evidence to support your claim, such as medical records, witness statements and accident reports.
Your solicitor will also work with the other party’s insurance company to negotiate a settlement. Usually, this may involve attending mediation or settlement conferences.
If the negotiations don’t yield a reasonable settlement offer, your solicitor may advise you to pursue the matter in court. In this case, they will represent you in court and argue your case before a judge.
The Trial Process
Once your case goes to trial, your solicitor will present evidence and legal arguments to support your claim for broken ankle compensation. The other party’s legal team will do the same to dispute liability.
The judge will then make a determination based on the evidence presented in court. If the ruling is in your favour, you will receive compensation for your injury and other losses.
It’s important to note that court proceedings can be lengthy and stressful. However, with the right solicitor in your corner, you can be confident that you are doing everything possible to obtain the compensation you deserve for your broken ankle.
Factors Affecting Broken Ankle Compensation
The Severity Of The Injury
The severity of a broken ankle can significantly impact the compensation amount you could receive. Complications such as multiple breaks, displacement, and joint damage can increase the settlement amount.
Take, for instance, a straightforward fracture necessitating a cast. It might lead to a comparatively smaller compensation claim compared to a complex break requiring surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
The compensation amount also depends on the likely duration of the injury. A severe break that causes long-term problems will result in higher compensation payments than a simple fracture.
The Impact On Daily Life
The impact of a broken ankle on a person’s day-to-day life can also affect the amount of compensation awarded. This facet includes factors such as the level of pain and discomfort experienced, loss of mobility and independence, and any impact on your ability to work.
Your claim can seek reimbursement for lost earnings as well. The losses could be due to time off work or reduced earning capacity in the future. Additionally, possible compensation can cover costs linked to daily living expenses, such as home adaptations, transportation, and care costs.
Pre-existing conditions may also affect the compensation amount awarded for a broken ankle. Payouts are made for injuries suffered during the accident and not for pre-existing conditions.
However, if an injury exacerbates a pre-existing condition, this would also add to the final amount awarded. For example, let’s assume someone has an existing ankle problem that becomes aggravated because of an accident caused by a negligent party. The injured person could be entitled to compensation for the extent to which the accident worsens the condition.
Settling Broken Ankle Claims
The Benefits Of Settling Out Of Court
Settling a broken ankle claim out of court provides advantages for both parties. Here’s what this could mean for you.
- Quicker Resolution: Opting for an out-of-court settlement can expedite the resolution process significantly. Unlike court cases, which can be lengthy, negotiated settlements can often result in resolutions within just a few weeks or months, depending on the case.
- Cost-Effective: Going to court can be expensive, with legal fees, court fees, and other expenses. By settling out of court, the parties can avoid these expenses and save money.
- Lower Risk: Going to court can be risky as there is no guarantee of winning the case. By settling out of court, the parties involved can lower the risk of losing the case and the resulting expenses.
- Privacy: Court cases can be public. If details of the case leak to the outside world, that may infringe on your privacy and potentially impact your reputation or personal life. By settling out of court, the parties involved can keep details of the case private.
Reaching A Fair Settlement
When seeking a broken ankle claim, it is vital to reach a fair settlement. Fair compensation should take into account the following damages.
- The Severity of the Injury: The severity of the broken ankle injury should weigh in heavily when calculating your settlement amount. A more severe injury would warrant higher compensation.
- Medical Expenses: The treatment expenses incurred when recovering from a broken ankle should also feature in the settlement amount. That would entail incurred costs for hospitalization, surgery, medication, and physical therapy.
- Lost Wages: Have you have been unable to work due to a broken ankle? Your lost wages will be on the table too.
- Pain and Suffering: Here, we’re talking about physical pain, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and the impact of the injury on daily life. Putting an exact figure on pain and suffering is a complex and subjective matter. Nonetheless, it is an important consideration when determining a fair settlement amount.
A solicitor can help you ensure that your broken ankle compensation claim is fair and that none of these factors will be left out.
Appealing Broken Ankle Compensation
Reasons To Appeal
A lot goes into ensuring an individual receives compensation for a broken ankle. Usually, this is the result of negotiations or court hearings that factor in many issues such as the extent of the injury and the impact on daily life.
However, there may be reasons to appeal the decision regarding the compensation awarded.
Here are some common reasons to appeal a broken ankle compensation.
- The amount awarded was too low to cover the costs associated with the injury
- The settlement did not consider the long-term health effects of the broken ankle
- New evidence has come to light that was not available during the original negotiation or hearing
- The court or mediator made an error of law or fact during the initial proceedings
The Appeals Process
If an individual wishes to appeal the decision made regarding their broken ankle compensation, there are specific steps they must follow. Firstly, they need to seek legal advice. A solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims can help them determine if they have grounds for an appeal. If so, the solicitor will file a notice of appeal with the relevant court.
The appeal will typically be before a higher court, which would review the evidence from the original hearing and make a new decision. The higher court can either uphold the original decision, award a new settlement or order a retrial.
The appeals process can be lengthy and complex. So, it is crucial to have a solicitor who has experience handling personal injury appeals to help you with your quest for justice.
It is worth noting that the appeal process can be expensive, and there is no guarantee of success. It is imperative to carefully consider all options before deciding to pursue an appeal.
Working With A Solicitor
Choosing The Right Solicitor For You
Choosing the right solicitor is vital to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case. You can start your search for a solicitor online, but make sure to do your due diligence.
When choosing a solicitor, consider their fees and payment structure. Some solicitors work on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning you only pay if your case is successful. Others may charge a fixed fee or an hourly rate.
Make sure you ask about any additional costs before instructing a solicitor to represent you.
What To Expect From Your Solicitor
Once you have chosen a solicitor, they will guide you through the legal process and provide expert advice on your case. Your solicitor will inform you of any developments in the case, including any settlement offers.
Your solicitor will also handle all formal communication on your behalf with the other party and their legal representatives. They will prepare all necessary legal documents, such as court forms and witness statements.
Your solicitor should act in your best interests to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injury and any related losses. They should also be available to answer any questions and provide regular updates on your case.
Establishing a good working relationship with your personal injury solicitor is essential. It ensures you will feel comfortable asking questions and discussing your case with them. This kind of rapport can help alleviate any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing due to your injury.
In conclusion, pursuing compensation for a broken ankle can be a complex and sometimes overwhelming process. However, it is crucial to know that legal assistance is available.
If you have suffered a broken ankle due to the negligence of others, seek the help of a solicitor who specializes in personal injury claims.
Establishing fault, gathering evidence, and proving damages are all crucial steps of the legal process. A skilled solicitor can provide invaluable guidance every step of the way.
Ultimately, by taking legal action, you can not only recover the financial compensation you deserve but also hold those responsible accountable for their negligence. In the process, you will help encourage greater awareness on the importance of proper safety measures in preventing future accidents.