An accident that causes a crush injury to the foot can not only be extremely painful, but also end up having a dramatic impact on your quality of life. In most cases, this could severely restrict or even cease movement, making it very difficult or even impossible to carry out daily tasks like walking or driving.
For anyone that sustains a crushed foot injury because of someone else’s negligent act, it may be possible to get financial compensation.
If you, a friend, or loved one would like to start a crushed foot injury compensation claim, this guide will explain the key points you need to know, in plain English. Read on to find out when victims have the right to get compensated, what the claims process involves, and how to start one.
Can I Claim Compensation For A Crushed Foot Injury At Work?
The risk of suffering a crushed foot injury is particularly high for people who work in environments with bulky objects that could fall onto the feet. For instance, this can include workers at a construction site, loading dock, industrial plant, or busy farm etc.
Generally speaking, any work that involves manual labour, working with heavy machinery, or load-bearing activities will put you at risk of a crushed foot injury. That notwithstanding, employers must still provide a safe working environment for their workers, protected by law.
For example, employers are legally responsible for making sure all machinery or equipment are in proper working condition, carrying out regular safety checks, hiring suitably qualified staff, as well as providing workers with adequate instruction, supervision and personal protective gear (PPE).
You may be able to sue for a personal injury at work, if your foot got injured because your employer failed in any of the mentioned legal obligations. Employers in the UK are also legally required to take out workers’ compensation insurance, which would cover medical costs and part of your wages if you are unable to report to work because of the crushed foot injury.
Am I Eligible For Compensation For A Crushed Foot Injury That Happened In A Public Place?
A crushed foot injury can also happen in a public place. An example would be when a shopper visits a big shopping centre and gets their foot stuck in a faulty escalator. Another scenario is suffering broken toes after someone loses control of an overloaded trolley with a defective wheel and runs over your foot at the supermarket.
Even if your foot injury happened under different circumstances to the above, occupiers of public places (including local councils and private property owners) have to make sure that their premises are safe for all visitors.
As such, it is incumbent upon them to ensure that any potential safety hazards are rectified immediately or warn people of the potential danger. Failing to do any of this would amount to negligence and could well lead to a successful casefor compensation.
Any party responsible for a public place that abdicates their duty of care to the general public would be liable for legal action if preventable injuries occur.
Can I Claim Compensation For A Crush Injury To The Foot After A Car Accident?
Pedestrians are the most likely victims of crushed foot injuries involving a car accident. The most common scenario where this applies is having a vehicle run over the foot. For example, perhaps a taxi driver pulled away or parked too close, and in the process ran over a customer’s foot.
Rule 159 of the UK Highway Code requires drivers to use all mirrors to check for blind spots and other dangers at least twice before moving off. Therefore, a driver that runs over your foot and says “Sorry, I didn’t see you” will not have a legal defence for being reckless.
As long as you can prove that you got injured because of another driver’s mistake, you may be able to claim for compensation. In a successful claim, the insurance provider of the at-fault motorist would cover your medical costs for treatment.
Although drivers have a duty of care to other motorists, passengers and pedestrians, they cannot be held liable for every crushed foot injury.
An example of this is when someone gets involved in an accident whilst jaywalking, i.e. crossing a road illegally or in a careless/unsafe manner. It would be difficult to claim compensation in such a case, unless the pedestrian proves that the driver was somehow negligent and aggravated the crushed foot injury, like appearing in traffic surveillance on the phone whilst driving at the time of the accident.
What Crushed Foot Injury Compensation Can I Claim?
Getting compensation for a crushed foot injury can help to take the pressure off your finances and help to support you through recovery. Typically, the payout from a successful claim would cover the following financial and non-monetary losses that you incur because of an accident.
These cover the psychological and physical aspects of your claim. Therefore, general damages compensate you for your pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the injury (known as loss of amenity).
General damages cannot be quantified mathematically, but the amounts awarded follow guidelines set by the Judicial College. The long term effects and severity of an injury would play a significant role in determining the payout for this category.
To determine the extent of a crushed foot injury, health care experts may order x-rays or MRI and CT scans. In severe cases, surgery may be required to repair bone fractures as well as torn tendons and ligaments. Treatment would likely involve taking pain medications, using crutches, and wearing a cast or other medical supports as you recover.
Later on, you may also have to pay for physical therapy to help restore the best range of motion, once the injury heals. You can claim compensation for these out-of-pocket expenses you incur for treatment, whether it is for diagnosis, scans, travel, medications, rehabilitation or medical equipment. You may also be able to claim for future treatment costs, such as follow-up visits.
If you were involved in an accident that resulted in suffering a crushed foot, then it could keep you from working for weeks or even months. Fortunately, your compensation claim can also include lost wages. If the injury will prevent you from working at the same capability as before, then claiming a loss of future income is also possible.
Any expenses that were paid out as a direct result of the accident falls under the category of Special Damages, so keep your receipts and invoices to prove these additional costs.
Personal Care Assistance
A crushed foot injury can prevent someone from performing tasks that were easily carried out unassisted prior to the accident.
For instance, not being able to put weight on your injured foot could mean you require help from others to do things such as driving to doctor appointments or doing domestic chores. You can also claim compensation for this type of additional assistance and for paid caregivers.
How Is A Crushed Foot Injury Assessed For Compensation?
The long-term impact of a crushed foot injury ultimately determines the amount someone would receive as compensation. This means someone whose life has been affected severely would receive a higher payout than a victim who experienced a lesser impact.
The settlement paid out for this kind of injury varies considerably from case to case. However, the compensation that would be payable to you in a successful case would depend on the following factors.
1. The Severity Of An Injury
The foot is a complex anatomical structure. A crush injury can affect the bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments of this lower extremity. The range of possible damage can includes cuts, lacerations, pain, swelling, bruising, broken bones or even nerve damage.
Compartment syndrome is one particular complication that can occur. It causes muscles of the foot to swell so much, that they block the blood from flowing to tissues around the injury. If there is no circulation, crush injury syndrome can develop, whereby muscles break down and release acidic toxins that can circulate and compromise other bodily organs.
The more severe a crushed foot injury, the higher the compensation that could be due. For instance, in extreme cases, some crush accidents are severe enough to cause a partial or full amputation of the foot.
Since such outcomes are very likely to be traumatic, they can require the patient to go through desensitisation exercises and counselling. The extra medical care costs and the long term impact of an amputated foot would qualify for much higher compensation than a more minor crushed foot injury, such as one that results in a limp which will only interfere with a person’s daily activities for just a few weeks.
2. The Victim’s Age
Younger people may typically receive more compensation in a crushed foot injury compared to those affecting older victims.
The general logic here is that the injury could affect the productivity and employment opportunities more, and may have a greater or longer impact on the life of someone younger, compared perhaps to someone over the retirement age.
However, age is no longer the barrier to an active life that it used to be, so make sure you discuss this with your legal representative if you fall into the older age bracket and clearly state what changes to your daily life the injury has caused.
Lastly, your profession can immensely affect the payout for lost income in a crushed foot injury compensation claim.
For instance, someone who works behind a desk and can resume their duties after treatment would get less compensation compared to a manual labourer or machine operator whose job requires full use of the feet.
What Kind Of Evidence Can Help Support Crushed Foot Injury Compensation Claims?
Once you have established that someone else is responsible for having caused your crushed foot injury, you will need to gather evidence to prove that before you can proceed to make a compensation claim. Some of the crucial pieces of evidence that can immensely support your case would include:
- Statements from witnesses
- CCTV footage (if any) of how the accident happened
- Pictures of your crushed foot injury and the accident scene
- The accident book report (kept by employers and occupiers of public spaces) with a record of your accident
- A full medical report prepared by your GP, hospital consultant or podiatrist detailing the extent of your injury and time required for recovery
If you are looking to start a claim for crushed foot injury compensation, the law allows you to serve the at-fault party with a notice of claim within three years of experiencing the accident.
However, if the victim was a minor at the time, then a parent or guardian can start legal proceeding no later than three years after the child turns 18.
How Can I Start My Claim?
You can get legal help by talking to a solicitor about your case. Most legal experts represent clients for personal injury cases, such as a crushed foot accident, on a no-win-no-fee agreement. Therefore, it will cost you nothing if you lose the case.
Crushed foot injuries can take time before medical experts can offer a full prognosis. Your solicitor may be able to negotiate for interim payments, for example to cover the loss of income that you suffer whilst going through recovery.
Since personal injury solicitors are experienced in these types of cases, they can offer invaluable advice on how to proceed. If you want to get in touch with an experienced claims advisor who can provide you with free, no-obligation advice, complete and submit the form below.