Broken Ankle Compensation Claims In The UK
Have you sustained a broken ankle in an accident? Was the accident caused by someone else breaching their duty of care towards you? If so, you could be owed broken ankle compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
Breaking any bone can be a painful experience. And when your ankle is fractured, it can have a serious impact on your quality of life. You may not be able to walk while your injury heals, which could impact your ability to walk or care for yourself.
Personal injury compensation can help you. It aims to get you back to the position you were in before your injury, as much as is possible. This guide will explain the process of claiming compensation, as well as looking at how compensation is calculated and the damages you could be owed.
If you would like to know more about claiming after reading this guide, or if you would like to start your claim for compensation today, why not get in touch with our team? You can get in touch by:
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Broken Ankle Compensation Claims
- What Is A Broken Ankle?
- Ankle Anatomy, Bone Structure And Function
- Broken And Fractured Ankle Symptoms
- What Are Some Common Causes Of A Broken Ankle?
- Calculating Broken Ankle Compensation Amounts
- Treatment And Diagnosis Of A Broken Ankle
- Commonly Missed Ankle Fractures
- Why Are Broken Ankle Injuries Misdiagnosed?
- Bodily Injury Claim Time Limits
- I Suffered A Broken Ankle, What Should I Do?
- Claim For A Broken Ankle On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Our Related Guides
- FAQs People Also Ask About Broken Ankle Injury Claims
In this guide, we begin by describing exactly what the symptoms of a broken ankle are and how one is diagnosed. We look at some typical scenarios in which it’s possible to sustain an injury of this nature. In addition, we will look at the duty of care owed to you in various circumstances. We will also examine how this can be breached.
Furthermore, we will look at how broken ankle compensation is calculated and the kinds of damages that your compensation claim could consist of. We’ll also look at the kind of evidence that you need to provide to support your claim.
We will also examine how a broken ankle is treated and how a broken ankle may be misdiagnosed. In addition, we’ll examine how a misdiagnosis could be the result of medical negligence.
Lastly, we look at No Win No Fee agreements and how they can help you in funding legal representation for your claim. We’ll conclude by answering some commonly asked questions about injuries of this nature.
A broken ankle occurs when one or more of the bones that make up the ankle are snapped or fractured. You should always seek medical attention if you have injured your ankle, even if you’re not sure whether it’s broken or just sprained.
There are a number of different kinds of fractures that you could sustain on your ankle. Some of them are more serious or painful than others.
A hairline fracture is where the bone is cracked without splitting into two pieces. These kinds of fractures may not be particularly painful, and sometimes a person with a hairline fracture to their ankle may not even realise that they have broken a bone at all.
A non-displaced fracture is one where the bones have been broken into multiple pieces, but the sections of bone have not moved out of position with one another. A displaced fracture is where the parts of the bone are no longer in alignment.
A displaced fracture can be more serious than a non-displaced fracture. This is because the parts of the bone that move out of position have the potential to cause damage to organs, muscles and blood vessels.
There are other kinds of fractures that you could sustain on your ankle. For instance, an avulsion fracture is one in which a small piece of bone is pulled off the main section of bone. They often occur when a ligament or tendon pulls away from the bone.
The ankle is a joint that is made up of three bones. These are the tibia and fibula, which are the bones that make up the leg, and the talus, which is a bone that sits above the heel. The bony protrusions that can be felt on the inside, outside and back of the ankle are part of the base of the tibia and fibula.
As well as these bones, the ankle consists of a number of ligaments. These bind the bones of the legs and feet together. Ligaments are bundles of strong but moveable tissue.
The ankle joint allows the foot to move up and down. There is another joint below the ankle, called the subtalar joint, which allows the foot to move from side to side.
As is the case with many types of fractures, there are some symptoms that may indicate you have broken your ankle. These include:
- Swelling and bruising
- Noticeable deformity, for example, the foot may be sticking out at a strange ankle
- Inability to put any weight on that foot or leg
- Stiffness or difficulty moving the joint.
You should always seek medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms outlined above. If you are not sure whether your ankle is broken or simply sprained, a doctor will be able to confirm this for you.
You should call 999 or go to A&E if your ankle is sticking out at an odd angle, or if there is a cut on the site of the injury. This could indicate that you’ve sustained a displaced fracture, meaning that your bones will have to be put back into alignment.
Similarly, you should seek urgent medical attention if you notice numbness in your feet or toes. This could indicate that you have experienced nerve damage.
There are a number of ways that someone could fracture their ankle in an accident. If the accident that caused your injury was the result of someone else breaching their duty of care to you, you could be eligible to claim compensation. For example:
- You could be involved in a car accident because another driver breached their duty of care as outlined in the Highway Code. For instance, if another driver runs a red light and collides with you at a junction, causing a fracture to your ankle.
- An accident at work could occur as a result of your employer breaching their duty of care to you according to the Health and Safety at Work etc Atc 1974. This piece of legislation says that your employer needs to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety at work. For example, you may experience a slip, trip or fall because you weren’t provided with safety shoes, resulting in an ankle fracture.
- An accident in a public place could result from a breach of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This piece of legislation states that the person in control of a space (the “occupier”) needs to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of those who use the space for the intended purpose.
Below, we have included a graph showing statistics from RIDDOR about workplace accidents in 2019/20. As it shows, ankle injuries were the most common kind of injury to the lower limb in this time period. However, these statistics do not directly relate to injuries caused by employer negligence.
If you’ve suffered a broken ankle because of someone else’s negligence, why not speak to our team today? They could offer you free legal advice about making a claim for broken ankle compensation.
When you make a claim for broken ankle compensation, your compensation may be made up of two different kinds of damages. These are referred to as general and special damages.
General damages are designed to address the pain and suffering, mental anguish and impact on the quality of your life. To value the general damages head of your claim, you will usually be invited to a medical assessment with an independent expert. They will then confirm that your injuries were caused by your accident. They will also determine how severe they are and what your recovery might look like.
The report from this assessment will be used to value your claim with the help of guidelines provided by the Judicial College. They produce guideline compensation amounts for a number of injuries of varying severities.
Instead of including a compensation calculator on this page, we’ve chosen to include a table showing how much your injury could be valued. These figures are taken from the latest edition of the Judicial College Guidelines.
|Type of injury||Description||How much?|
|Very severe injury to the ankle||Injuries in this bracket will be limited and outside the scope of usual ankle injuries. For insance, a transmalleolar ankle fracture which extensively damages the soft tissue and results in deformity may be included in this bracket.||£46,980 to £65,420|
|Severe injury to the ankle||Injuries within this bracket will require extensive treatment. This may include a lengthy period of time in a plaster cast or where pins and plates have been inserted into the bone. The injured person will have significant residual disability, such as a severely limited ability to walk.||£29,380 to £46,980|
|Moderate injury to the ankle||This bracket will include fractures and tears to the ligaments which lead to disability of a less serious nature, for example difficulty walking on uneven ground.||£12,900 to £24,950|
|Modest injury to the ankle||Fractures, sprains and injuries to the ligaments of a less serious nature will be appropriate for this bracket.||Up to £12,900|
|The most serious Achilles tendon injuries||Where the tendon has been severed and the injured person suffers from cramp, swelling and restriction of movement in the ankle.||In the region of £36,060|
|Serious Achilles tendon injuries||Where the tendon has been completely divided but repaired. There will be some limitation of ankle movements and residual weakness.||£23,460 to £28,240|
|Moderate Achilles tendon injuries||Where the tendon has been partly ruptured or significantly injured.||£11,820 to £19,770|
As well as general damages, you can also claim special damages as part of your broken ankle compensation claim. Special damages cover any out-of-pocket expenses that you have incurred as a direct result of your injury. These can include:
- Loss of earnings
- Care costs
- Travel costs to hospital appointments and meetings with your solicitor
- Adaptations to your home, for example, a stairlift or ramp to make access to your home easier
You can use receipts, statements and bills to prove these expenses that you have incurred. Without proof, you may find it difficult to claim back special damages.
When you present yourself at A&E or your GP’s surgery with a broken ankle, there are various ways that medical professionals can determine the full extent of your injuries. They may:
- Examine the foot
- Gently manipulate the foot and ankle to see how bad the stiffness or pain is
- Recommend an x-ray, CT or MRI scan to establish the full extent of the fracture
The treatment you receive for a broken ankle will depend on the kind of fracture you have sustained. For instance, a non-displaced fracture may be able to be treated through immobilisation. This is where a plaster cast is applied to the joint in order to keep the bones in position as they heal.
If the fracture is displaced or particularly serious, you may need surgery in order for it to heal. This may involve the insertion of pins or plates in the bones, which will hold them in position as they heal. Whereas a plaster cast will be removed when healing is complete, pins and plates will often be left in the bones after recovery.
When an ankle fracture is missed or misdiagnosed, it means the doctor or healthcare provider who treated you failed to spot the fracture, or mistakenly diagnosed it as something else.
When seeking medical treatment, the healthcare provider who treats you must provide you with a minimum standard of care. Failure to do so would constitute a breach of duty of care.
Sometimes, a doctor may miss or misdiagnose your injury while providing this minimum standard of care. It is possible for complications to arise even when a doctor is fulfilling their duty of care to you.
However, if your injury was missed or misdiagnosed because your doctor failed to provide you with this minimum standard of care, this is an example of medical negligence. You may be able to claim for any additional harm caused to you by this breach of duty. This is the case whether the NHS or a private healthcare provider was responsible for a breach of duty of care.
To determine whether the care you received was an example of negligence, the courts will usually ask a panel of the medical professional’s peers whether the actions taken fell within this minimum standard of care. If they confirm that the treatment fell below the acceptable standard, the doctor would be considered negligence. This is referred to as the Bolam Test.
It’s important to note that you will only be able to claim compensation for additional harm caused to you by the negligence. If you suffered a broken ankle, it’s likely that you would have experienced some pain and suffering even if a diagnosis was made. You will only be able to claim for additional harm caused to you by the misdiagnosis.
There are a number of reasons that an injury might be misdiagnosed or missed entirely. These include:
- Medical professionals referring to incorrect patient notes
- Failure to order the right diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or CT scans
- Misreading the results of CT scans or X-rays when they are performed
As we have already mentioned, there are some circumstances where an injury may be misdiagnosed even when the doctor is providing the minimum standard of care. For instance, there may be some circumstances where a doctor could not be reasonably expected to spot the signs of a fracture, meaning that a failure to order a diagnostic test would not constitute care of an unacceptable standard.
There are time limits that apply to personal injury and medical negligence claims. Generally, you have three years from the date the incident occurred or the date that you became aware that your injuries were a result of negligence. The latter is known as the “date of knowledge”. There are some exceptions to this, however.
For instance, if you are under 18 at the time you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, then the 3-year time limit is suspended until you turn 18. This is because you cannot pursue your own claim while you’re underage. Before this, a litigation friend can claim on your behalf.
Similarly, a litigation friend can pursue a claim for someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim themselves. In the event that they regain the mental capacity to claims, they have 3 years from their recovery to claim on their own behalf; while they lack the capacity to claim, the time limit is suspended indefinitely.
For more information on the time limits to making a claim, and the exceptions that apply, get in touch with our team today.
The first thing you should do after you have been involved in an accident that has injured your ankle is to seek medical attention. This will ensure that you get the treatment you need for your injuries. It could also provide evidence to support your claim further down the line.
You should also collect evidence to prove the circumstances of the accident. For instance, in an accident at work, the incident may have been reported to RIDDOR or included in the work accident book. This account could help prove employer liability.
You may also be able to collect details of any witnesses who saw the incident occur. However, you may still be able to claim if there was no witness to your accident.
If you are claiming for medical negligence in the form of a missed or misdiagnosed fracture, you may wish to report the doctor in question. However, this isn’t necessary in order for you to pursue a claim.
You should also collect evidence of any losses you have incurred financially as a result of your injury. Receipts, bank statements and invoices can all provide evidence that will help calculate the special damages you are owed.
Although you are perfectly at liberty to launch a personal injury claim yourself, this can be daunting. You may find that the support and guidance of a solicitor could help make the claims process run more smoothly. Read on for more information on No Win No Fee agreements, and how they can help you fund legal representation.
No Win No Fee agreements are a contract between you and your lawyer that they will not charge you fees unless your case wins. If your claim is successful, they deduct a percentage from the total settlement amount to cover their costs. If the case does not win, you can walk away with nothing to pay your lawyers at all.
This means that you can start a claim for broken ankle compensation without needing to make an upfront payment. Get in touch with our team now to see how No Win No Fee could work for your broken ankle compensation claim today.
We appreciate the time you have taken to read this guide. We hope that it has been of use to you. If you need any help at all on this subject, don’t hesitate to get in touch:
In addition to the information in this guide, we have included the following guides that you may find useful.
Could I claim compensation for a minor break or fracture?
Yes. Even a minor fracture can impact your quality of life and cause you to incur costs that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Could you claim for complications caused by misdiagnosis?
Yes, you can claim for complications caused directly as a result of your injury being misdiagnosed. In order for you to do so, however, the misdiagnosis must have been an example of the medical professional breaching their duty of care.
Could you claim on behalf of a child?
Yes. You can be appointed as a “litigation friend”. This is an adult who makes decisions about a court case on behalf of a child.
Thank you for reading our guide on claiming broken ankle compensation.
Guide by FE
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