Calcaneus Fracture Compensation Claims In The UK
By Stephen Moreau. Last Updated 9th December 2022. Have you been involved in an accident caused by a breach of duty of care? Did you break your heel as a result? If someone else’s negligence has led to your calcaneus fracture, then compensation could be owed to you.
A broken calcaneus (heel bone) could cause a variety of issues. Depending on its severity, a permanent disability from a calcaneus fracture is possible. Since a fractured heel normally affects your ability to walk, it can disturb many parts of your life. It may impact on your ability to work, your hobbies plus your ability to do everyday household tasks.
Personal injury compensation for a broken heel could help. It aims, as much as possible, to return you to the position you were in before you were injured.
This guide will explain the personal injury claims process so that you’re well-informed and feel confident in pursuing your claim. Our team of advisors is ready to answer your questions regarding how to claim. The more information we have regarding the circumstances surrounding your claim, the more accurately we will be able to help you.
If you’re deemed to have a valid claim then we could connect you with an experienced personal injury lawyer from our panel. They could work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. Read on for more information, including how to reach us.
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Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Claims For Calcaneus Fracture Compensation
- What Is A Broken Heel Bone Or Calcaneus Fracture?
- What Are The Part Of The Heel?
- Broken Heel Bone Symptoms
- Causes Of A Broken Heel Bone
- Calculating Calcaneus Fracture Compensation Amounts
- Heel Bone Fracture Treatment
- What Is A Missed Calcaneus Fracture?
- How Do Medical Errors Happen?
- Is There A Time Limit For Making A Calcaneus Fracture Claim?
- Broken Heel Bone – Evidence To Support Your Claim
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Calcaneus Fracture
- Related Content
- Bone Fracture Compensation Claim FAQs
In this guide, we’ll look at what a broken heel bone fracture is and the symptoms it might cause. We’ll also examine the possible causes of an injury like this, and how it could be caused by a breach of duty of care.
We will also take a look at how broken heel compensation may be calculated, and how to ensure that you get the most compensation you’re entitled to by compiling evidence to support your claim. We’ll also look at the treatment that might be offered to you.
We’ll go on to look at how medical negligence could result in a fracture being missed or mistakenly diagnosed as something else. In addition, we will look at what constitutes a breach of duty in the medical field and how it can be proved that a doctor was negligent.
To conclude, we’ll look at the benefits that can be offered by a No Win No Fee agreement and how this could help you fund legal representation. We will also answer some commonly asked questions
A calcaneus fracture is where the single bone that makes up your heel is fractured. There are a number of different categories of fractures. These include:
- Hairline- A hairline fracture is a crack that occurs in the bone which doesn’t cause the bone to split into two pieces. Some hairline fractures may not be painful, and sometimes people who experience hairline fractures may not even realise that they have broken a bone
- Displaced/Non displaced- A non-displaced fracture is one where the broken bone has remained in alignment. If the fracture is displaced, this means that the bones have moved out of position. In a displaced fracture, there is a risk that the broken ends of the bone will cause internal damage to muscles, tendons and blood vessels
- Open/closed- A closed fracture is one where the skin has not been broken. An open fracture will break the skin, and you may see bone visible in the wound.
You could also suffer from a chip calcaneus fracture. This is when there are small pieces of bone that become separated from the main bone, also known as an avulsion fracture of the calcaneus bone.
In 2019/20, there were over 3,500 workplace foot injuries reported to RIDDOR. There were slightly more hand injuries, at just under 4,500. Below, we’ve included a graph to show how these two figures measure up against each other.
It’s important to note that the information included in the graph below relates to instances of injury overall, and not just ones related to negligence.
The heel itself is made up of just one bone, the calcaneus. If you have suffered a broken heel bone then it is the calcaneus that has been fractured.
The calcaneus is cushioned below by a bursal sac and pad of fat, along with thickened skin. Sometimes the bursal sac could become inflamed, and this is known as bursitis. The symptoms (like pain, swelling) can be similar to a fractured heel, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
The heel bone is connected to the calf muscles via the calcaneal tendon, also known as the Achilles tendon. The joint between the calcaneus and the lower ankle bone (the talus), is called the subtalar joint. This is sometimes called the heel joint.
There are a few symptoms to watch out for if you think you have suffered a calcaneus fracture. However, there are some conditions that could easily be confused for a broken calcaneus.
As mentioned above, one of these is bursitis. Another is plantar fasciitis. The pain associated with plantar fasciitis will usually be more uncomfortable while resting and during the earlier stages of use or exercise. The pain may get better during exercise, but will often then return while resting again.
Signs of a calcaneus fracture include:
- Pain or discomfort
- Tingling (if you experience this you should seek urgent medical attention- this could be due to nerve damage)
- A grinding or snapping sensation as the accident occurs
- Inability to place any weight on the heel
- Trouble walking
If you think you may have broken your heel, then you should seek medical attention right away. Leaving a fractured calcaneus to heal without treatment could cause you serious long-term problems and may impact your ability to walk down the line.
A heel fracture may occur as the result of a high-impact injury like a car accident. In these cases, you would make your claim against the driver responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you can still make a claim but it would be through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). If the driver that hit you failed to uphold the duty of care outlined in the Highway Code, you could be entitled to claim.
Another example of a high-impact injury that could cause a heel fracture could be a fall from a height. You could fall from a height in an accident at work that happened because your employer provided you with a faulty ladder, for instance. If you fall and land on your heels you could cause a severe calcaneus fracture. This would be an example of your employer neglecting their duty of care to you as outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
If a slip, trip, or fall occurred in a public place, then you could be entitled to claim. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 outlines the duty of care owed by those in control of public spaces to those who use them. For example, if you were on the street and tripped on a loose paving stone, you could make a claim against the local council who failed to maintain the pavement.
If you need clarification on whether someone else may have been at fault for how your injury was sustained then get in touch with us today. Our team are happy to offer you free legal advice.
When discussing calcaneus fracture compensation, there are usually two main figures to consider. These are known as general damages and special damages.
General damages are awarded to address the pain and suffering caused by the injuries you have sustained. They are calculated with the help of a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). These guidelines are updated semi-regularly and were last reviewed in 2019.
They consist of an extensive list of injuries and what they could be worth in compensation. The severity of the injury and recovery are two factors that can affect the amount of calcaneus fracture compensation awarded.
Below, we’ve included a table of certain injuries and what they could be worth in compensation.
|Foot||Very severe - injuries in this bracket must result in permanent and severe pain or disability. For example, cases where a substantial portion of the heel has been lost||£83,960 to £109,650|
|Foot||Severe - fractures to both heels with a significant restriction on mobility, or substantial and permanent pain||£41,970 to £70,030|
|Foot||Serious - injuries less severe but causing continuing pain from traumatic arthritis or the risk of arthritis in the future. There could also be prolonged treatment and the risk of fusion surgery||£24,990 to £39,200|
|Foot||Moderate - displaced metatarsal fractures that result in permanent deformity and other continuing symptoms. Possible risk of osteoarthritis and/or surgery in the future||£13,740 to £24,990|
|Foot||Modest - simple fractures, ligament damage etc. There could be continuing symptoms such as a limp or pain||Up to £13,740|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder||Severe - cases will involve permanent effects that prevent the injured person from working, or functioning anything like they did beforehand||£59,860 to £100,670|
|Post-traumatic stress disorder||Moderate - recovery will have largely taken place with no grossly disabling effects||£8,180 to £23,150|
|Ankle||Severe - an extensive period of treatment will have taken place. Alternatively, a lengthy period in plaster or the use of inserted metal pins and plates - risk of osteoarthritis and/or disturbance of sleep||£31,310 to £50,060|
|Ankle||Moderate - fractures, ligament tears etc that lead to things like difficulty walking on uneven surfaces, stars. Residual scarring, possible plates and risk of future osteoarthritis||£13,740 to £26,590|
|Ankle||Modest - less serious levels of fractures, sprains, and ligament injuries||Up to £13,740|
|Achilles tendon||Most serious - the tendon will have been severed along with the peroneus longus muscle and restrict ankle movement||In the region of £38,430|
|Achilles tendon||Serious - the division of the tendon will have been successful repaired but there is also residual weakness causing a limp with unlikely improvement||£24,990 to £30,090|
|Achilles tendon||Moderate - partial rupture or other significant injury to the tendon||£12,590 to £21,070|
|Achilles tendon||Minor - turning of the ankle that results in some damage and being unsure of ankle support||£7,270 to £12,590|
Special damages are calculated to account for any financial losses or additional outgoings caused by your injuries. The figure can differ from case to case. However, some things that can be included are:
- Loss of earnings – wages you would have earned if the injury has caused you to miss time at work
- Damage to property – the cost of any damage to personal property that occurred during the accident that caused your injury
- Medical expenses – things like prescriptions and other treatments that aren’t funded by the NHS
It’s important that you obtain proof of these outgoings in the form of things like receipts. Without proof, you’ll find it much more difficult to be reimbursed. If you want to know more about what else can be included in a special damages payment then reach out to our advisors for more information.
Calcaneus heel bone fractures need to be assessed and diagnosed before they can be treated. Diagnosis will usually be confirmed with an X-ray or CT scan. Once the extent of the damage has been identified then a treatment can be administered.
In some heel features the bones may still be lined up as they should be. In cases such as these, a cast or splint may be applied to immobilise the heel so that it can heal properly. This will usually have to stay in place for at least 6-8 weeks, but more complex fractures could need longer. You will be advised not to put any weight on the foot until it is healed.
In more severe cases, the bone could break into several pieces. The heel would then need to be repaired surgically, with the fragments being held in place with metal plates and screws. The level of calcaneus fracture compensation can be affected by how invasive the treatment is and how long it takes you to make a full recovery. If your recovery is incomplete and you’re left with a permanent disability your compensation will reflect this.
Following any calcaneus fracture, physical therapy exercises may be given to you so that you can walk and stand as well as you could before the injury. It’s important that you carry out any exercises given to you by a doctor to increase the chance of you making a full recovery.
A missed calcaneus fracture is when a heel fracture isn’t detected or is diagnosed as something else. As mentioned earlier, an injury like this can be incorrectly interpreted as bursitis and plantar fasciitis. If this happens, the fracture may be left untreated it could become worse and cause more complications down the line.
Medical negligence is where a doctor fails to provide you with the minimum standard of care. In order to claim compensation for medical negligence, you need to show that a medical professional breached their duty of care to you. This means that they provided a level of care that fell below the standard expected of their profession.
However, a case of misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis will not always be the result of medical negligence. To determine whether or not a doctor was negligent, the courts will administer something called the Bolam Test.
This is where a panel of medical professionals who specialise in the same field of medicine as the doctor who missed the fracture will be asked how they would have acted when faced with the same evidence. If they confirm that they would have taken the same course of action (or inaction), then the doctor would not be considered negligent. If they confirm that they would have acted differently, however, then the doctor will be considered negligent.
Heel fractures can be mistakenly diagnosed as other conditions. This could result in your doctor failing to carry out the proper diagnostic tests like X-rays. If an X-ray is arranged, it may be misread or carried out incorrectly.
If the X-ray is carried out as it should be, it may not reach the medical professional. The results of the test could be lost in an administrative error. Your X-ray results may also be mixed up with those of another patient, causing you to receive their diagnosis instead of your own.
As mentioned above, medical errors are not always the result of medical negligence. Sometimes, complications can arise even when a doctor is providing an appropriate level of care. But if the level of care you received fell below the acceptable standard and you suffered as a result, you may be able to claim.
It’s also important to note that a medical negligence claim will only compensate you for the pain, suffering and financial impact that the negligence has had on you and not the injury overall. With a heel fracture, you will likely have experienced some pain and suffering even if the injury was diagnosed. You will only be compensated for the additional effects that the misdiagnosis had on you and not the impact the injury had overall.
It’s stated in the Limitation Act 1980 that you generally have 3 years from the date you sustained your injury to make a claim, or from the date you became aware that your injuries resulted from negligence. The latter is known as the “date of knowledge”.
If you wait any longer than this, you’re likely to find it very difficult to have your claim addressed. There are certain circumstances however where you could still make a claim later than 3 years after the injury. We’ve included the more common scenarios below.
Child Accident Claims
Those under 18 years old cannot legally pursue their own claim. Because of this, their 3-year time limit will begin on their 18th birthday. This is when they become a legal adult.
Until then, their time limit is suspended but a litigation friend can claim on behalf of them while they are still a child. This is an adult who is affiliated with the child who has their best interests in mind. They can be a parent, guardian, family friend, or legal representative such as a personal injury lawyer.
If the case is successful, the litigation friend does not receive the calcaneus fracture compensation. It is paid into a legally secured bank account that the child can access once they turn 18.
Claiming On Behalf Of Those With A Reduced Mental Capacity
Some people with a reduced mental capacity will not be able to represent themselves in a claim. In these cases, their time limit is indefinitely suspended and can only be made for them by a litigation friend.
If they regain their mental capacity and are able to claim themselves, the three-year limit will begin. Otherwise, it remains suspended indefinitely.
For more information on these time limits and the exceptions that apply, get in touch with our team today.
If you have suffered a broken calcaneus injury due to a breach of duty of care, you could be eligible to make a claim. However, in order to successfully claim compensation, you will need to provide sufficient evidence.
Any evidence you provide for a broken heel bone claim could also influence the compensation payout that you are awarded. For example, if you had a severe calcaneus fracture, a permanent disability could occur. A medical report could show how this would affect you, and you could potentially receive a higher payout.
Further types of evidence could include:
- CCTV footage of the incident that caused your calcaneus to be broken.
- The contact details of any witnesses that saw the accident that caused your injury, so they can potentially provide a statement that supports your claim.
- A medical report from the doctor/hospital that examined and treated your injury. An x-ray of your broken heel could be included.
- If you suffered your injury in a work accident, then a report of the incident in your workplace’s accident book could potentially be included as evidence.
- Pictures of the accident site and possibly your injury as well.
Though it is not required in order to claim, we would recommend that you seek legal assistance. Solicitors could use their knowledge and expertise to help you collect the appropriate evidence for your claim.
A No Win No Fee claim means that you will not be responsible for covering your lawyer’s legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful. You also won’t be asked to pay anything to your solicitor in order for the claim to begin, or while it’s ongoing.
If you win their claim for a calcaneus fracture compensation, then your solicitor will cover their costs by deducting a small, legally capped percentage from your compensation award. This is legally capped to ensure that you always get the majority of the compensation you’re awarded.
All of the lawyers on our panel work with their clients on a No Win No Fee basis. If this method of pursuing your claim appeals to you, then get in touch with us today.
- You can call us on 020 3870 4868
- Chat to us using the pop-up window in the bottom right corner
- Fill out our online form to find out if you could have a valid claim
We’ve included some links to additional material you may find useful.
- Information regarding your rights after an accident at work.
- What to do if your injury occurred in an accident in a public place.
- Our guide to slip, trip and fall accident claims.
- More information on what a litigation friend is.
- How to request CCTV footage of yourself.
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents provides guidance on reducing serious accidental injuries.
In this final section, we’ve answered some of the questions we’re most frequently asked.
Could I claim if my child broke their heel bone?
Yes, you can claim on behalf of your child as a litigation friend. If the case is successful, the child would not receive the payout until their 18th birthday.
What will happen to compensation awarded to a child?
If calcaneus fracture compensation is awarded to a child, then the amount won is paid into a legally secured bank account. Once they turn 18, they can access this account, along with any interest that may have accrued.
Can I claim if I was partially at fault?
You may be able to claim if you were partly at fault for your accident, for instance, if you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault but your injuries were exacerbated because you failed to wear a seatbelt. Your compensation would be reduced accordingly.
Can I claim without evidence?
Compensation would be difficult to claim if you have no evidence. Simply sustaining the injury is not enough. You must be able to prove that it was sustained due to someone else’s breach of their duty of care.
We hope this guide on calcaneus fracture compensation claims has been helpful. If you would like to speak to an advisor, then please contact the UK Law team online or on the phone using the contact details found within this guide.