Making a Claim for Compensation for a Foot Injury at Work
If you have injured your foot in an accident at work for which you were not to blame, or developed a foot condition due to the environment you were required to work in, you may be entitled to claim compensation for a foot injury at work if it can be established that your employer´s negligence was directly responsible for the injury.
Making a work foot injury claim for compensation is not always straightforward, with the potential for your employer to dispute your claim for foot injuries at work on the grounds of your contributory negligence or your claim for injuring a foot at work being hijacked by your employer´s liability insurance company.
Furthermore, you cannot rely on the Injuries Board assessing your claim for work foot injury compensation accurately if you are not certain that you have communicated to them the full consequences of your injury. Therefore, although this article provides general information about making a claim for compensation for a foot injury at work, it is always in your best interests to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.
Contributory Negligence and Accidents at Work
One of the reasons why your employer´s consent to assess your claim for foot injuries at work may be withheld from the Injuries Board is if you are considered to have been partly responsible for the cause of the accident at work in which you injured your foot or the extent of your injury. The Injuries Board will only assess claims for foot injuries at work in which total liability is admitted and, if you have contributed to your foot injury, the Injuries Board will have no option but to issue you with an authorisation to pursue your work foot claim for compensation in court.
Court action is only usually a last resort when making a claim for injuring a foot at work, as it may also be possible to negotiate a settlement of compensation with your employer´s liability insurers where you accept a percentage liability for your foot injury and that percentage is then deducted from how much compensation for a foot injury at work your claim is settled for. Negotiating the value of work foot injury compensation directly with an insurance company is not advisable without legal representation.
One factor of contributory negligence which is at times overlooked is if you contributed to the extent of your foot injury by neglecting to seek immediate professional medical attention. Some people who injure a foot at work foolishly attempt to work through the pain – making their injury worse and endangering their entitlement to compensation for a foot at work. If this has happened to you, you should speak with a solicitor about whether you still have a claim for foot injuries at work which is worth pursuing.
Direct Offers of Compensation from Insurance Companies
You should always contact a solicitor if you receive a direct approach from an insurance company with an unsolicited offer of work foot injury compensation. Insurance companies are often made aware of accidents in the workplace when a report is made in the employer´s “Accident Report Book”, and the insurance company might even make an approach before you have considered making a claim for injuring a foot at work.
The purpose of the insurance company´s approach is to reduce how much compensation for a foot injury at work the will be liable to pay and, by tempting plaintiffs with an offer which would result in a quick settlement, they are successful on enough occasions to keep on trying these approaches. Even if you are concerned about your immediate finances, you should refrain from accepting an insurance company´s unsolicited offer of compensation until you have discussed your claim for foot injuries at work with a solicitor.
By their approach, the insurance company has effectively admitted your employer´s liability for your injured foot, and your solicitor will be able to engage in negotiations with the insurance company to obtain a satisfactory settlement of your work foot claim for compensation – organising interim payments until the negotiations are concluded if necessary.
How Much is a Claim for Injuring a Foot at Work Worth?
How much compensation for a foot injury at work you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age, sex and general state of health prior to the accident in which your foot was injured. Financial values for foot injuries can be found in the Book of Quantum, but these values only consider the physical pain and suffering you experience at the time of your foot injury and not for the “inconvenience of incapacity” that might result from a lengthy recovery period and immobility.
Claims for foot injuries at work should include compensation for the impact that your foot injury has on your incapacity to perform everyday domestic tasks and your inability to participate in leisure pursuits or engage in an active social life. There is very little opportunity to account for this “loss of amenity” when making a claim for injuring a foot at work through the Injuries Board process and, as mentioned above, you should speak with solicitor with experience of making a claim for foot injuries at work – to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work foot compensation.
The amounts you are claiming for expenses, lost earnings and any other costs you have incurred due to injuring your foot are then added to the compensation values above to finalise how much your work foot injury claim for compensation is worth. You may also be able to recover any legal costs you have incurred in pursuit of your claim for injuring a foot at work, fares paid to use alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive and future medical costs if, for example, physiotherapy is required in order that you make a full recovery from your foot injury.
How the Statute of Limitations affects a Work Foot Claim for Compensation
The Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 set a limitation period of two years for making claims for foot injuries at work from the “Date of Knowledge” on which the injury to the foot is diagnosed. There are very few scenarios in which a plaintiff would be unaware that they have broken a bone in their foot in an accident at work and therefore the two year limitation period for making a work foot injury claim for compensation would usually start on the day of an accident.
Two years may seem ample time in which to submit a claim for foot injuries at work to the Injuries Board for assessment but, if liability for your foot injury is denied, or you are waiting for the results of an HSA investigation to confirm your employer´s responsibility in a claim for injuring a foot at work, the time can pass quickly by.
If the full extent of your injured foot is not known, or due to complications it is taking a long time to recover from your foot work accident and impossible to calculate how much work foot compensation you are entitled to, it is possible to “stop the clock” on your claim for compensation for a foot injury at work. You will need the agreement of your employer´s insurance company to put a hold on your claim – assuming your employer has admitted liability for your foot injury – and this is something which is once again best done with the assistance of an experienced solicitor.
Do I Need a Solicitor to Claim Compensation for a Foot at Work?
It is not necessary to engage the services of a solicitor in order to make claims for foot injuries at work, but it is often in your best interests to do so. In addition to acting as an intermediary between yourself and your employer, and handling any complications that arise while making a claim for foots at work, a solicitor has the experience to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work foot injury compensation – whether your claim for injuring a foot at work is resolved via the Injuries Board, by negotiation with your employer´s insurers or through the courts.
Most solicitors will offer a free assessment of your work foot injury claim for compensation if you have sustained a foot injury in a work accident for which you were not entirely to blame, and provide you with answers to any questions you may have in regard to your eligibility to claim compensation for a foot injury at work. As it is often in your best interest to have evidence collected in support of your claim for foot injuries at work while it is still recent, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor about the circumstances of your foot injury at work without delay.