Foot Injury Claims
An Introduction to Foot Injury Claims
Foot injury claims are civil legal actions which enable you to recover compensation when you have injured your foot in an accident for which you were not at fault. You will be eligible to make foot injury claims for compensation when it can be proven that the accident in which your foot was damaged was caused by somebody who had a “duty of care” towards you and – either by their action or a lack of action – that person´s negligence was responsible for your foot injury.
No two claims for a foot injury are the same – even when the nature and severity of the injury are identical – as compensation for a foot injury should account for consequences of your foot injury and how they affect your quality of life as much as the physical trauma you experienced at the time of the accident. Consequently, it is always in your best interests to discuss the circumstances of your accident and foot injury with an experienced solicitor prior to making foot injury claims for compensation.
Foot Injury Claims and Your Health
Your health is the most important factor in claims for a foot injury and although you will have sought professional medical attention at a hospital or clinic at the time of your foot injury, it is essential that you keep any out-patient appointments after your discharge to prevent claims from the negligent party´s insurers that you made your foot injury worse by your own lack of care. Your “contributory negligence” will not disqualify you from making claims for foot injury compensation, but it might affect how much your foot injury claim is worth.
Foot injury claims should also consider any psychological injury you have sustained either during your accident or while recovering from a foot injury. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder because of the manner in which your foot injury was sustained, suffered from depression or anxiety during your recovery from an injured foot or lost your confidence to drive, work or socialise as a direct result of your foot injury, you should advise your solicitor – who will arrange for the appropriate proof of psychological injury, and include this factor in your claim for foot injury compensation.
Establishing Negligence in Foot Injury Claims
Even though a negligent driver, employer or other third party may have admitted their liability for your foot injury at the time your accident happened, when you claim compensation for a foot injury, the settlement of your claim is made by the negligent party´s insurers – even when claims for a foot injury are processed by the Injuries Board Ireland. Therefore, as the negligent party´s insurer was not present at the time of your accident, claims for foot injury compensation have to be compiled which establish that the insurance company´s client was indeed the negligent party and thereby liable for your injured foot.
In order to establish negligence in foot injury claims, an accident report should be made to either the Garda, your employer or at the offices of anther third party responsible for your foot injury, and a copy retained to submit with your application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland. You can support claims for foot injury compensation with photographs taken at the scene of the accident or CCTV video, and statements from witnesses who saw your foot injury accident occur. Indeed the more evidence of negligence in foot injury claims you – or a solicitor on your behalf – can collect, the likelier it is that your claim for foot injury compensation will be successful.
The Process for Making Foot Injury Compensation Claims
There are two main ways in which claims for foot injury compensation are processed. The first is that your solicitor sends a Letter of Claim to the negligent party, advising them that you are claiming compensation for a foot injury. The negligent party will usually forward the letter on to his insurers – advising them whether or not they accept liability for your foot injury – and, if liability is not contested, your solicitor will enter into negotiations with the insurance company to obtain the maximum possible settlement of your foot injury compensation claim.
The second method of claiming compensation for a foot injury is that an application is sent to the Injuries Board Ireland, requesting an assessment of your claim. The Injuries Board Ireland will then write to the negligent party, asking them to confirm that they accept liability for your injured foot and calculate – once confirmation is received – what your foot injury claim is worth based on the information you have provided and a further independent medical examination. The Injuries Board Ireland will advise both you and the negligent party how much compensation for a foot injury they believe you should receive and – if both you and the negligent party are in agreement with the Injuries Board´s decision – they will issue an Order to Pay, and the negligent party´s insurers will send you a cheque in settlement of your foot injury claim.
The Injuries Board´s Role in Foot Injury Claims
The Injuries Board Ireland plays an important role in the settlement of foot injury claims as, if liability for your foot injury is contested, or how much compensation for a foot injury you should receive is disputed, the Injuries Board Ireland has to issue an “Authorisation” before you are allowed to take your claim for a foot injury to court. It is estimated that as many as a third of all foot injury claims are resolved in court, and without the “Authorisation” from the Injuries Board Ireland, you will be unable to proceed with a claim for foot injury compensation if negotiations between your solicitor and the negligent party´s insurers fail to satisfactorily resolve your foot injury claim.
The Injuries Board Ireland declines to disclose exactly how many foot injury claims are settled according to their assessments, but many observers are of the opinion that the resolution of claims for foot injury compensation is equally divided between negotiated settlement, injury board assessment and litigation in court – with up to 90 percent of claims for foot injury compensation submitted to the Injuries Board Ireland having been prepared by an experienced personal injury solicitor.
Foot Injury Claims and Litigation
Inasmuch as the possibility of court action can often dissuade people from making foot injury claims, insurance companies are even less keen of the prospect of litigating a claim for foot injury compensation in court. The costs of litigating foot injury claims in court are substantial and, no matter how justified the insurance company feel they are in denying their client´s liability for your foot injury, the financial risk they are taking (that a court will find in your favour) often prompts an out of court settlement of a foot injury claim without the admission of liability.
This is especially true when litigation is required to resolve a dispute over how much your foot injury compensation claim is worth. Courts tend to look down upon financial disputes of this nature and both parties will be encouraged to negotiate a foot injury compensation settlement before an appearance in court is necessary. Nonetheless, because there is the possibility that your foot injury compensation claim may have to be presented in court, your solicitor will prepare the strongest possible foot injury claim with litigation in mind as soon as he or she has accepted your case.
How Much Are Foot Injury Claims Worth?
How much compensation for a foot injury you will be entitled to receive will depend on the severity and extent of your injury and subject to the range of foot injury compensation values published in the Book of Quantum. Your age, gender and general physical condition prior to the accident in which your foot was injured will also be taken into account, along with the impact that your foot injury has on your quality of life and your lack of ability to complete day-to-day tasks without assistance. Due to the fact that – as you recover from your foot injury – many of the limitations you had to put up with will be forgotten, it is recommended that you maintain a diary to record the times when your foot injury prevents you from enjoying a full social life or participating in leisure pursuits.
Foot injury claims also enable you to recover any financial costs you may have incurred which are directly attributable to your injured foot. These can range from the cost of medical treatment and medication to the expense of using public transport should your foot injury prevent you from driving. Foot injury special damages – as they are known – also ensure that any income you have lost from being unable to work is replaced and, when your foot injury claim is ultimately resolved, you should be no worse off financially than if your foot accident had never happened.
Third Party Capture and Foot Injury Claims
Although it would be impossible for a solicitor to tell you how much compensation for a foot injury you would be entitled to receive on an initial consultation, it is important that you are aware at an early stage how much your foot injury claim is worth. This is because you may be approached directly by the negligent party´s insurers when a Letter of Claim is received with an offer of compensation in settlement of your foot injury claim.
An insurance company´s approach with an offer of compensation for your foot injury claim is not necessarily a bad event, as it confirms their client´s liability for your foot injury. However, without a full assessment of your foot injury compensation claim, it is unlikely that the insurance company´s offer is appropriate to your entitlement to foot injury compensation and, should it prove to be inadequate to cover your medical costs and loss of income, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more compensation for a foot injury.
Foot Injury Claims for Children
If your child has injured their foot in an accident for which they were not to blame, they can only claim foot injury compensation through a parent or guardian acting as their “next friend”. A “next friend” has to be approved by court and be prepared to accept the financial consequences of making a claim for foot injury compensation should the claim be unsuccessful. You will therefore need a solicitor to assist with the process of making foot injury claims for children when you first start your claim.
Furthermore, any settlements of foot injury claims for children – irrespective of whether the foot injury compensation has been agreed by negotiation, assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland or awarded in court – have to be approved by a judge before payment of foot injury compensation can be made. Compensation settlements for children´s foot injury claims are usually held by the court until the child reached the age of eighteen, but can be released on application to the court if some of the foot injury compensation is required for educational or medical purposes.
Foot Injury Claims Summary
Irrespective of whether the accident which caused your foot injury happened recently or up to two years ago, you should always engage the services of a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity to advise you about your entitlement to foot injury compensation and to assist you at the start of the foot injury claims process. At a time when you may be feeling both physically and emotionally traumatised, a claim for foot injury compensation can be taken out of your hands and dealt with professionally – allowing you to focus on making a quicker recovery from your foot injury.