Ankle Injury Compensation Claims

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If you've suffered an ankle injury due to someone else's negligence in Queensland at work, on the road or in a public place, you may have a right to compensation.

This guide will help you understand what you need to know about your rights to claim compensation, common causes and types of ankle injuries, how to claim, the time limits for claiming, and some frequently asked questions. 

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury compensation claim experts offers free initial advice. All claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise. We operate Queensland-wide.

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Understanding Your Rights After an Ankle Injury in Queensland

If you've suffered an ankle injury and it wasn't your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim.

As well as your rights at common law, in Queensland, there are some compensation schemes available to you: 

  • Car and Road Accidents: In cases of injury resulting from car and road accidents, the CTP (Compulsory Third Party) Claims Scheme can come into play. This compensation scheme provides financial assistance for victims of negligence-related car accidents.
  • Work Accidents: If you've suffered an ankle injury in the workplace, two types of claims can arise. You could either make a claim, regardless of fault, through WorkCover Queensland or your employer’s insurance. Alternatively, if your employer was negligent, then you could make a common law claim.
  • Public Place Accidents: If you have been injured in a public place due to someone else's negligence, you may have a right to make a common law claim against the public liability insurer of the party at fault.

Remember, it's crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible to understand your rights better and navigate the legal process efficiently.

What is an Ankle Injury?

An ankle injury refers to any form of harm or damage that disrupts the normal functioning of the ankle joint. It can result from an accident, a fall, or improper movement, and may include a range of conditions from mild sprains and strains to severe fractures and ligament tears.

These injuries often cause pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty in walking or bearing weight on the affected foot. Immediate medical attention is necessary to properly diagnose the severity of the injury and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Common Causes of Ankle Injuries

Experiencing an ankle injury is not only painful at the time, but it could also lead to long-term health issues. According to Safe Work Australia, ankle injuries accounted for 18 percent of all serious claims in 2020-21. 

Some of the common causes include: 

  • Slipping, tripping or falling: This is quite common and can occur in a variety of environments, from roads and sidewalks slippery because of rain or debris to a wet office floor or even an uneven footing in a public place.
  • Road traffic accidents: Individuals can sustain ankle injuries during vehicle collisions, especially if they're pedestrians, cyclists or on a motorbike where they lack the protective casing of a car or truck.
  • Workplace accidents: Certain work environments pose a higher risk of ankle injuries. For example, construction sites where you might step on uneven ground or trip over loose materials.
  • Sporting events: An overly vigorous game, poor training practices, unmaintained grounds, or not warming up properly before athletic activity often leads to ankle injuries. Inherent risks of sport may mean injury compensation may be harder unless another party was clearly negligent.

Regardless of the cause, if you've been injured in Queensland through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. You should speak to a personal injury lawyer who can advise you on what steps you can take.

Common Types of Ankle Injuries

There are several types of ankle injuries that you could sustain from accidents on the road, at work or in public places. These injuries could significantly affect your mobility and day-to-day activities.

Some of the most common injuries include: 

  • Sprained Ankle: This usually happens when there is an unnatural twisting motion of the ankle. It causes the ligaments to stretch beyond their capacity, causing pain and swelling.
  • Fractured Ankle: This involves a break in one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint. It could be the result of a high-impact accident such as a car crash, where the ankle is crushed, or you fall from a height.
  • Ankle Strain: This can occur when the muscles or tendons around the ankle are stretched or torn. This is most commonly seen when people slip, trip or fall.
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture: The Achilles tendon, located at the back of the ankle, can tear or snap due to a sudden impact or forceful stretching. It's most common in sports-related or occupational injuries.
  • Ankle Impingement: This condition involves pain and restricted movement caused by bone or tissue in the ankle pinching together. This can arise following an intense impact injury or repetitive strain on the joint.
Workers Most at Risk of Ankle Injuries

There are certain professions and industries in Queensland where employees are at greater risk of experiencing ankle injuries due to their nature of work. These include: 

  • Construction Workers: Due to the uneven terrain and heavy machinery used in this industry, construction workers are prone to ankle injuries caused by falls, slips and trips.
  • Athletes: Those involved in sporting activities, particularly sports such as football, rugby or surfing, are vulnerable to ankle sprains and fractures due to the physical intensity and rapid, forceful movements involved in these sports.
  • Healthcare Professionals: Nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers often work long shifts and are constantly on their feet, causing strain on the ankle over time. Missteps and trips over medical equipment can also lead to ankle injuries.
  • Manual Labourers: Physical labour jobs, such as gardening, carpentry or plumbing, involve a lot of bending, twisting, lifting and moving, making them prone to ankle injuries.
  • Restaurant and Hospitality Staff: Staff employed in fast-paced environments such as kitchens or hotel lobbies have a high risk of slipping on wet or oily floors, resulting in possible ankle injury.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

It's critical to first seek advice from a medical professional who can diagnose and document your injury. Following this, the claims process can prove to be complex. We aim here to break down the general steps involved when seeking compensation for an injury caused by someone else's negligence in Queensland. 

Below is an outline of the steps involved: 

1. Seek Free Initial Legal Advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options, including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage A Personal Injury Lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no out of pocket expenses.

3. Gather Evidence To Build Your Case

Once your compensation matter is opened, you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track, when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long-term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File Your Claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives), such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace injuries. 

5. Negotiate With The At-Fault Party's Insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office-based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged in leading the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is unsuccessful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you can not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement Payment

If you have a successful personal injury claim, you will receive a tax free, lump sum payout. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Remember, each case is unique, and the process can vary based on the specifics. It's suggested to seek professional legal advice and have your case reviewed by an expert team to guide you in this journey. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

The value of the compensation payouts you could get after an ankle injury isn't always set in stone. A variety of factors can influence the compensation figure. These include: 

  • Medical expenses: These are the costs related to treatment and ongoing care. These can encompass the immediate cost of treating your injury, rehabilitation expenses, medication costs and future medical expenses if ongoing treatment is needed.
  • Loss of Earnings: If the ankle injury has affected your ability to work, either temporarily or on a more long-term basis, you could claim for lost wages. This includes not only immediate loss but also future earnings if your capacity to work is affected.
  • Pain and Suffering: In legal terms, this is known as general damages. The pain and discomfort experienced, both physical and emotional, as a direct result of your physical injury could be included in your claim.
  • Impact on Lifestyle: If your injury has harmed your quality of life, such as your ability to partake in hobbies or social activities, this can be taken into account.

It's crucial to understand that even with the same type of ankle injury, the compensation amounts may vary significantly because the circumstances of each individual are different. 

For instance, picture two people who both suffered an ankle fracture from a workplace accident. Person A is a young construction worker who was planning to climb the ranks in their profession. Due to their injury, their mobility is compromised, and they can't perform as well in their role as they used to. This impairment in their capacity has impacted their future earnings severely. 

On the other hand, Person B is an older call centre operator. Despite having the same injury, the impact on their work and future earnings is not as severe as their job doesn't rely on physical mobility.

Therefore, even with the same injury, Person A could potentially claim more compensation compared to Person B due to the higher impact on their work and future earnings. 

Personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights and what you may be entitled to.

Time Limits for Ankle Injuries

In Queensland, the typical time limit to lodge an injury claim for an ankle injury is three years from when the injury occurred. However, this duration can differ depending on the specifics of your situation. 

For work-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have six months to lodge your claim with WorkCover. The six-month period begins whenever the incident takes place, either when you are injured or after a doctor has made their assessment. 
  • You have three years to commence legal proceedings for a common law claim. If your employer or a third party caused or contributed to your injury, this can be run alongside a standard WorkCover claim.

For motor vehicle-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have 9 months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the 9 months but must be within 3 years of the accident, or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have 1 month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (1 month vs 9 months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have 3 months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the 3-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard 9-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

These limits can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, such as exceptional delays in discovering the injury or if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident. For those under 18, the time limit begins when they reach adulthood.

At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews to aid you in understanding your legal rights after an injury. Operating on a No Win, No Fee, No Catch® basis, we aim to provide risk-free legal assistance and advocate for your right to proper compensation.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What evidence do I need to support my ankle injury compensation claim?

Filing an ankle injury claim in Queensland necessitates exhaustive and compelling evidence. To bolster your claim and improve the chances of getting the compensation you deserve, it's essential that you gather the following types of evidence: 

  • Witness Testimonies: Statements from people who witnessed the accident can provide crucial information supporting your claim.
  • Details of Expense: Keep track of all your medical costs or rehabilitation expenses. These receipts will serve as proof of your financial burden due to the injury.
  • Proof of Lost Earnings: If your injury has made you miss work, collect payslip records or employer statements to substantiate your lost income.
  • Medical Reports: Documentations of your injury from certified healthcare professionals provide concrete evidence of the severity of your injury.
  • Proof of Accident: Evidence documenting the incident location, nature of the accident, and any potential hazards involved are imperative. This could be in the form of videos, photographs or official accident reports.

Note that every case is unique, and the aforementioned types of evidence may not cover all situations. Thus, it's important to begin your claims process by seeking professional legal advice.

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I twisted my ankle at work, am I eligible for compensation?

Most likely, yes. WorkCover Queensland generally covers work-related ankle injuries, whether from a sudden event or gradual strain. However, in certain situations, you may also have a separate common law claim against your employer if their negligence played a significant role in your injury.

Here are some common scenarios where this might be the case:

  • Unsafe work environment: Your employer failed to provide a safe workplace, like leaving slippery floors, trip hazards, or failing to warn about known risks.
  • Faulty equipment: You were injured due to defective equipment or tools that your employer knew (or should have known) were faulty.
  • Inadequate training or supervision: You didn't receive proper instructions or oversight for your tasks, contributing to the ankle injury.

Important: Before starting a common law claim, you first need to lodge your statutory WorkCover claim.

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I injured my ankle on a public footpath, can I make a personal injury claim?

Potentially, yes. Councils and the contractors they hire (like those working on phone lines, NBN, utilities, etc.)  have a responsibility to maintain footpaths in a safe condition. If their negligence caused your injury, you may have a claim.

Examples where negligence might lead to a claim:

  • Potholes or hidden dips
  • Debris or obstacles left on the footpath
  • Faulty construction or poorly marked hazards during footpath works

Important Note: Proving a negligence claim against a council or a contractor can be challenging. You will need to show that they failed to meet their duty of care and that this directly caused your injury.

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No; our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs, and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to Ankle Injury Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
February 19, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.