Foot Injury Compensation Claims

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Experiencing a foot injury, whether it's in a road accident, on the job, or in a public place, can have a significant impact on your life. In Queensland, if you've suffered an injury due to the fault or negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation.

This page will give you information on what your rights to compensation are, common causes and types of foot injury, workers most at risk of foot injury, how to make a claim, evidence you might need, and what time limits apply.

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury claim experts offers free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in the hospital, in-office, or via phone. All foot injury 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 a Foot Injury in Queensland

In 2022, 497,300 people reported a work-related injury or illness, and 66% of these individuals needed time off work as a result. If you've suffered a foot injury that was caused by someone else's negligence, it's important to understand your rights in order to claim compensation. 

Unfortunately, the often significant cost of these injuries falls not only on the injured person but their families as well. Making a claim can provide financial assistance for your medical costs, loss of earnings, and any pain and suffering caused by the injury.

There are a number of compensation schemes available in Queensland: 

  • Car Accidents: The Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Claims Scheme is designed to provide compensation for victims in the case of a motor vehicle accident. If your foot injury was caused on the road, you may be eligible to claim under this scheme.
  • Work Accidents: If your foot injury occurred at work, you'll be looking at two main types of claims. Firstly, there are Statutory Claims through WorkCover Queensland (or your employer's workplace compensation insurer if they are self-insured), which provides compensation regardless of fault. Secondly, there are common law claims where your injury was caused by your employer's negligence. 
  • Public Place Accidents: If your foot injury occurred in a public place; for example, on a footpath, shopping centre or at an event; you may be able to seek compensation through a claim against the public liability insurer of the responsible party.

It's important to understand what compensation you might be entitled to. This is where personal injury lawyers can help. They can explain your options and what your claim might look like.

What is a Foot Injury?

Workers in certain environments like building and mining sites, factories and workshops are more prone to foot and toe injuries. But, foot and toe injuries can just as well occur in an office setting at work.

Businesses in Queensland that employ workers are obliged to insure them against work-related injuries. Work-related injuries are covered under WorkCover insurance (in most cases)or a workers' compensation scheme policy held by the employer (e.g. Commcare).

Doctors use tables and scales to determine the impairment rating of a worker after a foot injury. Injured workers receive an offer of a lump sum compensation based on their work-related impairment or degree of permanent impairment (WRI/DPI).

As well as a statutory workers compensation claim, you may also be able to lodge a 'common law' claim if your employer has been negligent or otherwise failed in their responsibility for your health and safety, resulting in the injury.

Learn more about the difference between a statutory claim and a common law claim, and better understand your rights by speaking with a personal injury lawyer.

Common Causes of Foot Injuries

Accidents happen, and unfortunately, our feet often bear the brunt of the impact. According to a study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, about 1.75 million Australians reported having foot problems in 2020.  This demonstrates just how prevalent foot and toe injuries are in Australia. 

Whether it's a nasty slip, a collision on the road or a mishap at work, foot injuries can leave you in pain, feeling sidelined and facing mounting medical bills. While these injuries can be caused by a multitude of different circumstances, some causes are more commonly seen than others.

These common causes include: 

  • Road Accidents: These account for about 17 per cent of foot injuries in Queensland. As well as car and motorcycle accidents, this can include bicycle injuries and pedestrians being hit by motorists.
  • Workplace Incidents: The construction industry accounts for the highest number of foot injury claims in Queensland. But you don't have to work in heavy industry to suffer a foot injury. Dropping an object, tripping over uneven surfaces or possibly stepping on sharp objects can all result in an injury.
  • Public Place Accidents: Tripping up or down stairs, slipping on wet surfaces, and poor lighting in shopping centres, supermarkets, or pavements can cause serious foot and toe injuries.
  • Sporting Activities: Injuries often occur during physical activities such as football, rugby or running due to excessive strain, inadequate equipment or poor technique.
  • Repetitive strain injuries: Standing for long periods, wearing unsupportive shoes or performing specific job tasks can lead to an injury over time.
Common Types of Foot Injuries

No matter how your injury occurs, it's important to understand the effects it could have on your life. This is going to help you with any claim you might make.

Some common foot injuries include:

  • Fractures: A fairly common foot injury that occurs when one or more bones in your foot are broken. Often the result of an accident, such as a slip, fall or a sudden twist.
  • Sprains: When you twist or pull your ligaments beyond their range of movement, you wind up with foot sprains. Twisting your ankle on uneven floors or during a car accident could leave it sprained.
  • Dislocations: These can happen as a result of severe accidents where there's a sudden impact on the foot, causing the bone to be forced out of its regular position. If your foot was deformed or swollen and painful, it could have been dislocated.
  • Tendonitis: Overuse or strain of the foot, perhaps from standing for long periods at work, can cause inflammation or irritation of the tendons in the foot, leading to tendonitis.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: In a similar way to tendonitis, this is the inflammation of the tissue running across the bottom of your foot and is often a result of long hours of standing at work or walking.
  • Bunions: Bunions develop slowly over time and present as a bony bump at the base of your big toe, caused by wearing tight, narrow shoes while driving, at work or when you're out and about.
  • Cuts: Broken glass, debris or sharp objects can leave deep cuts and wounds that require stitches and cause problems walking or standing.
Workers Most at Risk of Foot Injuries

Workplace injuries involving the foot are common, with one in three workplace injuries in Queensland being related to the foot or ankle. These injuries can happen to anyone, but some professions are often at higher risk of sustaining foot injuries than others. 

Here are a few of the most at-risk occupations: 

  • Construction Workers: From dropped tools and falling debris to uneven terrain and heavy equipment, construction workers are constantly exposed to hazards. It's important for these workers to always wear protective footwear and follow safety guidelines at work.
  • Retail Employees: As well as spending a lot of time on their feet, having to lift heavy boxes makes them susceptible to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and other foot-related injuries.
  • Healthcare Workers: Nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals spend many hours on their feet. The constant running around in a fast-paced environment can easily result in sprains, strains or even broken bones.
  • Food Service Staff: Waiters, chefs and other food service professionals are susceptible to wet floor slips or injuries from sharp instruments falling and hitting the feet. Protective footwear providing good grip can help mitigate these risks.
  • Agricultural Workers: These workers often handle heavy tools and machinery, work on uneven surfaces and are exposed to the weather, which can increase the risk of foot and toe injuries.

No matter what you do for a living, employers are required to provide a safe working environment where workers are appropriately protected. If you sustain an injury to your foot through an accident at work, you may be entitled to compensation. You should seek legal advice to discuss your options.

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. 

If you've suffered a foot injury due to an accident at work, on the road, or in a public place in Queensland, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Here are the usual steps in a foot injury claim. 

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 foot injury claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

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 accidents. 

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

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical treatment 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 your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax-free compensation settlement. 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.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Foot Injury Compensation Claim?

For a successful compensation claim, having the right evidence is crucial. This list encompasses details you might need to gather: 

  • Medical documentation: This includes all reports and documentation related to your treatment, such as X-rays, MRI reports, and doctor's notes.
  • Photos of the injury: Visual evidence of your injury and any subsequent progress or complications can be compelling.
  • Details of the accident: Collect all possible information about the accident scene, including but not limited to photos or videos, details of any potential witnesses, and a precise description of what occurred.
  • Workplace reports: If your injury happened at work, a copy of your report to your employer or any records of the occurrence can be vital.
  • Proof of loss: Evidence of financial loss due to the injury may include wage slips before and after the injury or additional costs incurred, such as travel expenses for medical appointments.

How Much Compensation for Foot Injuries

Determining compensation for a personal injury claim isn't a one-size-fits-all process but instead considers a range of factors. Some of the main considerations are: 

  • Economic Losses: This refers to the financial losses you've experienced because of your injury. For instance, if your foot injury has forced you out of work or if you're unable to perform your job as you did before, that counts as an economic loss. This could also include lost future earnings if you're unlikely to return to your previous level of income.
  • Medical and Related Expenses: These are the costs for treatment, rehab and any future medical expenses related to the foot injury. It could also contain the cost of aids and appliances, healthcare services and prescribed medications. If it is a serious injury, these costs can be extensive. 
  • Pain and Suffering: Also known as 'general damages', this involves the physical and emotional distress caused by the injury. This might include discomfort, pain, reduced life expectancy or mental trauma.      

The important thing to keep in mind is that it's never a fixed sum. Two people with the same foot injury could receive different compensation amounts due to factors like their occupation, the impact on their work, their age or their overall health.

For instance, a young, healthy construction worker who sustains a serious foot injury might receive a higher compensation payout than an older individual in a less physically demanding job simply because the impact on the construction worker's capacity to work and future earnings would be considerably more severe. 

To ensure you get the compensation you're entitled to, it's crucial to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible.

Time Limits for Foot Injuries

The general rule in Queensland is that a claim must be submitted within three years of the date when the injury occurred. 

However, the state also has some rules for specific circumstances. 

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 impacts can a foot injury have on my ability to work?

When it comes to foot and toe injuries, impacts on work capabilities and lifestyle are common and often significant. Since our feet are integral to mobility, a foot injury can cause temporary or even permanent constraints. Whether you're on your feet all day because you're in a physically demanding job or you're required to drive for work, a foot injury can directly impede your ability to perform your job effectively. 

Serious foot injury might mean needing to take extended periods of leave. For some, the injury may affect their ability to continue in their current role, forcing them to seek alternative employment. For the unfortunate few, a foot injury can render them unable to work at all.

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What documents do I need to start my claim?

Gather any medical records, accident reports, police reports (if applicable), witness statements and proof of income loss (payslips, tax returns etc). Your lawyer will advise you on the specific documents required for your case.

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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

If you suffer injuries whilst at work, and you are looking for further information in terms of making a claim. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer a free consultation for injured people looking to seek compensation. As mentioned before, we also have a "No Win. No Fee. No Catch." policy, which means you will never be out of pocket.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

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

Last updated:
February 29, 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.