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Understanding Negligence-Related Foot Injuries and Their Causes 



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If you’ve suffered a foot injury, it can have a serious impact on your day-to-day life, causing pain and discomfort, as well as affecting your mobility. While some injuries might occur due to personal choices such as wearing unsuitable footwear or from participating in sport, some foot injuries can occur or become exacerbated due to the negligence of someone else. If your foot injury was caused by a road traffic accident, an accident at work or in a public place, or because of medical negligence, you could be eligible to make a foot injury claim.  

A foot injury could occur at work where protective footwear is inadequate or hasn’t been provided at all. Therefore, it’s crucial that the correct safety protocols are followed by employers, to help prevent these types of accidents.  

In this article, we explore some common foot injuries and their causes, as well as some ways that foot injury can be prevented. We’ll also share the eligibility criteria for making a foot injury claim and how you can recover the compensation you deserve if you’ve experienced a foot injury that wasn’t your fault.  

Common foot injuries 

Orthopedic & Sports Medicine share the most common injuries to the foot, which include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, stress fractures in the foot, ankle sprains, bunions and Morton’s neuroma.  

Foot injuries can arise from a range of circumstances, including negligence. Inadequate safety measures at work or poorly maintained public spaces for example, can lead to accidents causing some of these common foot injuries, such as sprains, strains, and fractures.  

Plantar fasciitis 

Plantar Fasciitis is a foot condition, which the NHS say is characterised by pain on the bottom of the foot, around the heel and arch. Caused by straining your plantar fascia – the area of the foot connecting the heel bone and tones, the NHS explain that the reasons for plantar fasciitis occurring are not always clear, but that you’re more likely to develop the foot problem if you: 

  • are 40 to 60 years of age 
  • recently started exercising on hard surfaces 
  • exercise with a tight calf or heel 
  • overstretch the sole of your foot during exercise
  • recently started doing a lot more walking, running, or standing up 
  • wear shoes with poor cushioning or support 
  • are very overweight 

Achilles tendonitis 

Achilles tendonitis refers to a condition where the tendon that connects the back of the leg to the heel becomes inflamed. According to Penn Medicine, symptoms include:  

  • Heel pain and pain along the tendon when walking or running 
  • Pain and stiffness in the area in the morning 
  • Pain in the Achilles tendon when touched or moved 
  • Swelling and warmth in the heel area or along the tendon 
  • Difficulty standing up on one toe 

Penn Medicine explain that Achilles tendonitis can occur in walkers, runners, or other athletes, and that the condition is most common in younger people due to overuse, while tendonitis from arthritis is more common in older people.  

Stress fractures 

A stress fracture is a small crack or break in the bone, typically caused by overuse. Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust explain that the most common stress fractures seen in A&E are stress fractures in the foot. The main symptom of a stress fracture is pain, which will usually worsen when doing impact activities such as running or jumping.  

Ankle sprains  

The NHS explain the sprains and strains are common injuries, which affect the muscles or ligaments. A sprain refers to a torn or twisted ligament and usually occur in wrists, ankles, thumbs, and knees, while a strain is an overstretched or torn muscle and commonly affects the knees, feet, legs or back. 

The NHS advise that sprains and strains cannot always be prevented but that failing to warm up prior to exercise, fatigued muscles and taking part in sport are common causes of these types of injuries.  

Bunions 

A bunion is a bony lump that develops on the side of the foot, by the big toe. If you have a bunion, you may experience pain on the side or bottom of your feet, which often worsens when wearing shoes and walking. The NHS explain that although the cause of bunions isn’t always clear, you might be more likely to develop a bunion if you wear ill-fitting shoes. To try and prevent the condition, it might be helpful to ensure that shoes have room for the toes and to avoid pointed-toe shoes or high heels.  

Morton’s neuroma 

As explained by the NHS, Morton’s Neuroma is a condition involving a thickening of the tissue in the foot that’s been damaged or irritated. Symptoms can include a shooting, stabbing, or burning pain, or you might feel like there is a lump under your foot. For some, the condition causes tingling or numbness in the affected foot. Often worsening over time, symptoms can be exacerbated by wearing tight or high-heeled shoes and you may feel worse when you move your foot.  

In terms of causes of the condition, the NHS go on to explain that Morton’s Neuroma has been linked to wearing pointed, tight, or high-heeled shoes. It may also affect those who take part in sporting activities that put a lot of pressure on the feet, e.g. running. Having foot problems such as bunions, flat feet, high arches, or hammer toes has also been linked to Morton’s Neuroma.  

The impact of negligence on foot injuries 

As we’ve explored above, some common injuries to the foot can be caused by leisure activities and high impact sports, or from wearing certain footwear. In cases like this where there is no negligence, there is likely no claim to be made for a foot injury. However, where a foot injury has happened due to the negligence of another party, be that a public body, a medical professional, or an employer, you have a right to make a foot injury claim.

In the workplace, providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which might include protective footwear, is an obligation of the employer. According to HSE (Health and Safety Executive), guidance states that “Employers should, therefore, provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training in its usage to their employees wherever there is a risk to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled by other means.” If you’ve suffered a foot injury at work due to a lack of PPE, or because your employer has neglected their health and safety obligations, you could be eligible to make an accident at work claim.  

In public spaces, foot injuries might occur due to trips on pavements or due to supermarket accidents. Whatever the circumstances of your foot injury, if you believe that your injury happened due to negligence, then it’s important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. 

Preventing and treating foot injuries 

Employers, businesses, and other public bodies should take their responsibilities around health and safety seriously to try and prevent negligence-related foot injuries from happening. 

 Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment to prevent injuries to employees and others. Among their responsibilities, they should provide adequate training, maintain equipment, and carry out risk assessments to mitigate hazards in the workplace.  

In terms of public bodies, councils also have a responsibility to help prevent injury to the public. They should take reasonable steps to make council property safe. Areas that they are responsible for might include council buildings like schools and parks, council-owned homes, roads, pavements, and street lighting.  

Compensation claims for negligence-related foot injuries 

As discussed earlier, if your foot injury or condition is linked to a personal choice, such as wearing a certain type of footwear or playing sports, you are unlikely to qualify for a personal injury claim. However, if you believe the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible to make a foot injury claim.  

If your injury was down to negligence, you will need to prove that the other party was liable or partially liable for your injury. We work with a network of personal injury solicitors who have expertise in accident at work claims, medical negligence cases, and claims against the council. We’ll match you with a solicitor who has suitable experience to help you prove your case.  

Seeking legal advice as early as possible is crucial when making a foot injury claim. There are strict time limits when making a personal injury claim, so it’s important that you get in touch to ensure you don’t miss out on the compensation you’re entitled to. Our expert team will listen carefully to what happened to you and explain how we can help – we’ll also give an indication of how much compensation you could potentially receive.  

Starting your foot injury claim is easy:  

Step 1: Simply call our friendly agents on 0800 182 2188 or request a callback. We have a network of the best personal injury solicitors who have years of experience handling foot injury claims. They will work hard to get you the maximum compensation available.  

Step 2: Once we’ve confirmed that we can proceed with your personal injury claim, our friendly UK customer care team will listen to and understand your situation before putting you in touch with an expert personal injury solicitor to progress your claim.    

Step 3: Your solicitor will gather evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will either win the compensation you deserve, or you’ll pay nothing as per our No Win No Fee guarantee. *

*Conditions apply