Workers Compensation for Ankle and Foot Injuries.
The workplace can be a dangerous place for injuries to your feet and ankles. Hazards range from uneven, wet or cluttered floors to chemical spills, use of various types of machinery and even simply repetitive movements. All of these and more put you at risk for workplace accidents. Read on to find out the types of injuries that might qualify for compensation.
Compensation can pay your medical costs and cover your wages while you’re off work. You might think that you’ll automatically receive your full entitlements with an ankle or foot injury compensation claim. But it’s quite common for these claims to be denied, or to miss out on additional lump sum payments that you’re entitled to.
If you’re about to make a claim or think you might be missing out on additional payments, read on to find out how to get all the ankle and foot injury compensation and lump sum payments you’re entitled to.
Claiming compensation for ankle and foot injuries at work – what you need to know.
If you have an ankle or foot injury at work the first thing you need to do is visit your GP to have your injuries assessed and report your injury to your employer. Your employer should then report your injury to their workers compensation insurer.
Many people come to us needing help with one of these five common situations:
1- You’ve injured your ankle or foot but haven’t claimed yet.
If you don’t know where to begin we can help you with your claim from start to finish.
2- You’ve injured your ankle or foot but you’re not sure if it was entirely work-related.
If you’ve injured your foot outside work, you might think that you can’t claim workers compensation. But you may still be eligible for workers compensation if your job aggravated or contributed to your ankle or foot injury. Our team can help with your specific situation.
3- You’re already receiving weekly benefits for your ankle or foot injury but want to know about additional entitlements.
We are asked about this a lot. We often find that find that clients with more serious ankle and foot injuries are entitled to lump sums they haven’t been told about.
4- You’ve had specific benefits for your ankle or foot injury denied or cut off.
This is also very common. We’ve had a number of clients come to us because they’ve had essential ankle or foot surgery or treatment denied by an insurer.
5. Your ankle or foot injury claim was rejected.
Claims are often rejected because the ankle or foot injury wasn’t caused by a work accident or was a pre-existing condition. You could still be eligible for compensation if we can show that your job contributed to your injury or worsened an injury you already had.
Whether you’re about to submit a claim or you fall into one of these categories, read on to learn how to get your full entitlements.
What compensation can I claim for my ankle/foot injury?
If you’ve injured your ankle or foot at work in NSW and you make a claim for workers compensation, the following table shows what you may be eligible to claim:
|Workers Compensation Payments NSW||Description|
|Weekly payments||These are payments to compensate you for lost income while you’re off work due to your ankle or foot injury.|
|Medical expenses||Payment of your medical, hospital, ambulance, rehabilitation (including home help) and travel expenses.|
|Permanent impairment payout||A lump sum compensation payout to cover a permanent impairment as a result of your ankle or foot injury.|
|Work Injury Damages payout||Also known as a common law claim, this is a lump sum payout for damages if your ankle or foot injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.|
Permanent impairment and work injury damages for ankle and foot injuries aren’t paid to you automatically; you’ll need to apply for them separately, even if you’re already receiving weekly benefits.
Common ankle and foot injuries that qualify for workers compensation settlements.
We’ve settled a large number of workers compensation ankle and foot injury claims. Here are eight of the most common enquiries and claims:
Twisting or overstretching the ligaments and muscles around your ankle could cause a sprain or strain. This could happen to you if you slip, trip, fall, or lift heavy objects incorrectly. These are some of the most common types of foot and ankle injuries and affect a wide range of occupations, from factory, construction, retail, and healthcare workers, to delivery drivers, hospitality workers, and sports coaches. Sprains and strains can be eligible for foot or ankle injury workers compensation payments.
Ankle or foot fractures can occur due to traumatic incidents. This simply means accidents involving things like falling objects or heavy machinery accidents. Again, a wide range of occupations can be at risk for foot or ankle fractures. These include construction and factory workers, delivery drivers, mining and quarry workers, law enforcement, military and emergency workers to name a few. Time off work and ongoing pain or complications can result in workers compensation payments for fractures.
Overuse or sudden movements could injure your Achilles tendon. This is the tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. Actions like heavy lifting, climbing, squatting, explosive moments, and sudden changes of direction can cause Achilles tendon injuries in workers such as dancers, athletes, construction workers, agricultural workers, and healthcare professionals, amongst others.
If you perform a lot of repetitive activities or stand for long periods of time it can lead to inflammation of the plantar fascia, causing heel pain. This could affect you particularly if you’re a teacher, healthcare professional, restaurant worker, factory worker or retail worker, for example. If this condition is linked to work activities then it could qualify for a workers compensation claim.
These are small cracks in the bones that can happen because of repetitive impact or overuse. They’re common in jobs that involve a lot of walking or running. The top five occupations that put you at risk for a stress fracture in your foot or ankle are construction, healthcare, retail, warehousing, and athletic/sporting jobs. Because these are another type of injury caused by repetitive movements, proving the link to your work is the key to receiving workers compensation.
Chemical spills or exposure to hot surfaces could cause burns on your feet. Some examples of jobs that could put you at risk are welders, cooks/chefs, firefighters, chemical plant workers and construction workers. Serious burns which need surgery and cause ongoing pain could result in significant foot and ankle workers compensation payouts.
Sharp objects or debris on your workplace floor could cause puncture wounds and increase your risk of infection. This could involve things like tools, machinery, waste/rubbish and shards of glass or metal. This would put you particularly at risk if you work in jobs such as construction, agriculture, manufacturing, cleaning, or waste and recycling management.
Overuse of the tendons in your ankle or foot can cause inflammation and tendonitis, especially if your job involves repetitive movements, such as in retail, food service, healthcare, factory or construction work. You may be eligible for ankle or foot injury workers compensation if your tendonitis results in time off work or leads to other complications. Proving the link to your work activities is key to claiming workers compensation for this type of injury.
What’s the average payout for an ankle or foot injury at work?
In the last financial year, 100,688 workers compensation claims were submitted in NSW, and $4.57 billion was paid out in benefits and lump sums. That’s $45,433 for every new claim submitted.*
However, more serious ankle and foot injury claims may be higher than the average claim, especially if your injury was caused by employer negligence, surgery is required or you can no longer continue in your chosen profession.
*According to SIRA Open Data, September 2023
Can I claim a lump sum for my ankle or foot injury?
There are two ways you may qualify for lump sums:
Permanent impairment lump sum – you can claim this if your permanent impairment rating is assessed as 11% or more.
Many people with ankle or foot injuries miss out on permanent impairment lump sums because they don’t meet the impairment rating threshold of 11%. But if your assessment wasn’t done correctly and fails to consider the full impact of your injury, you could be entitled to the lump sum.
Work injury damages – a lump sum payout for damages if your ankle or foot injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.
To make a work injury damages claim for an ankle or foot injury, you need a workers compensation lawyer with experience in these claims to build the evidence that your employer’s negligence caused your accident.
Common questions and answers on ankle or foot injury workers compensation.
- Ankle and foot injury claims should generally be submitted within 6 months
- This can be extended to 3 years in certain circumstances
- This can be more than 3 years if it relates to an injury resulting in death or serious and permanent impairment
- If a period greater than 3 years has passed since the accident then a claim may still be made with SIRA approval
A serious ankle or foot injury typically involves significant damage to the structures or functions of your foot or ankle. This may require extensive medical treatment and can have a huge impact on your life and ability to work. Some common examples of serious ankle or foot injuries include breaks and fractures, dislocations, torn ligaments, tendon injuries, severe sprains, crush injuries, nerve damage, burns and serious infections.
If you can’t work at all, you may be eligible for an additional lump sum through your superannuation. Most Australians are covered, although many don’t know they have this insurance included in their super.
If you’re not sure whether you’re covered, you can call 13 15 15 and we’ll find out for you. It’s a free service.
There are ways we can challenge the insurer’s decision for you if your ankle or foot injury claim is denied. Our team has a strong track record in getting claim denials overturned and you can get free legal advice on your options by calling 13 15 15.
Ankle and foot injury claims vary greatly. In many cases, ankle or foot injuries lead to other complications, and some can get worse over time. It’s really important that your injuries are assessed and your claim is prepared thoroughly to make sure you receive all the compensation you’re entitled to.
At Law Partners, we take time to get to know you personally. We look at what your life was like before your ankle or foot injury, then we look at what’s changed. It’s this more personal approach that’s enabled us to win more compensation for our clients. We work on a no win, no fee basis, and we win over 99% of our cases.
A Doyle’s Guide listed personal injury law professional and one of the country’s preeminent workers compensation specialists, with over 15 years’ experience in delivering optimal outcomes to injured Australians.