Broken toes are a surprisingly common injury, and because we rely on our toes to stand and walk, a fractured toe can be a debilitating injury. Around 12 people out of 10,000 will suffer a fractured toe every year, with men more likely to be injured than women. Commonly caused by motorbike or car accidents, accidents at work, sports accidents or slips, trips and falls, you could expect to take some time off work if you have suffered a broken toe, and you may be considering making a fractured toe injury claim. You could find yourself eligible to claim compensation for your pain, suffering and financial losses, provided it has been three years or less since your accident.
How could you injure your toe?
Accident Advice Helpline has been helping people claim compensation for over 16 years, and we have handled our fair share of fractured toe injury claims during this time. So we’ve come up with a few example scenarios for the most common ways you could injure your toe:
- Hitting the pedals hard after being rear-ended at traffic lights by another vehicle
- Somebody dropping something heavy, such as a crate, onto your feet whilst working in a factory or warehouse
- Objects falling from height and hitting your feet, such as bricks on a construction site
- Your feet being run over by something heavy such as a forklift
- Tripping on damaged pavement – for example, catching the toe of your shoe in a crack or pothole
If you have broken your toe, you’ll know about it. It will be red or bruised, swollen and painful, and you’ll find it difficult to walk or put weight on your foot. In case of a severe fracture, the toe may stick out an angle.
What’s the treatment for a broken toe?
In cases where the fracture is minor, you may not need to seek medical attention, and you can treat your broken toe at home. However, if somebody else caused your accident, it is always best to seek medical advice, as if you later decide to make a fractured toe injury claim, you’ll need your medical report as evidence of your injuries and any treatment you received. Here are a few things you can do to treat a broken toe at home:
- Use an ice pack for 15-20 minutes every few hours, for the first couple of days after your accident
- Keep your foot raised to reduce pain and swelling
- Rest your toe until it starts to feel less painful
- Take over-the-counter painkillers
If you are still in pain or your symptoms are getting worse after two to three weeks, then you should visit your GP. If you think you have broken your big toe, you should go to A&E. This also applies if your toe has turned blue or grey, if it is severely deformed or if it feels cold or numb. For severe fractures, you may need an x-ray and to have bones in your toes realigned, a cast applied to support your toe or even surgery. Most people take around four to six weeks to fully heal after fracturing their toe.
How much compensation can you get for a fractured toe injury claim?
The amount you could receive for a fractured toe injury claim depends on how much pain you have suffered, as well as any financial losses you have sustained after your accident. This covers things like loss of earnings, medical costs and the cost of any home help or care you may need.
- Simple fractures which heal within six months could receive up to £4,000 compensation
- Multiple fractures which take longer than six months to heal could receive up to £6,000 compensation
- Severe crush injuries which require surgery could receive up to £15,000 compensation
There are various different types of fractures too, some more serious than others, and these include unstable fractures, crush fractures, fracture dislocations and open fractures (usually with soft tissue damage). Accident Advice Helpline assesses each fractured toe injury claim on an individual basis, so the amount of compensation you receive can vary. Did you know that you are more likely to suffer a fracture after an accident if you are older? 20% of accidents in the over 55’s cause broken bones, with women over this age more likely to suffer a fracture than any other group.
Can I get back to normal after my accident?
We understand that after an accident you’re keen to get your life back to normal. This means driving, going to work, and taking part in any activities you normally participate in, in your free time. But does breaking your toe mean that the rest of your life will be affected? With most toe injuries taking a month or two to heal, you may need to spend some time resting. According to a study in the NY Times, 35% of podiatrists don’t discuss with their patients when it is safe to drive after suffering a fractured toe – this is because the time taken can vary.
Provided you are not taking narcotics and your symptoms have eased off (for example, it’s not painful to put weight on your toe), then you should be fine to drive. The amount of time you will need to take off work will depend on your job – for example, if you work in a physical role, such as on a building site, you may need to take longer off work than if you work in a sitting role in an office.
Making a fractured toe injury claim with Accident Advice Helpline
You don’t have to make a fractured toe injury claim if you have broken your toe, but if you were injured in a road traffic accident or an accident at work caused by somebody else’s negligence, then it’s recommended. Nobody should have to suffer in silence, or be affected by loss of earnings after an accident. You can call Accident Advice Helpline at any time on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile to benefit from our expert advice, which is always provided on a no-obligation basis. We’ll be able to talk you through the claims process, and, if you decide to proceed, help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Date Published: 24th August 2013
Author: David Brown