Car accidents can leave victims with a wide range of serious injuries. After a crash, victims who sustained an injury to the knee or lower back may find themselves suffering from an unexpected problem: the inability to lift the front part of their foot.
Known as foot drop (or drop foot), the condition isn't a disease in and of itself, but actually a sign or symptom of an underlying issue with the nerves or muscles. Car accident-related foot drop injuries are often caused by compressed or damaged nerves in the knee or lower back. Depending on the severity of the nerve or muscle injury, foot drop can be temporary or permanent—and it can have a dramatic effect on a person's quality of life and the ability to engage in work requiring physical labor.
If you're dealing with foot drop as a side effect of an injury sustained in a California car crash that wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Here's what you should know if you're considering taking legal action.
The Physical Effects of Foot Drop
When nerve damage, or muscle weakness or paralysis, make lifting the front part of the foot difficult, people often try to compensate by lifting their knee and thigh when they take a step. Known as a steppage gait, the movement is similar to that used to climb stairs. Though this can help a dropped foot clear the floor, it can also cause the foot to slap the ground with considerable force with each step. People dealing with foot drop may also swing their legs from side to side when walking to prevent their toes from dragging. Over time, this can make walking uncomfortable, painful, or even impossible.
Foot Drop Symptoms
- Inability to point your toes upward
- Inability to lift your toes or foot
- Tingling, numbness, weakness, and pain on the top of the foot
- Loss of functionality
- High-stepping walk (steppage gait)
- Feelings of numbness that extend from the knees to the toes
Living With a Foot Drop Injury
The consequences of such a serious problem with gait can be much more far-reaching than most people realize. Besides making walking difficult and limiting basic mobility, foot drop can also drastically limit your occupational options. Additionally, foot drop can increase the risk of serious trips and falls, necessitate expensive ongoing treatments, and even require surgical intervention in some cases. Overall, the result can be a significant decrease in quality of life that could even have a negative impact on your self-esteem or mental health.
Potential Damages for California Car Accident Victims
Victims who've suffered injuries in accidents caused by another person or entity's negligence may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. Compensation may be available for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses directly correspond to the monetary value of particular losses, while the worth of intangible, non-economic losses is subjective, yet fully compensable. Examples of economic damages commonly awarded in California car crash cases include:
- Accident-related medical expenses, such as ambulance transportation, emergency treatment, doctors visits, specialist appointments, hospitalizations, surgical procedures, physical therapy, assistive devices, prescription medications, mental health care, and medically-necessary travel costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity (if your injuries prevent you from working)
Non-economic damages may include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And more
Consult an Experienced Attorney About Your Foot Drop Injury
Has your life changed dramatically as the result of foot drop and other injuries you suffered in a car accident caused by someone else? At the Inland Empire Law Group, our accomplished injury recovery professionals can get to the bottom of your case and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Want to learn more about how we can help you? Contact us today toll free at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free, initial consultation to discuss your case, as well as your legal rights and options.