Left turn

What to Do if Your Foot Gets Run Over By a Car?

Car accidents are stressful and traumatic experiences that can cause a lot of physical and emotional distress. This may even be amplified in instances where your foot is run over by a car. The sheer proximity of being in a pedestrian-car accident can add a layer of pain, fear, and anxiety. Your health and safety is the most important thing after being in a pedestrian accident.

pedestrian accident

However, knowing and pursuing your legal options during the healing process can tremendously support your recovery process. 

With pedestrian accidents rising, it is important to be informed of your health, financial, and legal options.

How Common Are Foot Injuries in an Auto Accident?

foot injury

Pedestrian-related car accidents account for 20% of incidents annually. These incidents have caused over 100,000 pedestrians in the U.S. to seek emergency room treatment for their injuries each year. Foot injuries are among the most common types of injuries sustained in car accidents. 

What Are Common Foot Injuries After Being Run Over?

One of the most complex structures in the human body, the foot plays an integral part in our balance and mobility. Each foot is composed of 26 bones, 33 joints, 3 major nerve branches, and over 100 soft tissues including muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Though not technically part of the foot, the ankle is the next closest joint and can also be involved when considering foot injuries.

What to Do if Your Foot Gets Run Over By a Car?

Common foot injuries due to pedestrian-car accidents include:

  • Bone fractures
  • Sprains, strains, or tears
  • Lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Burn injuries
  • Bruising
  • Crush injuries
  • Compartment syndrome


Fractures are defined as cracks or breaks in a broken bone. There are numerous types of fractures which can be extremely painful and cause serious complications. They can be categorized by where the damage occurred and the nature of the broken bones. For example, avulsion fractures are bones, including the ankle or heel bone, broken due to tendon or ligament pulling compared to comminuted fractures which are severe cases which involve complete shattering of the bone tissue.

The most common types of foot and ankle and heel bone fractures in car-related accidents include:

  • Toe and forefoot fractures
  • Lisfranc fracture of the midfoot.
  • Calcaneus (heel) bone fractures
  • Ankle avulsion fractures
  • Malleolus fractures (bony prominences of the ankle bone)
  • Talus bone fractures (base of the ankle joint)

Many foot injuries, including Lisfranc fractures, require surgery and extra medical care to correct or reinforce the broken bones to ensure proper healing which may further impact recovery.

Sprain, Strains, and Tears

These types of foot injuries occur when the soft tissue of muscles, tendons, or ligaments is overstretched or torn. A sprain specifically refers to the stretching or tearing of ligaments, which are responsible for connecting bones to other bones. Strains refer to damage done to a muscle or tendon, which is the tissue that connects bone to muscle.

Depending on the severity, partial or complete tearing of soft tissues in the foot could require surgery to repair as they can cause severe pain and difficulty walking.

Lacerations and Abrasions

If you are a nonmotorist in a pedestrian car crash, you may sustain cuts and wounds on multiple parts of your body from falling, having your foot run over, or the car’s weight itself. Lacerations refer to deep cuts or tears of the skin while abrasions more specifically refer to scraping or tearing from skin of the foot rubbing on a hard surface (e.g., the road).

You may be surprised to learn that fractured bones aren’t the only foot or ankle injury possible after a car crash. Some people sustain burn injuries when involved in pedestrian-car accidents. This can be caused by hot components or metals on the vehicle or the friction caused when your foot is run over or you come into contact with the car.


Bruises are caused by damage to the blood vessels beneath the skin resulting in soreness and skin discoloration of car accident foot injuries. Bruising can also lead to additional tissue damage caused by the significant swelling that occurs when the blood flow pools in the injured area. 

Crush Injuries

These injuries occur when part of the body is compressed under the full force of a car tire driving over a foot. Typically these foot injuries are characterized by multiple, simultaneous modes of damage. A person who sustains a crush injury may have lacerations, bruising, swelling, fractures, and more.

People who experience a crush injury are at an increased risk for chronic pain and even compartment syndrome. This severe trauma after an auto accident does require immediate medical attention.

Limb or Digit Loss

If tissue damage or vehicle impact is severe enough, pedestrian accident victims may require amputation of one or more toes, or even the foot entirely to remove nonviable tissues and to preserve healthy tissue.

Compartment Syndrome

People with this severe injury report feeling any combination of pain, extreme tension or tightness, numbness, or tingling in a region of the body, often an arm or leg. The condition can be acute, occurring suddenly after a car accident, or it can be chronic with symptoms developing over long periods. You should consult a doctor immediately when symptoms arise.

Unfortunately for some, it can take a few weeks, months, or years for compartment syndrome to fully resolve and blood flow to be restored.

When to Seek Medical Attention

You should always be evaluated by a medical professional to begin treatment after being involved in a pedestrian accident. While some signs of injury may be nearly instantaneous, others may emerge over time and can significantly worsen or become life-threatening or lead to even death if not treated early with proper medical care.

Additionally, individuals may be in shock after an accident and this may severely limit their ability to feel pain or notice other signs of injury.  That’s why you should consider seeking medical attention and all treatment options if you are hit by a motorist in any way or on any part of your body so it may heal properly.

Immediate Care After an Injury

The type of care needed after your foot is run over by a car will depend on the type and extent of foot or ankle injuries sustained. You can generally expect to receive acute healthcare services in an emergency or hospital setting to reduce pain with plans for follow-up care, pain medication, or physical therapy for your foot as needed after the auto accident. 

Possible Long-Term Effects Car-Related Foot Injuries

pedestrian accident

Foot or ankle injuries sustained from being run over or hit by a car can have long-lasting effects and cause long-term changes in the hundreds of joints found within the foot and ankle. These changes can lead to limited or difficult mobility, chronic pain, or unwanted aesthetic changes to the foot. 

The emotional toll of being involved in an accident, experiencing foot injuries, and living through recovery. This can also lead to chronic mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

These conditions should also be discussed when considering the long-term impacts of car accident-related foot injuries.

Pursuing Damages After a Car Runs Over Your Foot

Not all pedestrian car accidents are considered the fault of the driver. Indiana state right-of-way laws indicate that non-motorists have the right to cross in marked crosswalks or intersections. Pedestrians involved in a car accident must prove the motorist was at fault to receive damages.

If the driver is ultimately considered at fault for the auto accident, then you could be eligible for compensation from the insurance company under two categories of damages:

  • Economic damages: These include reimbursement for financial losses due to the accident or injury, such as medical bills, medication costs, medical devices for recovery, lost wages, damaged property, physical therapy, other medical treatment, and other expenses.
  • Noneconomic damages: These cover immaterial costs including pain and suffering.

Partnering with expert legal counsel can help you to holistically consider all of the potential costs you may consider when seeking damages to recover compensation.

What Legal Steps Should You Take to Protect Yourself?

There are a few simple, but highly important, steps you can take after being involved in a pedestrian car accident that leads to a foot injury or other severe injuries:

  1. Seek medical attention.
  2. File a police report and collect insurance information.
  3. Keep copies of all medical bills, and legal, financial, insurance-related, or work-related documents.
  4. Get in touch with an expert attorney.

Establishing and maintaining a detailed paper trail of the incident and your foot injury will help you and your legal counsel establish fault on behalf of the motorist and argue your terms for financial compensation with the insurance adjuster for your foot and ankle trauma.

Crossen Law Firm | Car Accident-Related Foot Injury Lawyer

Being hit by a car is a scary and traumatic experience, especially as a pedestrian. Wading through a complicated legal suit can add stress to an already difficult situation. Partnering with personal injury experts, like the attorneys at Crossen Law Firm, can help you navigate your legal options so you can focus on healing and returning to your daily life after suffering foot injuries or other types of injury. 

Our team is proud to offer our professional expertise to help our clients receive their deserved financial compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to support their accident recovery.

Whether you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run, a sideswipe, a pedestrian accident, or even head-on collisions, we can help. Contact us today for your free case evaluation by calling 317-401-8626.