A Guide To Making A Firefighter Injured At Work Claim

By Olivia Harnetty. Last updated 15th March 2021. Welcome to our guide to making a firefighter injured at work claim. You might think that because firefighting involves working in dangerous situations, any injuries sustained wouldn’t entitle a firefighter to seek compensation. However, all employers in the UK, including the fire service, have a duty of care towards staff health and safety. This means they need to reduce foreseeable risks wherever possible to reduce the chance of harm and injuries.

In this guide, we look at claiming compensation for a firefighter workplace accident that’s been caused by some form of negligence. We’ll cover injuries, illnesses and diseases which could entitle you to seek compensation by filing an accident at work claim.

Firefighter injured at work claim

Firefighter injured at work claim

Legal Helpline specialises in helping people make workplace accident claims. We offer free legal advice as well as a no-obligation assessment of your case. If your claim is valid, we would introduce you to one of our panel of solicitors and if they agree to take on the claim, it would be on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you would like to discuss your claim straight away, please call us on 0161 696 9685 today. Alternatively, to find out more about claiming for a firefighter work-related injury, please continue reading.

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A Guide On Firefighter Workplace Accident Claim

Firefighters provide a fantastic service that saves the lives of members of the public who are in desperate need. They constantly put themselves in harm’s way to prevent others from suffering. You might think that being injured in the line of duty is just part of the job. However, in some cases, if the accident could have been prevented, there’s a chance the firefighter concerned could have grounds to seek compensation for the injuries they sustained.

In this guide, we look at different accidents which could lead to a claim. Some of the areas we cover include training injuries, fire engine accidents, and accidents that occur in the line of duty. We also look at different injuries which could lead to a claim including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Something that you’ll need to be aware of, is the personal injury claims time limit which is 3 years. This starts on the day of your accident. However, in cases where you weren’t aware of your injuries or a health issue connected to the injury sustained until a later date, the time limit may begin when a doctor diagnoses the condition.

Even though firefighting can be a dangerous job, the fire service still needs to meet its duty of care towards employees. This means risk-assessing potential scenarios, providing safety equipment, training staff properly and ensuring safety procedures are followed. If they fail to meet their obligations, and that leads to an accident in which somebody is injured, then they may be deemed liable and as such could be grounds for the injured party seeking compensation.

When you’ve finished reading our guide to making a firefighter injured at work claim, please get in touch if you have any questions. We can review your claim with you to help you decide whether your claim is viable or not. Any advice we provide is free and we won’t pressurise you into making a claim.

What Is A Firefighter Workplace Accident?

There are many potential injuries that could be caused by firefighter workplace accidents. Injuries such as lung damage, head injuries, back injuries, burns and fractured bones are all possible.

Between 2018 and 2019, a government report showed that 2,646 firefighters were injured, with 54 classed as major injuries. Though this figure is 2% higher than the previous year, it shows a 16% drop over the last 5 years. This downward trend could be attributed to the reduced amount of incidents that need to be attended to.

Furthermore, 1,129 injuries were sustained during operational incidents, which include fires, road traffic accidents and the like. In total, there have been 8 firefighter fatalities in the last 10 years. However, this report, fortunately, showed that there were no fatalities between 2018 and 2019.

Sadly, firefighters can fall victim to attacks, often when simply trying to do their job. The government report also looked at the number of these incidents and found that there were 961 occurrences between 2018 and 2019. These incidents resulted in 66 injuries, with 8 classed as serious and resulting in a hospital stay.

Other scenarios where firefighters can be injured include:

  • During training exercises
  • Road traffic collisions while on route to an incident
  • Falling structures

No matter what type of accident has occurred, if it can be shown that the negligence of the fire service led to the incident, then it might be possible to seek compensation by filing an accident at work claim.

When Could Firefighters Claim For Accidents In The Line Of Duty?

As mentioned in the previous section, negligence has to be proven for a compensation claim to be valid. Therefore, in some scenarios which could not have been foreseen or prevented, a claim would not be possible.

That said, there are a number of reasons why a firefighter might be able to claim compensation for injuries sustained. These include suffering caused where:

  • Their safety equipment was inadequate, faulty or poorly maintained
  • They were asked to perform a task which they had not been trained in
  • During an incident, they were told to do something that breached safety procedures
  • A road traffic accident was caused because the fire service vehicle was poorly maintained
  • Or another road user’s negligence caused an RTA

If any of the situations above have led you to be involved in a firefighter workplace accident, you could be entitled to make a firefighter injured at work claim for your suffering. Please call and adviser for free information on your options.

Types Of Firefighter Workplace Accidents

There is a wide range of potential injuries that could be claimed for by firefighters, these include:

  • Minor injuries like strains, sprains, scald and minor burns
  • Crush injuries, fractures, lacerations and sight or hearing damage
  • Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
  • Neck, spine or back injuries that range from minor to life-changing
  • Psychological injuries
  • Fatal injuries

We’ll cover some of these accidents and associate injuries over the next few sections of this guide.

Firefighter injury statistics from 2018/19 show that:

  • 2,646 firefighter injuries occurred
  • There weren’t any fatalities recorded (there have been 8 over the past 10-years)
  • 54 injuries were classed as major injuries and 1,129 were sustained during operational incidents

Fire Service Vehicle Accidents And Injuries

As fire engines are such large vehicles, often accidents they’re involved in cause serious damage to other vehicles and people. However, on some occasions, firefighters can be injured in the accident too. In cases where another road user caused the accident because they were negligent, a claim against their insurance policy may be possible. Claims might also be possible against the fire service if the accident was caused by vehicle problems, or if the fire engine driver caused the accident through unsafe driving.

When resolving this type of claim, factors like whether the vehicle was responding to an emergency or not must be considered. Our panel of specialist solicitors could help determine who’s responsible once they’ve assessed your claim. Please call for free advice on firefighter injured at work claims today.

Firefighter Training Injury Claims

Training exercises need to be as realistic as possible. However, as they are mock-ups of potential scenarios, they should be carried out in a controlled environment. The fire service has a duty to risk assess any training exercise, put safety measures in place to try and prevent injuries and fully brief all participants before training commences.

If you’ve been injured in a training scenario and believe that your injury was caused because one of the above didn’t happen, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.

Accidents Causing Burn Injuries To Firefighters

You might think that burn injuries are one of the more common that lead to a claim. However, as firefighters are trained on the dangers of fire from the outset, it is not one of the more common firefighter injuries sustained in a workplace accident. That said, claims could be made if the accident that led to a burn was caused by negligence which could include if you were sent into a fire when it wasn’t safe to do so, or if your safety equipment failed and caused the burn.

You can discuss your firefighter injured at work claim with a member of our team today by calling the number at the top of the page.

Compensation For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder As A Firefighter

Post-traumatic stress disorder is caused by the memory of traumatic accidents or events. It can consume memory and affect your ability to function properly. The main characteristic of PTSD is that it can lead to fear, horror or helplessness.

In firefighting scenarios, it’s quite easy to see how somebody might be affected by PTSD. It could be caused by:

  • A near miss where the firefighter may have died
  • If they have witnessed the death of a colleague
  • Or where they witnessed the death of somebody they were trying to save

To claim compensation for PTSD, a specialist solicitor would usually use a medical expert to assess the victim. Medical records showing the diagnosis by a GP or specialist might also be used. This type of claim can be trickier than other injury claims which are why we’d advise using a specialist solicitor to represent you.

Compensation For Fatal Injuries To Firefighters

In the awful event that a firefighter is fatally injured, it may be possible for a compensation claim to be made by a spouse or their dependents. In the same way as the other types of claim, we’ve discussed in this guide, claiming for a fatal accident would require some proof of negligence.

Obtaining the evidence required to prove the claim can be complex. Reports and medical evidence could be used. Having a specialist on your side would help piece together the evidence required and understand what happened and who could be held responsible.

If you would like to discuss the loss of a loved one in a firefighting accident, please contact us today. We appreciate how difficult it will be to discuss the details of your firefighter injured at work claim with a stranger. Our team will work with you at a pace that suits you and won’t put pressure on you in any way.

Firefighter Workplace Accident Compensation Calculator

Now we look at the amount of compensation that could be claimed for specific injuries. While we can’t tell you exactly how much your claim might be worth, as each claim is unique, we can use the personal injury claims compensation table, below, to show potential compensation amounts which are based on the Judicial College Guidelines.

Injury TypeSeverityRangeFurther Information
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Severe£56,180 to £94,470This bracket covers the most serious cases of PTSD where the injured party is completely unable to work (or at anywhere near their previous levels). Every part of their liffe will be badly affected.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderately Severe£21,730 to £56,180PTSD which will result in similar symptoms to the severe category (above). However, with professional help, the prognosis of the injured party will be better.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderate£7,680 to £21,730In this bracket, compensation is paid to those who have largely recoverd and lasting effects won't be grossly disabling.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Less Severe£3,710 to £7,860Where the PTSD is largely recovered from within 1 to 2 years with only minor symptoms persisting.
BurnsVery Severe£27,940 to £91,350Covers burns where the cosmetic disfigurement is high and the psychological damage is severe.
BurnsSignificant£8,550 to £28,240Where the scarring is substantial and where the pyscological reaction is significant.
BurnsTrivial£1,600 to £3,310Where scarring can be deemed trivial and the effect is only minor.
Neck Moderate£12,900 to £23,460This bracket covers wrenching-type injuries, serious disc lesions and permanent and recurring pain, discomfort and stiffness.
BackModerate£11,730 to £26,050Injuries which result in muscle and ligament disturbance, causing backaches and prolapsed discs are included in this category.
ShoulderFracture£4,830 to £11,490Cases covered by this bracket are fractures of the collarbone.
ArmFracture£6,190 to £18,020This bracket covers simple fractures of the forearm.
WristSignificant£22,990 to £36,770Where the injury leads to a permanent significant disability but where there is some movement of the wrist still.
LegModerate£26,050 to £36,790This bracket includes severe crush injuries, multiple fractures as well as complicated fractures of the leg.
LegFracture£8,550 to £13,210Injuries such as a fractured femur with no damage to articular surfaces
FootSevere£39,390 to £65,710Severe injuries to a single foot such as heel fusion, osteoporosis, severe degloving and disabilities which prevent the wearing of ordinary shoes.

Importantly, the table only shows compensation for general damages (the compensation paid for pain and suffering). There are other elements that can be claimed which we’ll cover in the next section. One of the main jobs of your solicitor when claiming for a firefighter who’s injured at work is to prove the full extent of their injuries. Failure to do so may mean an incorrect level of compensation is paid.

Therefore, our panel of solicitors always asks for you to have an independent medical assessment. These are carried out as locally as possible. When the doctor has assessed you, both physically and by asking questions, they’ll provide a report for your solicitor. The report will explain what injuries were sustained, how they’ve affected you and whether you’ll have any long-term symptoms in the future.

Special Damages Your Claim May Include

When you claim for a firefighter workplace accident, as well as claiming for general damages (see the previous section), you can also include special damages within your claim. The purpose of special damages is to compensate for any financial losses caused by your injury or illness. Some of the different special damages that could be claimed include:

  • Care Costs
    If your injuries or illness means you need the support of a carer, you could claim any associated costs back. This might mean the cost of professional care or it could also cover the time of a friend or family member who supported you
  • Home Modifications
    When you’re left with a disability, you might require a wheelchair or walking aids to help you get around. It’s also possible that you might need to modify the home to make it easier for you, or your carer, to cope. Therefore, the cost of the modifications could be claimed back
  • Travel Costs
    If you need to make trips to medical appointments, you can soon run up a large bill for parking fees and fuel costs. Therefore, you could ask for these to be included in your claim
  • Medical Costs
    In most cases, you’ll receive treatment on the NHS for most injuries. However, you could still face bills for prescriptions, over the counter medicines and some non-NHS services. If that’s the case, you could claim the costs back
  • Lost Income
    Depending on your age, position within the fire service and severity of your injuries, this could be a large part of your claim. If you’re going to be off work for a long period, you could claim back any future lost earnings

Special damages need to be proven by way of receipts, payslips and bank statements. Therefore, try to retain these where possible to evidence your firefighter injured at work claim.

Claims Via The Firefighter Compensation Scheme

The Firefighters’ Compensation Scheme (England) Order 2006 is a piece of legislation that can be used to provide compensation in the event that a firefighter is killed, permanently disable or contracts a disease while working for a fire and rescue service.

Full-time firefighters as well as retained firefighters are covered by the legislation.

The Role Of The Fire Brigades Union

The fire brigades union are a body that’s there to support its members if they become ill or injured in the line of duty. They provide an accident and injury fund which can provide payments to members who are unable to work as payments to dependants in the event of a fatality while working as a firefighter.

To learn how to make a firefighter injured at work claim with the help of our panel of personal injury lawyers, please see the next section of our guide.

Why Choose To Claim Compensation With Legal Helpline?

We believe that our panel of personal injury lawyers at Legal Helpline could help make any firefighter injured at work claim a success. Some reasons for this include:

  • Our claims line is open 7-days a week and 24-hours a day, so we are always ready to talk
  • The advice our team provide is completely free, so there’s nothing to lose by getting in touch
  • Our panel of personal injury lawyers have up to 30 years experience handling claims like yours
  • We will provide regular updates about your claim through whatever channel you’d like, whether that’s over the phone, via email or even face-to-face
  • Our panel of personal injury lawyers will always try to ensure you receive a full and fair compensation settlement for your suffering

If you need to know anything else about how Legal Helpline could help you, please call our team today.

No Win No Fee Firefighter Workplace Accident Claims

If you’re considering making a firefighter injured at work claim, you might have concerns about the financial risk of doing so. To alleviate that financial risk, our panel of solicitors handle all personal injury claims they handle on a No Win No Fee basis. This means more people can claim and the whole process is a lot less stressful.

When you start your firefighter injury compensation claim, a solicitor will check that there’s a chance you could be compensated. If there is, and the solicitor takes your claim on, you’ll be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. The CFA is your no win no fee agreement. Within the CFA you’ll find information about the claims process as well as a couple of key points:

  • Information on the level of success fee you’ll pay if the solicitor wins your claim
  • Also, there will be a statement confirming that no solicitor’s fees will be charged if your claim is unsuccessful

The success fee is used to cover the time and work of your solicitor. It’s a percentage of your compensation that’s deducted before it’s paid to you.

We can assess your claim for free and let you know if you can use the no win no fee service when you call our friendly team of advisers.

Start Your Firefighter Workplace Accident Claim

If you’ve found this guide about claiming for a firefighter work-related accident, we hope you’d now like to start a claim with Legal Helpline. If so, please contact us in one of the following ways:

  • Call our team of advisers for free legal advice on 0161 696 9685
  • Use our live chat facility to contact us directly from this site
  • If you’d like us to call you back, you can arrange that by completing our online claim form

When you get in touch, we’ll take a look at what happened and what evidence you have to support your claim. Our advisers will then provide you with free advice on your options. If your claim looks like it could be won, they could introduce you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel. For cases they agree to take on, their service will be provided on a no win no fee basis.

Please get in touch if you’re considering a claim. Our experts could help you decide whether you have a valid claim or not in a no-obligation consultation.

Firefighter Injured at Work Claim FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about making a firefighter injured at work claim.

Can I claim compensation for an injury at work?

Were you injured as a result of third-party negligence? Providing they owed you a duty of care that they failed to uphold, you could be able to make a claim for any subsequent suffering you experienced. Whatever your situation, please get in touch today to have our specialist advisors assess whether you could be eligible to make a claim.

References And Resources

You’ve now reached the end of this guide about how to make a firefighter injured at work claim. Should you require any further information on how to claim, please get in touch. To provide further assistance, we’ve also linked to some more of our guides and some external documents too.

Thanks for reading our firefighter injured at work claims guide.

Article by BH

Editor HW