Emergency Services Vehicle Accident Claims

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The emergency services do an amazing job at trying to keep us safe and they save many, many lives each and every year. Although normally they arrive on the scene of an accident to help, very occasionally, they can be the ones actually involved in the accident.

Emergency services vehicle

Emergency services vehicle

If you have been injured from being in an accident with an emergency vehicle, regardless of whether you were a passenger, pedestrian or driver of another vehicle, if it can be proven that you weren’t to blame, you may want to make a claim for compensation. However, due to the level of bureaucracy involved, these types of claims can become very complicated. Legal Helpline is a personal injury claims law firm that can help you to work through the legalities of making such a claim and get you the compensation you deserve.

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Accident with an emergency services vehicle compensation claims guide

Accidents involving emergency vehicles are rare but can and do unfortunately occasionally happen.

If you have been unlucky enough to have been injured after having an accident with an ambulance, fire engine or police vehicle, then you may be eligible to make a claim for your injuries and also for any damages made to the property that you own.

Legal Helpline have developed this guide to provide information of the different aspects that will be covered within the claim and to hopefully answer any initial questions you may have regarding the whole process. Some of the information contained in the guide covers what to do if you are involved in road traffic accidents involving emergency vehicles, whether you are a civilian or, work for the service you are claiming against, what you could claim compensation for, an estimated guide of compensation amounts you may receive, how to start a claim and much more. We also explain Legal Helplines no win no fee service.

Can I claim compensation from the emergency services?

Despite being rare, road traffic accidents involving emergency vehicles do happen. Whether they are in pursuit of a criminal or attending a crime scene, or trying to reach someone who is injured or get to a house fire for example, they are often travelling at high speeds as time can be a deciding factor as to whether someone lives or dies. Although the driver of the emergency services vehicle will have undergone specialist training for travelling at high speed in public places, accidents caused by emergency vehicles can still happen.

Owing to the bureaucracy involved and complexity of claiming against the emergency services, each emergency service has their own protocol should such an incident arise where they could be sued for causing an accident leaving someone injured.

  • Police – A centralised approach is used for claims and complaints against the police force. Follow this link for ways in which to contact the police regarding a claim.
  • Fire Brigade – Unlike the police, the fire brigade deal with claims and complaints in a more localised approach. This link to the fire service gives information on contacting them regarding making a claim.
  • Ambulance Service – This is slightly more complicated as although the majority of ambulances belong to the NHS, privately owned ambulances also operate in Britain so you would need to clarify which type of ambulance you had an accident with before initializing any compensation claims.

Emergency vehicle accident statistics

When looking at statistics of road accidents that involve emergency services vehicles in comparison with the thousands of calls each day across the UK, the number of accidents is actually very low. This just goes to prove how concerned with public safety the emergency services are and how well they have been trained.

In 2014/15, statistics show that only 13 police vehicles were involved in road traffic accidents that resulted in a fatality. Most of these involved police vehicles in a high speed pursuit.

In the same year, 2014/15, the ambulance service answered in the region of 25,000 calls every day across the UK, yet on average, only 4 out of those 25,000 each day were involved in an accident.

The above statistics, when looked at overall, shows that accidents involving emergency services vehicles, although can happen, are rare to do so.

Road accident claims involving an emergency services vehicle

Road traffic accidents with emergency vehicles law states that the emergency services should be treated the same as ordinary other vehicles would be. So if you’re wondering what you should do if an ambulance collides with your car, or what happens if you crash into an ambulance, even though a claims case involving an emergency services vehicle is more complicated, your rights as a driver are just the same as any other vehicle accident.

Although there could be circumstances when making a claim against an emergency vehicle that aren’t what you’d normally come across than if you had an accident involving a member of the public, the drivers of ambulances, police vehicles and fire engines all still have the same responsibility to drive in a safe and law abiding manner as any other driver.

One of the reasons these types of cases can be complex is that there are some exceptions that when attending an emergency call out, the emergency vehicles can ignore, such as not stopping at a red light, but to go straight through instead. However, the drivers can only bend certain rules in an emergency and must do so in a safe manner where they are not putting anyone at risk.

Due to the complexity of these cases, it really is a good idea to seek legal assistance to give yourself a chance of getting the best possible outcome of a successful accidents with emergency services vehicles compensation claim.

Pedestrians injured by an emergency services vehicle

There is a higher risk that a pedestrian might be hit by an emergency services vehicle because the police, ambulance service and fire brigade are allowed access onto pedestrian only zones when the need arises, unlike vehicles belonging to the general public.

If you’re in a pedestrian only area such as on the path, in the park or on private land for example, and you’re injured due to an accident with an emergency services vehicle, then you will have grounds to make a compensation claim if it was not your fault. Although they are allowed on these areas, they are expected to drive with care to minimise the possibility of injuring someone or damaging property by causing an accident.

If you have been injured after being involved in an accident with an ambulance, police car or fire engine, then contact us at Legal Helpline for specialist, expert advice on how to file accidents with an emergency services vehicle compensation claim to get the settlement award you deserve.

Claiming compensation as a driver / passenger of an emergency vehicle

All of the emergency services are expected to follow general health and safety rules and regulations, but also, they have to follow health and safety regulations specifically for those in the emergency services. General regulations set out in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on fire safety, also have to be followed.

The ambulance service, police force and fire brigade are all expected to keep health and safety standards to an acceptable level in the workplace much the same as any other company, in fact, their expected standards are often higher and more comprehensive.

If a driver or a passenger has an accident whilst in an emergency vehicle, and becomes injured, and it was due to negligence of the emergency services such as failing to adhere to the health and safety rules and regulations, or failing to make sure the driver had received adequate and sufficient training under the expected health and safety guidelines, then they would have a good case for making a personal injury claim.

Making a compensation claim against the emergency services as an employee can differ from an employee doing the same against a private company because in some roles within the emergency services, the employee might have had to sign a type of waiver which means that for certain accidents and injuries, the emergency services are not held accountable.

If you are an employee of the emergency services and you have been injured after being involved in accidents with emergency services vehicle that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to make an emergency vehicle accident UK compensation claim. Don’t hesitate to contact Legal Helpline for help and advice to find out what your rights are.

What can I claim compensation for?

There are generally two categories of damages that can be claimed for after accidents with emergency services vehicle, these are general and special damages. These are as follows:

  • General Damages – These relate to the physical and psychological aspects of your injury and represent the pain and suffering you have endured and will take into account your future prognosis.
  • Special Damages – These relate to the financial aspects of your claims and may include the following:
  • Medical Expenses – Any medical costs that you have incurred as a direct result of your accident should be included in your claim. These may include costs of treatment not available on the NHS or prescription fees for example.
  • Travel Expenses – Any travel expenses that you have had to pay for because of your accident should be included. This can also include the costs of any vehicle adaptions you may have needed due to the injury you sustained.
  • Loss of Earnings – Any lost wages due to your injury and any future potential lost wages can be claimed for.
  • Care Claim – If you have needed help around the home whilst recovering, the person helping you can file a claim.
  • Care Costs – If you have had to pay for hired help or needed to stay in a residential home whilst recovering, these costs need to be included in your claim also.

As well as these damages, if the individual suffered from injuries that proved fatal, then the claimant can also claim for end of life expenses and funeral costs. They can also claim for financial assistance for the ongoing care of any dependents.

What evidence can help my claim?

If you have been injured after being involved in an emergency services vehicle accident, and it wasn’t your fault, then you may want to start a claim for compensation. In order to give yourself the best possible chance of a successful claim, there are various thins you could do to gather evidence that will support and strengthen your case, such as:

  • If you were in road traffic accidents involving emergency vehicles, take a note of the registration details of each vehicle involved and also the details of the drivers. If you are able to do so photograph the vehicles too.
  • Take note of any witnesses contact details as you might need to obtain a witness statement at a later date.
  • Make sure you seek medical attention. Apart from this being important for your health, it also means that your injuries will be documented and a report will be made detailing your condition and future treatment and prognosis.
  • Take photos of your injury as visual proof of your pain and suffering.
  • Keep a record of any expenses you have incurred as a direct result of being injured due to your emergency services vehicle accident.

Once you have gathered as much evidence as you can, contact a personal injury solicitor for help and advice on the next steps to take.

How do I proceed with a compensation claim?

Starting an emergency services vehicle accident compensation claim is easy, just contact our no win no fee solicitors at Legal Helpline. They will discuss your case with you in a no obligation, free consultancy session where they can make sure you have a legitimate case and be able to advise you properly on the next recommended steps. You of course can also use this time to ask any questions you may have regarding filing a claim. We can also offer you a free, local medical if we feel it would benefit your case.

If we feel you have a genuine reason to make a claim, with your permission, we can then take on your case for you under our no win no fee policy, leaving you to spend time on your recovery whilst we fight for the compensation you deserve.

Calculating how much compensation you could claim for an emergency services vehicle accident

Calculating the final settlement award can be quite complicated as there are so many variables that have a baring on the finalised amount and they will all be different with each and every individual case. This is why we cannot give any client an exact figure immediately of what they may receive if their case is successful. However, in the table below, we have listed a few common injuries associated with being injured by an emergency vehicle, and the award bracket which gives an idea of what may possibly be awarded.

Reason for CompensationAverage Amount AwardedComments
Minor to Severe Back Injuries£2,150 -£141,150 Minor muscle and disc problems with full recovery, to severe spinal cord damage leaving the claimant in constant pain and possibly paralysed and permanent disability.
Minor to Severe Neck Injuries£2,150 - £130,060Minor muscle and disc problems and / or whiplash but with full recovery, to severe injury leading to paralysis, constant pain and permanent disability.
Minor to Severe Hip and Pelvis Injurie£3,460 - £114,810The higher end of the payment bracket will be for those with complicated breaks or fractures that need surgery, constant unbearable pain and affecting other areas such as bladder control.
Minor to Severe Leg Injuries£7,990 - £247,280Simple fractures and breaks, to severe injuries resulting in amputation.
Minor to Severe Shoulder Injuries£2,150 -£42,110 Soft tissue damage, to severe injury resulting in pain and loss of use of shoulder joint.
Minor to Severe Arm Injuries£5,810 - £114,810Soft tissue damage and simple fractures, to severe injuries giving permanent pain and complete loss of use.
Mental AnguishUp to £4,100Fear of impending death and reduced expectation of life.
Death – Immediate to Full Awareness£1,200 – £20,880Victim’s loss of life immediate with no suffering, to loss of life after full awareness of pain and suffering and intermittent consciousness for between 2 weeks – 3 months.
Quadriplegia£284,610 - £354,260Paralysis of body from neck down.
Paraplegia£192,090 - £43,260Paralysis of lower body.
Minor to Severe Head Injuries£1,940 - £354,260Minor head injury with full recovery, to extensive brain damage leaving claimant in a vegetative state.

In most cases, the higher end of the award bracket will be awarded to those with the most severe level of injury. For a more in-depth estimated view at what you could claim, please contact us at Legal Helpline.

No Win No Fee Compensation Claims

Claiming compensation for accidents caused by emergency vehicles that have left you injured can be a complicated process that may take months before any conclusion is reached. This will require a significant amount of legal representation that most people simply wouldn’t be able to afford for a long period of time especially if they are unable to work due to their injuries. Even if they could afford it, there is no guarantee that after several months of paying high legal costs, their case will be won and so they may be left with a huge dent in their finances that they may never recover from.

However, there is another option. At Legal Helpline we offer a no win no fee service. In simple terms, it basically means that if we represent you and we do not win, we will not charge you for any legal fees whatsoever, you pay nothing. Of course, if we win, we will charge for our legal fees but we take our payment as a small percentage  (maximum 25%) of your final settlement amount. So with our no win no fee service, there are no upfront costs, no costs during the claims process and so no gambling of your finances.

Why claim with Legal Helpline?

We have been working in the personal injury claims industry for many years and our wealth of knowledge and expertise is second to none. We have a fantastic track record for successful claims, often resulting in us winning the maximum award amount possible for our clients.

We are a reliable and friendly team that work hard to get the best for our clients, you really couldn’t be in better hands! We work as quickly and as efficiently as we possibly can, keeping our clients updated every step of the way. We understand that our clients are often going through a very difficult time with making a compensation claim and so act with sensitivity when discussing the details of their claim with them.

Once we commit to representing someone with a compensation claim, we don’t hang about. We work tirelessly from start to finish to get them the compensation they deserve as quickly as we can so that they can concentrate on their recovery.

Contact Legal Helpline today

If you are looking to make a claim after an accident with an emergency vehicle that has left you injured, call Legal Helpline today on 0161 696 9685. Your call will be answered by a member of the team who will endeavor to help you as best as they can.

Useful Resources

Road accident claims

A guide to road accident compensation claims from Legal Helpline.

Health & Safety at Work Act

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 legislation explained.