Firefighter injury compensation claims

This guide covers everything you need to know about making a firefighter accident compensation claim.

How much can I claim?

The past decade has seen a general downward trend in the number of injuries sustained by firefighters in work accidents.

Although there were 2,627 injuries sustained during the 12 month period to 31 March 2015, that represents a 16.5% drop from the previous year.

Warehouse fire

Do I have a claim for a firefighter injury?

If you have suffered a firefighter injury in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

Do I have a claim?

Training and routine activity injuries

Firefighters sustain more injuries when carrying out training and routine activities than they do through attending operational incidents.

Training exercises, which are intended to be as close to real-life situations as possible, were the cause of 32.5% of all injuries sustained. This may have been due to insufficient planning, preparation and risk assessment, leading to the exercises not being carried out safely.

23.6% of the injuries were incurred during routine activities. These workplace injuries may have mainly been caused by slips, trips and falls due to spillages or poorly maintained premises.

48 of those injuries sustained during training or routine operations were classed as 'major injuries' by RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).

Claims for operational incidents

In the 12 months up to April 2015, firefighters sustained 1,037 injuries in the line of duty, during operational incidents. 72% were at the scene of a fire, and around 15% while attending road traffic collisions.

Injuries may be caused by chemicals, biohazards, falling buildings, smoke and dust as well as fire itself.

Employers have a duty to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce injury risks; for firefighters this includes helmets to protect the head from falling objects and low beams, masks to prevent injury by sparks and heat, fire and heat resistant gloves to prevent injury from burns and chemicals, and boots to ensure safety in a dangerous environment.

Firefighters should also be issued with suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to protect them from breathing in harmful substances or for oxygen-deficient atmospheres when other controls are either not possible or insufficient on their own.

Providing inadequate PPE for the task at hand can result in injury. Where a firefighter has been injured under these circumstances, a claim may be possible.

Although heightened awareness and better training has led to a general downward trend in the number of major injuries over the past decade, last year showed a 15% increase over the previous year for injuries while tackling operational incidents.

The Fire and Rescue Authority has a duty to ensure that workers are fully trained and understand the practices and procedures necessary to work as safely as possible. Inadequate training may also be evidence in support of a claim where an injury has occurred.

Incidents involving fire vehicles

There were 2,776 incidents involving fire and rescue service vehicles (fire engines, cars and vans) in 2014-15. Although the majority caused vehicle damage only, the accidents resulted in injury to 104 service personnel and 27 non-service personnel.

Over half the injuries occurred when the vehicles were not responding to an emergency.

Claiming if injured in the course of duty

If a firefighter sustains injury whilst carrying out his work - whether during training, at an incident, or travelling to and from an incident he may be entitled to claim for compensation from his employer.

A firefighter who sustains an injury whilst in attendance at a road accident may be able to bring a claim through the insurers of the driver responsible for the crash, depending on the circumstances.

Where a firefighting vehicle is involved in an accident with another vehicle, the fire vehicle's driver and passengers may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the negligent drivers insurers.

No Win, No Fee firefighter injury claims explained

A firefighter injury No Win, No Fee compensation claim is begun with a claimant agreeing to a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with their preferred solicitor.

The CFA details the service the lawyer will deliver in addition to a success fee to be deducted from the total compensation when your case is successful.

You have absolutely no hidden costs when working with a Quittance solicitor. You will be able to prioritise your recovery, knowing that there is absolutely nothing to pay if your case is not successful.

Calculate my firefighter injury compensation

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our work accident compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

How much can I claim?

Meet the team

Our nationwide panel of solicitors carry out the legal work for all types of work accident claim and have a wealth of expertise with short-term, serious and life-changing injury claims. Selected for their track record in recovering compensation, QLS's solicitors have years of experience.

Meet the team - click here.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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