Firefighter Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a firefighter injury, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, your employer will have insurance to cover the cost of injury claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.
We can help you make a work accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
The past decade has seen a general downward trend in the number of injuries sustained by firefighters in work accidents.
Although there were 2,646 injuries sustained in 2019, that represents a 2% increase from the previous year.
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.
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.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.
This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.
Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.
Employers have a duty of care 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 line 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.
Do I have an injury claim?
It should be possible to make an injury claim if you were injured:
- in the last 3 years and;
- someone else was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
What if there is no evidence?
Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a firefighter injury claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Will a work injury claim affect my benefits?
It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a firefighter injury claim take?
How long it can take to get compensation for a firefighter injury can vary considerably.
If your employer or their insurance company accepts liability, a claim could be settled in several weeks. If the employer denies liability, it could take significantly longer. Usually, a work accident claim should take 6 to 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee, no risk
'No win, no fee' means that if your injury claim is not successful, you won't have to pay any legal fees. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a contract between you and a solicitor.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.