If a firefighter injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Firefighting is perilous profession due to exposure to extreme heat, smoke inhalation, and potential building collapses. Injuries can include burns, lung damage, or trauma from emergency response activities.
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.
You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Firefighters face unique risks daily, with injuries from defective equipment being a notable concern.
Although the past decade has seen a general downward trend in the number of injuries sustained by firefighters at work, accidents still occur. According to figures compiled by UK fire and rescue authorities, there were 2,424 injuries sustained in by firefighters in 2022/33.
If you decide to make a firefighter injury claim, your work accident solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Am I eligible for firefighter injury compensation?
You will be able to claim compensation if you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
Can I claim compensation if I was partly at fault?
The law concerning liability (or blame) for an accident is complex, and varies depending on the situation.
In our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of injured workers believed they were partly responsible for their injuries, or were uncertain.
A claim could still be possible if your actions contributed to your injury or illness. If you were injured at work, you can claim compensation from your employer even if you or a co-worker caused your injury or illness.
How long after a firefighter injury do I have to start a claim?
In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.
If you were injured due to someone else's negligence but didn't realise it at the time, the clock starts ticking from the 'date of knowledge' - the day you become aware of your injury.
How much compensation can I claim for a firefighter injury?
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.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
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.
If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.
These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your injury such as emergency care, burn care, physical therapy and inhalation treatment.
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.
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.
Employers' liability claims claims
Work accident claims are also known as employers' liability claims. Click on the icons below for more information:
How we can help you with your work accident claim
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.
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If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee work accident claim, we are open:
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Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.