If a road accident involving the emergency services has set you back, we'll help you move forward

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a road accident, we can help. If your injuries were caused by an emergency services vehicle, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee road injury compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

With nearly 75,000 car occupant injuries every year, you are not alone

In 2022, there were 788 car occupant fatalities and 74,379 casualties (gov.uk).

If you decide to make an injury claim for an accident involving the emergency services or an incident support vehicle, your road 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 need to move forward.

Do I qualify for emergency services injury compensation?

You will usually be eligible to claim compensation if you have been injured in the following circumstances:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • another person or organisation was to blame, and;
  • they owed you duty of care.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

How long do I have to claim emergency services injury compensation?

For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.

The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.

What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?

If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is an independent that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.

Read more:

Claiming compensation through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB)

How much compensation can I claim for an injury involving emergency services?

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.

Emergency services injury compensation calculator

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 July 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your injury. Compensation can include loss of earnings, including lost overtime, holiday pay, benefits and pension contributions, vehicle damage and repairs, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.

These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as pain medication, physiotherapy and psychological support.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

The psychological impact of a road accident

The shock of an accident on the road can leave lasting emotional scars, long after the physical injuries have healed.

Our 2024 Road Injury Claimant Survey highlights how common psychiatric injuries are, with 32.47% of road accident claims involving psychological harm. 78.53% of these were also associated with a physical injury.

Injuries sustained in an accident involving emergency services can leading to anxiety and distrust relating to these services. In serious cases, PTSD can be triggered by the sights and sounds associated with emergency services, including sirens, making it difficult to seek help from these services in future.

You can claim compensation for recognised psychological harm that arises from a road accident, including PTSD. Your solicitor will help ensure you can access help and mental health support that may not be available on the NHS in your area.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

What are the duties of motorists when an emergency vehicle is present?

Rule 219 of the Highway Code states that drivers must:

"...look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights. When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you."

Motorists have a duty to listen and look out for emergency vehicles and to remove themselves from the path of those vehicles - if it safe to do so. For example, pulling over at traffic lights to allow an emergency vehicle to travel through a red light, or moving to the inside lane to allow it to pass on a dual carriageway.

When a motorist does not observe the presence of, and/or allow passage of, an emergency vehicle - causing the vehicles to collide - the driver may be found to have contributed to the accident. This may lead to a reduction in any compensation awarded to the motorist due to their contributory negligence.

Do drivers of emergency service vehicles have special rights on the road?

Drivers of emergency vehicles must abide by the same laws as all other road users and have no special rights regarding liability if they are involved in an accident.

It is their duty to show due care and responsibility while driving - even when speeding to help others.

For example, emergency services vehicles must stop at a red or red and amber traffic light if they are not responding to an emergency situation. In an emergency they may proceed against the lights providing that doing so would not endanger other road users, and their warning lights are flashing.

Speed limits must also be observed except when responding to an emergency. Even then, the driver must still proceed within a speed where he can retain control of the vehicle.

When might an emergency vehicle driver be liable?

If the emergency vehicle is not making its presence known - by flashing lights and/or siren - other road users may not be aware of its approach and a collision may occur. In some cases the emergency authority may be found liable for the accident.

Even where an emergency vehicle is displaying warning lights and sounding a siren, if the driver is found to have been driving recklessly without regard for other road users he may be found liable if an accident occurs.

Emergency vehicles which cause accidents while not responding to a situation may also be found liable for any injuries sustained by other road users.

Can I claim if I work for the emergency services?

Emergency services' employees are acting in the course of their employment and are owed a duty of care by their employer, the vehicle's driver and other road users. Each accident is assessed to establish liability before claims for compensation can be awarded

Passengers of such vehicles may be able to claim for any injuries sustained; this includes members of the public who may be travelling in the emergency vehicle.

What happened?

The claims process for a road accident involving emergency services will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:

No win, no fee emergency services injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim emergency services injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to a road accident specialist about your claim?

  • Calls are FREE
  • Confidential consultation
  • No obligation to claim

Call 0800 376 1001

Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm

or arrange a callback

Citations

Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director