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How To Claim For A Crash With An Ambulance, Police Car Or Fire Engine

By Cat Way. Last Updated On 28th June 2023. We all know what a great job the emergency services in the UK do every day. Saving thousands of lives a year, and keeping us all safe and secure. However, from time to time the emergency services themselves are involved in accidents with the public.

Making an emergency services vehicle accident claim is a complicated affair, as the bureaucracy involved in making a claim is significant. We have put this short guide together to help people cut through the red tape when making a claim for an:

  • Ambulance crash
  • Police car crash
  • Fire engine crash
Emergency Services Vehicle Police Car Accident

Emergency Services Vehicle Police Car Accident

If you have any questions regarding what to do if someone hits your car (emergency vehicle or otherwise), we are here to help with the legal side of things. Get in touch with us today. We could connect you with one of our expert lawyers if we think your claim is valid.

Select A Section:

Claiming for an Injury Sustained in a Road Traffic Accident with an Emergency Vehicle

According to road traffic accidents involving emergency vehicles case law, the emergency services vehicle is treated in the same way as any other vehicle. If you are asking a question such as; what to do if an ambulance hits your car? It is important to understand that despite the fact that the claims process is more complex, your actual rights are exactly the same as they are if you are involved in a road traffic accident with a member of the public.

Of course, there may be extenuating circumstances that affect the compensation claim against the emergency service that would not occur in an accident with a normal road user. However, drivers of police cars, ambulances and fire trucks are all required to drive safely and responsibly following the same road traffic rules and laws as everyone else.

At certain times, such as when an ambulance is rushing to an accident site, certain rules of the road can be ignored. Despite this, the driver is still expected to drive without causing a risk of accident to other road users. This does, of course, complicate things somewhat. You will need the assistance of a claims service to have the best chance of claiming compensation from one of the emergency services in this situation.

Claiming For A Police Car Crash

The UK Police Force operates a centralised approach to dealing with complaints and claims. You can contact the police on one of their special phone numbers for more advice if you’ve been injured in a police car crash. You can also get in touch with us for claims help and support.

Claiming For A Fire Engine Crash

The Fire Brigade operates a localised approach to dealing with complaints and claims relating to a crash with a fire engine. You will need to contact your local Fire Brigade Service for more information on how to begin the claims process.

Claiming For An Ambulance Crash

Claiming for an ambulance crash is a little more complicated. This is due to the fact that although the NHS operates most of the ambulances in the UK, there are also many privately operated ambulances belonging to healthcare companies. Therefore, you will need to discern whether you have been involved in an accident with an NHS or private ambulance before making a claim.

Claiming for an Injury as a Pedestrian Hit by an Emergency Services Vehicle

Due to the fact that emergency services vehicles often operate in locations that are usually reserved for pedestrian use only, there is a high risk of a pedestrian being injured in an accident with a fire truck, ambulance or police car.

If you are using a public footpath or thoroughfare and you are hit by police car compensation for any injury you sustain will be claimable. Despite the fact that emergency service vehicles are allowed to drive across pavements, public parks, private land, and any other location that normal road users are restricted from using, the driver is expected to act with due care and attention at all times, to minimise the damage to private property, and keep the risk of accidents as low as possible.

If you are unlucky enough to be injured by an emergency services vehicle as a pedestrian, we can help you claim the most compensation for your injury possible. Use the contact details at the bottom of the page to get in touch with us, so we can go over the details of your specific case and make a recommendation on how you should proceed.

Claiming for an Injury Caused by an Accident Whilst Driving an Emergency Services Vehicle

Each of the emergency services in the UK is regulated first by general Health & Safety laws, and also by unique Health & Safety regulations that apply specifically to the emergency service. For example, the Fire Brigade has its own comprehensive set of Health & Safety rules, as well as being guided by general HSE regulations on fire safety.

Emergency services vehicles

Emergency services vehicles

Despite being Government run services, the Police Force, Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service are all required to maintain Health & Safety standards in the working environment that are the same, if not more comprehensive, than a commercial company.

Therefore, if the driver or passenger of an emergency services vehicle is involved in an accident that was caused by either a) inadequate adherence to Health & Safety directives or b) due to a lack of training in how to carry out their job within Health & Safety guidelines, then a valid reason to claim compensation against the emergency service will exist.

Where a compensation claim as an employee of an emergency service differs from making a claim as an employee of a privately-owned company, is in the fact that in some job roles, the employee may have been required to sign some kind of waiver, indemnifying the emergency service from compensation claims for specific types of accidents or injuries.

As an employee of one of the emergency services who has suffered an injury in an accident whilst driving or riding in an emergency services vehicle, we recommend you contact us for the best advice on how to proceed with your compensation claim.

Who can Claim for an Injury Caused by an Accident with an Emergency Services Vehicle?

Deciding who can claim for an injury sustained in accidents caused by emergency vehicles is driven by the severity of the injury, and whether the actual victim of the injury is able to make their own claim.

For non-fatal injuries caused by an accident involving an emergency services vehicle – most normally the victim of the accident will be the legal entity to make a compensation claim unless the injury has left them unable to do so themselves.

For serious or fatal injuries caused by an accident involving an emergency services vehicle – if the victim of the accident has either died, or is physically unable to pursue their own compensation claim, then the following legal entities will be able to make a compensation claim: the dependants of the victim, immediate family members of the victim, and the estate of the victim.

Please contact us to discuss your specific case, so that we can assist you in discerning just who may claim compensation for an accident involving an emergency services vehicle.

How Long Do I Have To Claim After An Accident With An Emergency Vehicle?

To make a personal injury claim after a car crash with an ambulance, you will typically have three years to start a claim from the date you suffered your injuries. This time limit is laid out in the Limitation Act 1980.

However, there are certain exceptions. For those under the age of 18, the time limit is frozen until their 18th birthday. Before this point, a court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf. From their 18th birthday, they will have three years to start a claim if one has not already been made.

The time limit is indefinitely suspended for those who lack the mental capacity to make a claim for themselves. A litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf while the time limit is suspended. Should they regain this mental capacity, they will have three years to start a claim for themselves from the recovery date if one has not already been made.

Contact our team today to find out if you are within the time limit to start a claim for crash compensation if you were involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle.

What to do If you have Suffered an Injury in an Accident with an Emergency Services Vehicle

If you have been injured in a collision with an emergency service vehicle, the accident needs to have been caused by negligence in order for you to make a claim. For example, a police car may have crashed into you because the driver was not adhering to their duty of care. This section focuses on what to do after a car accident and how police car accident claims, and other car crash claims involving emergency vehicles, can be evidenced.

If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by negligence, you could take these steps:

  • Be sure to get all of the details of the drivers and the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Have your injuries treated, and make sure that all treatment is fully documented.
  • List all of the financial losses that have been caused by the accident. Not only ad hoc expenses such as medical costs and travel costs, but also any loss of income due to missing work. If you have had to cancel a prepaid event such as a holiday, list these costs as well.

Top tips for proving car crash claims

To help you understand the process of establishing negligence, we have included some examples of evidence that can be helpful to acquire. Gathering evidence is a very important stage of the claims process. If you choose to enlist legal help, our lawyers can assist you with this task, amongst others.

  • Dashcam/CCTV footage – If video footage of the incident exists, it can be very helpful in establishing negligence. In other words, it may reveal who was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. If you appear in CCTV footage, then you have the legal right to request a copy.
  • Photographs – Another form of visual evidence. Taking photographs of the damaged vehicle and of your injuries can be useful.
  • Medical records – These will contain information on your injuries. Additionally, an independent medical professional will examine you as part of the claims process. Not only does this help establish how much your claim could be worth, but the examiner can also submit their opinion on whether the injuries are consistent with a car accident.
  • Witness contact details – There may have been others who saw the accident that caused your injuries. They could help corroborate your story by officially submitting what they witnessed. You can gather the contact details of potential witnesses and a solicitor can assist you by obtaining statements at a later stage in your claim.

Reach out to us today for more examples of evidence you could gather.

What can be claimed for an Injury Sustained in an Accident with an Emergency Services Vehicle?

The types of damages that will form the overall compensation paid for an injury caused by an accident involving an emergency services vehicle, will depend upon the severity of the injury itself.

For non-fatal injuries involving an emergency services vehicle – two main categories of damages will be claimable. Firstly, general damages, which covers all of the physical and psychological effects of the injury. Secondly, special damages, which covers all of the financial losses attached to the injury, both out of pocket expenses and loss of earnings.

For serious or fatal injuries involving an emergency services vehicle – both the general damages and special damages categories apply as above. Additionally, end of life expenses such as funeral costs can be claimed. It may also be possible to claim for the ongoing care of dependants.

Additional damages that may apply to an injury sustained in an accident with an emergency services vehicle – in some cases, it may be possible to claim for the cost of either in the home or residential care if the victim needs to recuperate from their injury. It may also be possible to claim for the cost of medical procedures that are not available on the NHS.

In order to discern just what types of damages you may be able to claim as a result of an injury caused by an accident with an emergency services vehicle, the please contact us so we can discuss your specific case with you.

No Win No Fee Emergency Services Vehicle Accident Claims

Claiming compensation for an accident with an emergency services vehicle that has resulted in an injury, is a complex process. For example, accidents involving police vehicles that have resulted in an injury to a member of the public can take several months to claim compensation for. This requires a significant level of legal representation.

Many people cannot afford to pay the ongoing legal costs for such a long compensation case. We have a solution to this problem. For most of our clients, once we have checked out the specific facts of their claim, we will offer to take on the case on a No Win No Fee basis.

What this means, is that there is nothing to pay up front to begin your compensation claim. And unless we actually win your case for you, then you won’t need to pay us anything. We only charge a fee if we successfully claim compensation on your behalf.

Police Hit My Car – How Much Compensation Can I Claim From Them Or Other Emergency Services?

If the police hit your car or if another emergency services vehicle caused a road traffic accident that caused you harm, you might be wondering how much compensation you could receive for a successful claim. First, we will look at general damages; this head of claim covers both your physical and mental injuries and the effect that these injuries go on to have on your life.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a document that helps legal professionals calculate this head of claim by providing guidelines for settlement awards. In the table below, you can find some examples of these guidelines taken from the 16th edition of the JCG.

Injury Description Amount
Post-traumatic stress disorder (b) Moderately severe £21,730 to £56,180
Eye (h) Minor injuries £3,710 to £8,200
Chest (b) Traumatic injuries – the lung(s), chest, and/or heart will be permanently damaged £61,710 to £94,470
Chest (g) Rib fractures, soft tissue damage Up to £3,710
Digestive system (iii) Penetrating stab wounds £6,190 to £11,820
Neck (c) Minor – (iii) full recovery over a period of around 3 months to a year Up to £2,300
Shoulder (e) Clavicle fracture £4,830 to £11,490
Pelvis/Hips (b) Moderate – (i) significant but no lasting disability £24,950 to £36,770
Arm (b) Loss of one arm, above-shoulder amputation Not less than £128,710
Wrist (e) Simple Colles’ fracture In the region of £6,970
1 Or More Whiplash Injuries With 1 Or More Psychological Injuries Lasting 18-24 months £4,345
1 Or More Whiplash Injuries Lasting 18-24 £4,215

If you successfully claim after being hit by a police car, your compensation might also include special damages. This addresses the financial losses that are caused by your injuries. For example, you may lose out on earnings because you need to take time away from work in order to recover. If this was the case, you could potentially claim these earnings back under special damages.

Other expenses that could be recouped under this heading could include:

  •   Travel expenses.
  •   Prescription and over-the-counter medicine costs.
  •   Mobility aids.
  •   Help with cooking and cleaning.
  •   Childcare costs.

When you make a claim for special damages, you have to be able to prove your losses. To find out how one of our solicitors could help you do this, contact our team today.

Will The Whiplash Reforms Affect My Claim?

On May 31st 2021, the Whiplash Reform Programme was introduced, which changed how some road traffic accident claims are made in England and Wales. Now, the claims process is different if you are a driver or passenger of a vehicle, aged 18 or over, and claiming for injuries valued at £5,000 or less. This includes minor soft-tissue injuries and whiplash.

Additionally, your whiplash injuries will be valued in line with the tariffs set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. Any additional injuries you have suffered that are not covered by this tariff will be valued traditionally.

To find out if your claim will be affected by the whiplash reforms, get in touch with our team of advisors today.

How to Start an Emergency Services Vehicle Accident Claim

The process of starting a compensation claim for an injury caused by an emergency services vehicle is very straightforward. You simply need to contact us, and well will go over the details of your claim with you in a free consultancy session. If needed, we can arrange for you to undertake a local medical examination as well.

Once we have all the facts, we will recommend a course of action, and in most cases, offer to take on your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

If you have sustained an injury after being involved in an accident with a police car, ambulance or fire engine, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

You can call us on 0800 073 8804, or if you prefer you can use the real-time live web chat function of this website. If you don’t have time to discuss your claim right now, use the contact form on this site and we will get back to you and arrange a time to go over your case with you that fits your schedule.

Helpful Links

Cycling Accident Claims Find out if you can claim compensation.

If you are a cyclist who has been knocked of your bike due to a emergency vehicle or police car or ambulance and as a result you are injured call us today for free legal advice.

Motorcycle Accident Claims Find out if you can make a claim?

If you have been injured due to a motorcycle accident start a No Win No Fee claim today.

Find out how to make a complaint against the police if you are wanting to complain about a police officer driving dangerously.

Who Is Liable In A Multi-Car Pile Up?

Read this to learn how you could receive compensation for being injured in a multi-car pile up.

We also have some other guides on car accident claims that you may find useful:

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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