Road traffic accident claims

Emergency Vehicle Accident Claims

The emergency services do a great job in responding to emergency situations and keeping us safe. However, driving at such speeds is inherently risky, and if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by an emergency vehicle, you could be entitled to compensation.

Meet our road traffic accident and serious injury experts

Many of our road traffic accident solicitors are considered leaders in the field with a significant amount of expertise.

Tracey Benson, head of serious injury south

Tracey Benson

Head of Serious Injury - South

Matthew Tomlinson, our Head of Serious Injury in the North

Matthew Tomlinson

Head of Serious Injury - North

Expert profile of Richard Gaffney

Richard Gaffney

Principal Lawyer

Richard Crabtree

Richard Crabtree

Principal Lawyer

One of the UK’s leading specialist law firms.

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What is an emergency vehicle accident claim?

The emergency services do a fantastic job of keeping us safe and well, responding to countless calls each year to protect and save lives. Their work requires them to be able to react quickly, and they are afforded a certain degree of leeway when it comes to obeying the rules of the road to ensure they can reach those who need them promptly.

Nevertheless, emergency vehicle drivers still have a duty of care to other road users and while most rapid response vehicles are operated carefully and professionally, driving at speed is inherently risky and accidents do occur.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a collision or accident caused by an emergency vehicle, you could be entitled to compensation.

What are the main causes of emergency vehicle accidents?

Even when responding to an emergency, the drivers of emergency vehicles have protocols and training that they are required to follow. All emergency vehicle drivers undergo special training for driving at speed in public areas, so more often than not, they undertake their duties with minimal risk and no issues.

However, there are times when mistakes are made. This can include:

  • Reckless driving at speed, including not paying attention to other road users or failing to slow at junctions.
  • Failing to follow traffic rules, or failing to follow training protocols when driving under blue lights or sirens

Why do I need a lawyer after a road traffic accident?

Cardiff-based personal injury lawyer, Nick Collins, explains the benefits of seeking legal advice after a traffic accident and the various options of compensation that a lawyer can provide.

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Are the drivers of emergency vehicles, such as police cars, ambulances and fire engines, protected by the law in the case of an accident?

While the drivers of emergency vehicles are given some leeway when driving under blue lights or sirens, they are not entirely exempt from obeying the rules of the road. All road users have a duty of care to one another, including emergency vehicles, and while it is important that road users allow emergency vehicles the room and flexibility needed to be able to respond to emergency situations, this must be done safely.

When an emergency vehicle is being driven under blue lights, they are allowed to drive at higher than normal speeds, as well as pass through stop signs, red lights and other junctions should as roundabouts. However, this can only be done when it does not put other road users in danger.

Where possible, other road users should try to give emergency vehicles as much room as possible, either by pulling over or moving into another lane when safe to do so. It is not acceptable for other road users to endanger anyone else in an attempt to move out of the way of an emergency vehicle (for instance, mounting a pavement being used by pedestrians or driving through a red light).

When emergency vehicles are being driven without lights or sirens, drivers must obey the rules of the road as any other driver would.

How do I start a claim for an emergency vehicle accident?

To make an emergency vehicle accident claim, you will need to be able to prove that the accident you were involved in was your not fault, and that your injuries were sustained in the accident.

In the case of accidents involving emergency vehicles, drivers are often given certain legal protections when performing their duties, which can make proving fault complicated. This doesn’t mean your claim will be unsuccessful, but it does mean that it is important to be able to demonstrate the circumstances that led to the accident.

The best way to do this is to collect as much information as you can from the scene of the accident. This should include the name and details of all the involved parties, including vehicle registration numbers, and photographs or CCTV footage of the incident (try to include any road markings or relevant features) and the damage caused.

Why choose Slater and Gordon

Being involved in an accident involving a police car or emergency vehicle can be difficult. Emergency vehicles are often travelling at speed, and the risk of significant injury can often be much higher. Added to that, some can be caught unaware and experience shock in the immediate aftermath.

We understand the impact an accident caused by emergency vehicles can have on those involved, and work tirelessly to ensure claims are settled as quickly and as stress-free as possible.

Emergency vehicle accident claims can be complex, and you wanted to know that the solicitors handling your case are experts in the field and experienced in dealing with these types of claims. Our team is consistently ranked highly in reputable independent legal directories, such as Chambers and Partners, and the Legal 500, and are among the best and most experienced injury lawyers in the country.

We work closely with medical professionals to ensure each and every one of our clients receives the best possible outcome, both in terms of finances and future care. We also have an in-house rehabilitation coordinator, who is on hand to provide immediate support, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

To start your claim, speak to a member of our team by contacting us online or calling 0330 041 5869.

Talk to us about your case

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon?


We are an award winning law firm and have a dedicated team of road traffic accident solicitors to advise and guide you – no matter how complex your situation may be.

Affordability and advice

We're able to offer affordable expert legal advice and can provide guidance on all aspects of road traffic accident claims. Our Initial Consultation provides tailored advice on your situation giving you clear guidance and options regarding next steps.

Tailored advice

We understand that every claim is different – so we are able to provide tailored advice and guidance to suit your individual needs.

Local access

We are a national law firm, with legal experts available locally across the UK. Meetings can be arranged via telephone or video call, to suit your requirements.

Speak to one of our road traffic accident solicitors today

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Frequently asked questions

Will I need to attend a medical examination as part of my claim?

For most personal injury claims, you’ll be required to undergo a routine medical examination by an experienced medical expert, who will discuss your injuries and their impact on your life in detail. They will then produce a medico legal report, which is used as evidence by the courts and solicitors to determine the extent of your injuries and how quickly you might be expected to recover.

How long do I have to start an emergency vehicle accident claim?

Generally speaking, you have three years from the date of your accident to make a bus accident claim. However, the deadline to start a claim can be different in certain circumstances (for instance, if you are claiming for a bus or coach accident that occurred abroad).

It is therefore important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible following a bus accident. Your solicitor should be able to provide more information about any deadlines that are pertinent to your case.

Can I make a no win no fee emergency vehicle accident claim?

Many of the cases we pursue on behalf of our clients are done so by way of a conditional fee arrangement, more commonly known as No Win No Fee. There are no upfront costs, and if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay a fee to your solicitor.

However, no win no fee arrangements are not the only way to fund your case. To learn more about the available funding options and which might suit you best, speak to a member of our team.

Can I claim emergency vehicle accident compensation on behalf of someone else?

If a loved one has been injured in an accident and is not able to claim injury compensation themselves, it may be possible for you to do so on their behalf. Cases where this may be possible include:

  • Claiming on behalf of a child (under 18 years old)
  • Claiming on behalf of someone with diminished mental capacity
  • Claiming for someone with life-changing injuries
  • Claiming after a fatal accident

If you wish to discuss the possibility of claiming on behalf of someone else, our expert solicitors will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.

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