Although the emergency services undoubtedly do a brilliant job in most circumstances, there are many cases of people being injured or affected in collisions because the emergency services have failed in some way. Even though the emergency services are allowed special privileges in some circumstances to allow them to respond to emergency call outs properly, this does not mean that they are above the law.
Should you have experienced any problems because the emergency services have failed to pay due care and attention when responding to an emergency, then you may be entitled to make a claim against the emergency services. It is worth remembering that these claims may not only help to get you the financial compensation that you deserve, they may also help to change policy, so that other people are not affected by the same issues in the future. So what might give rise to claims against emergency services?
Whilst emergency services are allowed to break certain rules when they are driving to an emergency, they are only allowed to do this when it is safe to do so, and they must pay due care and attention to other road users and pedestrians. For example, they may only run a red light if they have a clear view to show that they are not going to endanger any other road users. If you have been injured by an emergency services vehicle colliding with you, then you may be able to make a claim against them.
Damage to property
Emergency service personnel are sometimes forced to make snap decisions, which can result in damages to personal and private property. If the police damage your property whilst they are carrying out their duties, and you are an innocent third party, then they should provide you with compensation for the damage. You may also be able to claim more if the damage has caused any wider issues.
If you are arrested and held by the police without sufficient evidence then you may be able to make a claim for wrongful arrest. Although not all arrests that end in release are eligible to be classified as wrongful arrests, if it can be shown that any parts of police policy were broken in the run up to your arrest, then you may have a valid claim. Likewise, if it can be shown that you were arrested because of any form of victimisation or police prejudice (i.e. racial, ethnic or religious) then this will help to support your claim.
If the police or emergency services use unnecessary force when dealing with you, then you may be eligible to make a claim against them, even if you were found to have broken the law. For example, if the police were found to have used a taser on you, even if you were not thought to be a threat to them or to the public, then you may be able to make a claim for the physical and psychological damage that this incident caused to you.
If the paramedics or emergency doctors fail to respond to your symptoms in the correct way, then you may be able to make a claim against them for clinical negligence. It is possible for medical staff to miss key signs or indicators because they are not following proper procedures, and this can result in the wrong advice or treatment being give. Failure to act in a timely manner can lead to the worsening of symptoms and may even result in death. Administering the wrong treatment can lead to a routine procedure turning into something far more serious.
Failure to act in a timely manner
If something is deemed as an emergency, the emergency services are expected to react to the problem in a timely manner. Failure to respond within a certain timeframe can mean that the incident is not properly addressed. On some occasions, people are even required to make multiple calls to the emergency services in order to get an adequate response. If this has happened to you, and you have experienced injury or property damage because of it, then you may be entitled to make a claim against the emergency services because of their negligence.