Firefighter wins personal injury claim after road traffic accidents ends his career

A firefighter was left with no other choice than to regrettably turn his back on the career he loved as a direct result of a personal injury he sustained outside of the call of employment duty.

Craig Turner was awarded compensation in the aftermath of suffering a serious neck injury and subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of being involved in a head-on collision whilst returning home from a shift at his Cambridgeshire fire station.

The vehicle in which Turner was travelling at the time was met by a four-wheel drive which was journeying on the wrong side of the carriageway which left Turner no chance of avoiding as both vehicles negotiated a sharp bend.

The impact of the collision knocked Turner unconscious, with the firefighter recalling gaining consciousness at some point afterwards and noticing blood on his face and the car’s airbag pinning him in the driver’s seat.

Obviously his initial reaction was to free himself, as at this juncture the vehicle was filling with smoke according to Turner’s account of the events of that particular night in question, which led him to fear that the vehicle could ignite.

The upshot of the road traffic accident which was not Turner’s fault was that he sustained a lifestyle-compromising neck injury, the severity of which forced him to take three months off work. What’s more, the claimant developed PTSD in the intervening lay-off, of which episodes manifest some time later as he attempted to return to his previous firefighting duties; most notably when answering emergency calls and visiting accident sites which formed a significant remit of his professional role and which he found extremely distressing.

In the meantime Turner was transferred to the Fire Brigade’s training department for a period of two years as he struggled to come to terms with the nature of both his physical and psychological injuries suffered in the crash, however his PSTD showed no signs of improvement and eventually the claimant felt he had no other option than to retire from the service on the grounds of his state of mind.

After discussing his personal situation with the Fire Brigades Union in the weeks and months after the accident, the claimant was referred to a specialist personal injury claims solicitor who set about pursuing financial compensation on their client’s behalf.

Describing the flashbacks he still endures to this day, Turner said; “I woke up terrified that I was going to be burned alive in my car. My body was in agony but I managed to wrestle myself out of my seatbelt and crawl out of the vehicle.”

The claimant also talks candidly about coming to terms with the fact that he will never experience full mobility of his neck again, together with the on-going emotional stress triggered by the collision and the direct aftermath.

A spokesperson for the Fire Brigade Union observed that their member/the claimant; “Had no time to react as the other car was veering into his. His injuries have had a huge long term impact on his life and as a result he has lost his career within the service and the Fire Brigade has unfortunately lost an experienced and dedicated member of staff. We are glad that we have been able to support Craig throughout his claim.”

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