A firefighter who was injured when a youth who was fleeing the police in a car crashed into his vehicle has received compensation for his injuries with the support of his trade union, the FBU.

Senior firefighter Nigel Morley, 45, from Winterbourne, Bristol, was helping a friend pick up her son from the railway station and was waiting in his car in Swan Lane, Bristol when a Peugeot 106 came around the bend on the wrong side of the road at speed and ploughed into his Citroen Dispatch.

The police gave chase after spotting the youth had removed his registration plate as he left a petrol station. It turned out he had driven off without paying for fuel.

Whiplash injuries to neck and lower back

Mr Morley suffered whiplash injuries to his neck and lower back due to the impact of the collision, which meant he found it difficult to walk for several weeks and was off work for four months. When he returned he was on light duties for a further five months.

He still suffers from stiffness in his back, which is particularly uncomfortable during the winter months.

The youth was convicted of dangerous driving. Following the accident Mr Morley, who is chair of the FBU’s Gloucestershire Brigade branch contacted the trade union for advice. The FBU instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Thompsons made claim for compensation

Thompsons was successful in settling the claim out of court against the youth’s car insurers.

Mr Morley, who has been a fire fighter for 26 years, said: “On the day of the accident I was doing my friend a favour and never imagined that we would end up involved in a police chase. I didn’t stand a chance when the car came round the bend on the wrong side of the road. There was nothing I could do but watch as it hit us – it was terrifying.

“Fortunately my passenger escaped with minor injuries, it could easily have been much worse.

“I knew that the FBU would be able to support me in claiming compensation and it was a great relief to hand over all of the legalities to the union’s legal service so that I could concentrate on my recovery.”

Still suffers from the effects of whiplash

Paul Woolstenholmes, FBU national legal officer said: “A hard working member of the fire service was caught up in this youth’s efforts to escape the police. As a result he ended up with long term injuries which saw him take a great deal of time off work. He still suffers from the effects of whiplash and as a result we were more than happy to support him in his claim for compensation.”

Shelly Newman added: “This is a clear example of the benefits of using trade union legal services to pursue compensation in the event of a road traffic collision. It is only right this member receives damages for the impact his injuries have caused on his work and private life.”