Firefighter hit by car wins compensation
A FIREFIGHTER has been paid compensation after he was injured when a teenager, who was fleeing from the police, crashed into his car.
Senior firefighter Nigel Morley, 45, from Winterbourne, was helping out a friend by taking her to pick up her son from Bristol Parkway station.
He had driven around 100 yards from his house and was in Swan Lane when a Peugeot 106 came speeding around the bend on the wrong side of the road and ploughed into his Citroen Dispatch.
Police were chasing the car after spotting the youth had removed his registration plate as he left a petrol station.
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It turned out he had driven off without paying for fuel.
Mr Morley suffered whiplash injuries to his neck and lower back, which meant he found it difficult to walk for a 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 later convicted of dangerous driving.
Following the accident Mr Morley, who is chairman of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Gloucestershire branch, contacted the trade union for advice.
The FBU instructed Thompsons Solicitors, based in Bristol city centre, to pursue a claim for compensation.
Thompsons settled the claim out of court against the youth's car insurer.
Mr Morley, who has been a firefighter 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."
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, the solicitor who worked on the case, added: "It is only right this member receives damages for the impact his injuries have caused on his work and private life."