Postie Wins £10,000 after Rescuing Man from Smoking Car


A postal worker and member of the Communication Workers Unions (CWU) has won £10,000 in compensation after rescuing a man from a smoking car and suffering psychological and physical injuries.

Car Crash

The postie was collecting post from a mail box when he noticed people running towards a nearby field where smoke was billowing. A car had lost control on the road and riven into the field. He called for an ambulance after he was told that the man in the car was injured.

The field was overgrown and covered in debris. Despite this the postie ran down the bank towards the car to help the man. He fell and injured his ankle and shoulder whilst running.

Despite his injuries, the postie was more concerned with helping the injured man in the car. Whilst with the man, he stayed on the phone to the emergency services the whole time.

However, the CWU member was fearful for his own life as smoke was coming from the car. He was scared that the car could burst into flames at any moment. Despite his fears, he stayed with the man to help him, as he could see that he was trapped. He knew that he could escape if the car exploded, but the injured man would not be able to.

Although, he could not get the man out of the car, he stayed with him and performed first aid until the ambulance and police arrived. The rescuer was able to leave the scene after the paramedics arrived.

Brave postie's injuries

After the incident, the rescuer had to take 4 months off work and have counselling, as he was so traumatised by the event. He also had physical injuries to his ankle and shoulder after falling in the field to get to the injured man.

The CWU on behalf of the postie, instructed Simpson Millar to carry out a claim for personal injury. After carrying out investigations, a claim was submitted to the driver of the car.

The driver’s insurers accepted liability for our client’s injuries as he was a victim of the accident, by being a rescuer. He was awarded a compensation payment of £10,000.

Secondary victims of accidents

‘Secondary victims’ are those that are within a close proximity to an accident or harm, but are not the immediate physical sufferers. Instead, many secondary victims suffer psychiatric harm due to the shock of witnessing an accident or helping others involved. For example, witnesses of loved ones harmed in criminal acts can be classed as secondary victims.

Gary Tierney, Partner at Simpson Millar solicitors, said: “This was an interesting case involving a secondary victim of a frightening car accident."

"Rescuers are classed as ‘secondary victims’ as they are deemed brave and unselfish enough to go to the help of others, even if they put themselves within the proximity of danger. "

"In this case, our client bravely went to the aid of the road traffic victim even though the car was at danger of exploding. By doing this, he suffered psychiatric injury due to the traumatic shock of the incident and fear of dying."

"His kindness and resulting injuries do not go un-noticed by the law, as rescuers are highly valued in society and in this case, our client’s actions contributed to saving a man’s life. We believe this settlement will help our client in his recovery from the psychiatric injuries suffered."

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