Letzte Änderung: 06. August 2022

Benefits after providing first aid

Statutory accident insurance for emergency responders

Have you ever helped another person in need and were affected yourself? If you provide first aid in your spare time, at home or while you are on vacation, the German statutory accident insurance has you covered. Noncontributory and all-inclusive.

The statutory accident insurance in the state in which the accident occurred is always responsible for covering first responders. In the state of Hesse this would be the Unfallkasse Hessen. If you were injured while helping someone, or if there was damage to your belongings, please let us know. We will check your claim.

Victims of violence are also entitled to specific assistance and support through public authorities. In charge are the bureaus for social compensation, also called pension offices. We’re happy to assist you with your claim and the respective institution.

Firefighters, police or other emergency services hand out the first responder sheet where the assistance takes place.  Bild: © UKH

Helping someone in need is a matter of honor

Everyone is obligated to help another person without endangering oneself. Nevertheless, first responders can suffer harm by helping another person, whether it is physical or mental harm. Personal belongings can also be damaged. This is why the statutory accident insurance covers the duty to help.

Unfallkasse Hessen provides a "first responder sheet" which includes the most important contact information for all first responders. Please contact us immediately if you suffered harm while providing first aid. We will take care of everything.

Bild: © M.Dörr & M.Frommherz, Adobe Stock

When does the protection of the statutory accident insurance take effect?

The following people are insured:

  • Those who personally protect an attacked person, for example by protecting a child who is being attacked and are therefore physically attacked themselves.
  • Those who personally assist in the pursuit or arrest of any person committing a crime. This would be the case, for example, if someone were to hold on to a bag-snatcher to hand him over to the police. In the process, the person falls and injures him or herself.
  • Those who rescue a person from a significant risk to his/her health, e.g. by jumping into a lake to save a person from drowning and hurting themselves in the process.
  • Those who, for instance, take care of victims after an act of terrorism. Following the event, they need professional help themselves to mentally process what they experienced.

Benefits of the statutory accident insurance for first aiders include, among other things:

  • Comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation including psychotherapy within the system of the statutory accident insurance (e.g. after suffering a work accident)
  • Additional benefits such as travel and transportation expenses, or costs for a household help or for childcare
  • Compensation for damage to personal belongings used while helping
  • Comprehensive assistance for reintegration into professional and social life
  • Compensation in the event of incapacity to work and other expenses securing ones living
  • Annuity payment in the case of ongoing disability and, if applicable, to surviving dependents

Providing assistance can have psychological effects

Providing first aid can also be psychologically stressful after certain situations. Initially, this is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.

Particularly in the beginning, you should think about whether and, if so, what kind of support you need. Think about what might have helped you after previous stressful experiences. Take your time. Processing such experiences does not happen overnight.

If you would like to address the consequences of a stressful event more closely, you can find a brochure on this topic below.

What can you do if you have provided first aid and were injured in the process?

  • Have you received a first aid card from the police, fire brigade or emergency counsellors? Please hold on to it as it contains useful information.
  • Try to find witnesses and write down their addresses.
  • Let the doctor treating you know that the accident happened while you were providing assistance and describe the situation as precisely as possible. Please note: If you’re unable to work because you were helping, please see a contract doctor immediately or later. These doctors are particularly qualified medical partners of the statutory accident insurance.
  • If you would like to receive support from the Unfallkasse Hessen after providing first aid, please contact us.

You can reach us Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 069 29972-440 or any time by email at ukh[at]ukh.de and presse[at]ukh.de.

A formal application for benefits is not required. The statutory accident insurance automatically ("officially") investigates every case of assistance that it becomes aware of. In addition, we would appreciate a detailed description of the situation, in particular the motives and the circumstances for taking action.

Checklist: Helping without putting yourself or others in danger

If a perpetrator poses a threat to other people and you want to protect the victim, it is important not to put yourself in danger. Here's what you can do to help and at the same time protect yourself:

  • Alert the police immediately. The emergency call is free.
  • Talk to other people directly: "Now all together we're going to help."
  • If necessary (and if possible), leave the place with the victim.
  • Offer the victim "a safe place" (the seat next to you, your car, your office, etc.).
  • Shout out loud, this unsettles the offender and attracts attention.
  • From a safe distance, shout in the direction of the perpetrator: "I called the police!"
  • On public transport: pull the emergency brake or inform the driver.
  • Remember the offender's appearance.
  • Make yourself available as a witness.
  • Never stop fugitives.
  • Do not physically or verbally attack the offender.
  • Keep your distance.

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