The idea of preparing and submitting a claim against the Ministry of Defence seems very challenging. However, you have every right as an armed force personnel to submit a claim for compensation for your injuries.
If you or anyone close to you has served any branch of the military or their reserves, such as the Army, Navy, RAF and Special Forces, and have been injured in the process, then contact our solicitors. Our solicitors assist in submitting your claim to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) or through a civil case.
Our solicitors have helped families of the armed forces in preparing and submitting claims. We have a thorough understanding of the type of concerns before and after submitting claims. With our years of experience, our teams have come up with a guide that addresses most of the questions we have been asked.
Before you Claim for a Military Injuries
Aren’t Injuries Part of the Job?
We have handled tonnes of claims for ex-military personnel, and one of the points we have discovered is that most people are unaware that they have the grounds to submit a claim. The Ministry of Defence is responsible for all health and safety within the workplace, regardless of whether the work itself is considered high risk.
As an employee, you have the right to protection from harm, and you have the right to expect this protection from your employer. The Ministry of Defence, in this case, is required to ensure that you have the right gear to complete jobs, and they are also required to take measures that do not place you in unnecessary harm.
Military careers often come with higher risks of injury as compared to other occupations; however, this doesn’t mean that you are not entitled to make a claim for compensation when you have been injured.
The only exception this applied to, is whether you have been injured in battle. The Ministry of Defence is protected by Combat Immunity. This means that they are protected from legal action relating to events that occurred within a battle. However, it is in your best interest to contact one of our lawyers, as there may be concessions to this complex area of the law.
Are there a lot of Service People that make Claims?
There are over 100,000 active personnel’s within the British Armed Forces, and a considerable amount of them may have to bring legal action for injuries they have suffered. The Ministry of Defence is aware that they have requested their personnel to engage in high risk situations, and as a result, they respect everyone’s right to submit a claim for injuries sustained after an accident.
Our team has represented hundreds of families over the past years, including members of regular and reserves forces.
What Compensation can I Claim for?
We have dealt with a number of claims that included training injuries, defective equipment, road accidents, off duty accidents as well as cold injuries.
Our team ensures that your compensation accounts for any loss of earnings you may incur. We understand that you may rely on service benefits and earnings such as commitment bonuses, pension contributions, specialist pay as well as benefits, and this is why we ensure to take this into account when preparing your claim.
Is my Claim Likely to Succeed?
Each claim is unique and the outcome of each claim is determined individually. For your claim to succeed, we have to establish three key things; that you are owed a duty of care, that the Ministry of Defence breached this duty, and that their breach led to your injury.
If these three points can be proven, and your claims is submitted within a prescribed time period, then the likelihood of success is high. Our team has year of experience with helping armed forces personnel prepare and submit their claims. Please contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss more details of your injury.
What is Combat Immunity?
Combat immunity states that if a soldier, commander or any personnel are injured during a battle or an instance where they are under threat, then the Ministry of Defence is not to be held accountable through court.
There are exclusions to Combat Immunity; however, these situations can be very complicated. If you believe your situation might be an exception to the rule, then contact us on 0808 164 9153 or online. We provide services for all armed forces including personnel from the Royal Navy and RAF. Contact us to find out combat immunity and whether it relates to your claim.
What if I have Received Compensation from Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)?
You might eligible to submit a separate claim from your already existing claim with the AFCS. If you have previously received compensation from AFCS, then this is noted when determining your compensation amount for your civil claim. This is simple because compensation are not to be paid twice.
Making a Claim
How Can I Start a Claim?
To start your claim as soon as possible, your first step is to contact us on 0808 164 9153 or online.
We provide free initial consultations where we go over your accident and the events that led to your injury. We then determine whether you are eligible to submit a claim. We provide no obligation advice based on your individual circumstances.
If you are happy for us to represent you, then you can choose to pay for our services through a no win no fee agreement. This would mean that you pay for our services from you compensation settlement, once you have reached settlement on your claim. Feel free to contact us for more information on our no win no fee agreements.
How Long does the Claim Take?
The time taken to complete a claim depends on the claim itself and its complexity. Claims for serious injuries with more complexities are more likely to take a while before they reach settlements. Serious injuries require more time to understand the full nature and impact they have.
Claims where an injury results in medical discharge are roughly to take about 1.5 years to 2 years to wrap up. If there are more complex injuries involved, such as lifelong disability, then the claim might take a longer period.
For some cases, we are able to request for early access to compensation payments to help with any medical costs, or even the costs of rehabilitation back into a civilian lifestyle.
How does the Claims Process Work?
Most of the claims are submitted directly to the Ministry of Defence. The first step to submitting a claim is sending a written formal notice to the Ministry. The claims process after this falls into four categories;
The first step is investigating the circumstance that led to your injury, and the severity of the injury itself. We obtain copies of all your military medical information, and any supporting doctor’s treatment statesman from civilian hospitals. In addition to these, we also require a copy of your AFCS file, along with any other files they may have on you.
The Ministry of Defence conducts their own separate investigation, which usually begins by them informing your unit of the claim and obtaining any information surrounding the accident. They might also contact any colleagues that may have been present during the accident for witness statements.
If you require any support, care or assistance during the claim period, then our team is there to ensure you receive access to treatment and necessary advice.
Our teams determine how much compensation you are entitled to based on a number of factors such as the injuries sustained, pain, suffering and any other expenses you have incurred. We also request the Ministry of Defence to pay the compensation amount and accept liability of the claim, or contest the claim all together.
If the Ministry of Defence accepts liability, this means they have accepted your claim and you are to receive the compensation you requested. If this doesn’t happen, then the claim moves to court.
Our team strives to always act in your best interest by ensuring the claim is settled on terms that suit you. The Ministry of Defence are also required to act in your best interest as they are a branch of the government.
If your case has started proceedings, then it doesn’t necessarily mean your claim is required go to court. It simply means the court has taken over the management of the case. In this case, they provide set schedules to provide information or documents relevant to the case. If your case is scheduled to go to court, then our teams ensures you have the support and advice throughout the whole process.
If you have any further questions or require further information, feel free to contact us online or on 0808 164 9153 for a free consultation.
Can the Claim Process remain Private?
As your solicitors, we are required by law to provide a strict level of confidentiality, and no one apart from your legal team is to discuss any details of the case with third parties without your permission.
Your opponent on the other hand, may have to contact your team and any of your colleagues for information surrounding your injury. They are required to conduct their relevant investigation about the claim; however, the information they collect for their investigation is not be available to the public.
Should you claim proceed to court, then all information relevant to the case becomes a matter of public record. However, for specific cases, we may able to apply for anonymity, so your name is not disclosed on any documents. This can be done for claims served by personnel of the United Kingdom Special Forces.
Who is Required to Pay the Compensation?
The party required to pay compensation differs from case to case; however, most military claims are paid by the Ministry of Defence.
The Ministry of Defence has a budget that is exclusive to pay compensation for their personnel. The funds within this budget are not used for any other purposes.
Compensation can also be paid by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which is a government body that provides compensation for injuries, illness or death that resulted from service on or after the 6th of April 2005.
What if I had an Accident while in Scotland?
We have been engaged for a number of major cases in Scotland such as the RAF Ninrod explosion. Our Scottish personal injury team can assist you with you claim and ensure you get the best outcome.
After your Claim
Is my Career Affected by my Claim?
If you have fully recovered from your injury, and have been cleared to return to work, then it’s important to note that there are very stringent rules on discrimination against anyone that decides to involve a legal team for their claim. It is also important to note that the Ministry of Defence doesn’t look unfavourably upon compensation claim after an injury.
The settlement you receive is paid out from a specific budget by the Ministry of Defence, so the funds do not come out of your unit’s budget, nor does it affect their equipment, kits and resources they receive.
Would my Pension be affected?
Submitting a claim does not affect your entitlement to your pension under any of the Armed Forces Pension Schemes.
How can our Firm help after the Claim is finalised?
We are proud to assist any ex veterans seeking compensation, and continue to play an important role even after your claim is settled.
We have a Court of Protection team that can help by setting up a special needs trust after you have received your compensation. In addition, our team can assist with managing your affairs if your injury has affected your ability to do so yourself.
Our family law team can also prepare prenuptial agreement for you, this way your payments and financial needs are not affected in the event of a divorce.
We as well have an asset management team, that can provide financial and investment advice for the money you have received.
Our Public Law and Human Rights team are also available to provide access to any local authority care you require. The team has a history of fundraising and working with the armed forces to assist veterans to assimilate back into civilian life.
Contact us online or on 0808 164 9153 if you have any questions or for your free initial consultation.