Personal Injury Claims

Military Injury Claims

Serving in the armed forces is, by its very nature, a dangerous job, and it's generally accepted that accidents and injuries will happen in the line of duty. However, you have a right to expect that your safety will be protected when not in a direct combat situation and that you'll have suitable training and equipment to carry out your duties properly when in combat.

If you've been injured, or if a loved one has died, because of a military accident where safety measures have not been followed, then our solicitors could help you claim military injury compensation.

A number of the solicitors in our military injury team are former service personnel themselves, giving us specialised insight into dealing with the MoD, as well as the concerns many members of the armed forces have when making a military accident claim.

In particular, we understand the extent to which armed forces personnel will be relying on service benefits and earnings. We ensure that, as well as your medical costs, the loss of the following is taken into account while claiming:

  • Service earnings
  • Civilian earnings
  • Pension contributions or resettlement grant
  • Commitment bonuses
  • Specialist pay and allowances
  • Service benefits, including loss of subsidised quarters and Learning Credits

We've helped hundreds of injured personnel from the Army, RAF and Royal Navy to claim compensation. Our lawyers could help you make a civil claim, or to claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Making a claim against the MoD can be a daunting prospect, so it helps to have the experts on your side. There are strict rules against the discrimination of service personnel who make compensation claims, and any settlement comes out of a separate budget, rather than affecting your unit.

If you have any questions, or would like to begin a claim for military accident compensation, call us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation, or contact us online and we'll get back to you.




No Win No Fee*
Expert lawyers with a service background
Bringing claims against the MoD since 1987

Active members of The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group

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Military Injury Claims - More Information
    • What's The Claims Process?
    • To make a compensation claim for a military injury or illness, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with us for a free initial consultation. We'll discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident or illness, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and whether you could benefit from a No Win No Fee* arrangement.

      The claim will begin by sending a formal letter of claim to the Ministry of Defence. After this, the claim will usually follow the same four stages:

      1. Investigation. We'll begin by determining the extent of your injuries, and the losses they may result in. This will involve obtaining copies of your military medical notes, and any civilian hospitals you've received treatment at. We'll also need a copy of your Armed Forces Compensation Scheme file, and your personnel files. The MoD will undertake an investigation, which usually starts by contacting your unit to confirm details of your accident, and obtain any relevant paperwork. They may also speak to any of your colleagues who were present at the time of the accident, and can provide witness evidence.
      2. Rehabilitation. If you have any medical care or support needs, we'll help you to access the necessary treatment and advice.
      3. Compensation. We'll work out how much compensation you should get based on the severity of your injuries and your pain and suffering, any medical expenses you've had and your ability to get back to work. We'll put this amount to the MoD, and they can either accept liability or contest the claim.
      4. Resolution. If the MoD accepts blame, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, court proceedings will begin. We will try to settle your claim on the best terms, considering options in addition to bringing court proceedings. The MoD should also do the same, as they are obliged to as a branch of government. Starting proceedings doesn't mean that your claim will definitely go to trial. Instead, it means that the court take over the management of you case, setting strict timetables for the exchange of documents, witness evidence and expert reports. If you do have to go to court, we'll be there to support you every step of the way.

      If you have any questions about the claims process, please contact us today on 0800 022 3321 for your free initial consultation.


    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI), this may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement. 

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • Will Claiming Impact My Career?
    • No. The MoD understands that they ask service personnel to do a difficult job in dangerous situations – and unfortunately accidents do happen. They recognise and respect the individual's right to bring a legal claim for injuries. Claiming won't affect your entitlement to a pension, either.

      The Ministry of Defence should not discriminate against personnel who bring compensation claims after an injury. If you're planning on continuing your service career after your claim, then there are very strict rules about discriminating against someone on this basis.

    • What's The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
    • The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is a government scheme that provides compensation for injury, illness and death caused by service on or after 6 April 2005.

      Unlike a legal claim, the AFCS does not require you to establish that anybody else was at fault. This means that you could be able to claim under the AFCS in circumstances where there is no legal claim.

      However, the AFCS is a tariff based system – it does not look at the way your injury will affect you as an individual, or what financial losses you will actually incur. For this reason legal claims made through the courts will almost always result in significantly more compensation than claims made through the AFCS.

      It's accepted that members of the armed forces have no choice where they're deployed, or in the activities they're required to undertake. This means that compensation could be paid from the scheme for injuries caused in a number of ways, including those that occur during:

      • Operations
      • Training
      • Service-approved sports
      • Exercise to maintain military fitness

      Both regular and reserve forces can apply for compensation through the AFCS, whether you're still serving or a veteran.

      Compensation is paid as a lump sum on a tariff-based system determined by the severity of your injuries, and can range from a minimum of £1,200 to a maximum award of £570,000. You could claim through the AFCS as well as claiming through the courts.

      You can find out more about the AFCS here, or alternatively you can contact our solicitors on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation if you have any specific questions.


    • Meet The Experts
    • Our military injury team have been helping service men and women claim against the MoD since 1987. The team includes several former military personnel, and includes:

      • Geraldine McCool, who was described as the “Military Master” by The Lawyer. Geraldine is secretary of The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group and heads our specialist military injury team.
      • Paul Harrington, who completed an operational tour in Northern Ireland as a Bomb Disposal Operator. Paul brings his expertise as a former Ammunition Technical Officer and specialises in claims involving equipment, weapons, munitions and training accidents.
      • Simon Harrington, who has over 15 years of experience bringing claims against the MoD. Simon specialises in cold injury claims, having helped hundreds of service personnel to claim over £10 million in compensation for their injuries.
      • Andrew Buckham, who served in the Army for seven years before joining Irwin Mitchell. Andrew specialises in claims relating to serious and fatal injuries. He is also a trustee for the Defence Medical Welfare Service

      Meet our military injury team.

Getting the support from Irwin Mitchell with my adapted house has given me the encouragement and independence I needed to get out there and find other things I am interested in."

Ray Lowrie, client
Ray Lowrie

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Claim Compensation For A Military Injury?

If, while serving in the armed forces, you've been injured in an accident that could have been prevented if safety procedures had been followed, you may be able to claim compensation.

You could claim whether you're still a member of the armed forces, or if you've left the military since your accident, whether due to a medical discharge or any other reason.

The MoD operates its own compensation scheme, managed by Veterans UK. You can apply for a settlement through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) as well as making a civil claim, and we can help you with both – find out more about the AFCS here. In addition, if you have PAX insurance policy, you may be able to claim through that also. Again, making a claim through your PAX policy would not prevent you making a civil compensation claim.

You have three years from the date of an injury to make a compensation claim – or three years from the date of your 18th birthday if you were under 18 at the time. If a loved one has lost mental capacity as a result of their injuries, there is no time limit on claiming.

You could also claim compensation on behalf of a loved one who has died in service and you have three years to do this too, either from the date they died or the date you received the post-mortem results.

Whether you're still serving or are a veteran, the branch of service you're in doesn't affect your right to claim. We've supported clients from all military backgrounds, including:

We have helped clients following military accidents in the UK, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Cyprus, Canada, Germany and Kenya, among other locations.

If you've been injured and are unsure whether or not you'll be able to make a claim, don't hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case – we'll discuss your injury, and go over your options.


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What Kind Of Military Accidents Can I Claim Compensation For?

Working in the armed forces comes with a unique set of risks. Accidents and injuries can happen in any number of ways. We’ve helped people who have been injured as a result of:

If you're unsure about whether you can claim, it's best to seek advice – call us on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case. We'll discuss your injury and offer our expert opinion.


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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For An Military Injury Claim?

Our specialist military claims team, which includes former service personnel, has over 25 years' experience in claiming compensation from both the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. Our dedication to ensuring military personnel receive the compensation they deserve has seen us involved in a number of landmark cases, including:

  • The landmark 1994 Chinook Mull of Kintyre crash
  • A Puma crash in Iraq involving a Specialist Unit
  • The death of Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard by friendly fire
  • The death of Corporal Mark Wright GC at Kajaki Dam, Afghanistan

From the beginning of your claim, we'll work with you to understand any immediate medical treatment needs you have, and any support you'll need in the future, such as:

  • Mobility aids and modifications to your home
  • Rehabilitation
  • Help buying or selling a house
  • Support with employment difficulties, or help retraining
  • Financial planning advice
  • Wills, trust and probate services

Claiming compensation can be particularly daunting for members of the armed forces, with worries that it might affect your service career or the rest of your unit being common. We understand the concerns you might have, and will answer any questions before claiming.

There are very strict rules about discriminating against personnel who make a claim, and we can advise you on your rights in this respect. Compensation settlements come out of a specifically set aside Ministry of Defence budget, rather than affecting the funds available to your unit.

If you have any questions about your military claim, you can contact us on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation on your case. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have.


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Royal British Legion

 

We are proud to be a part of The Royal British Legion Solicitor’s Group.

Our Armed Forces Expertise

Since 1987, our specialist military injury team has helped hundreds of injured personnel from the Army, RAF and Royal Navy to claim compensation. We are considered one of the top law firms in the country for military claims and several cases we were involved in were recently featured in the Chilcot Inquiry.

We work closely with a number of Armed Forces welfare branches and organisations, and are the PAX appointed legal representatives under the PAX Personal Accident Insurance Scheme. We're also proud supporters of:

  • The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group
  • Help For Heroes
  • SSAFA Forces Help

Several of our solicitors were part of team that recently won The Claims Innovation Award for Legal Service Team of the Year (2016) for their pro bono work within The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group (TRBLSG).

Awards and Accreditation

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK

"They are forensic and analytical as well as campaigning and careful. All of the lawyers work tirelessly for the smaller cases as well as the bigger cases."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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