Military Injury Claims

Cold Injury Claims

Serving in the Armed Forces means you may often have to work in challenging environments, or in adverse weather conditions. When this is the case, it's essential that those in command are aware of the risks posed by the weather and that you're given the right gear and the proper training to ensure you stay safe.

Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen and each year many service men and women sustain a non-freezing cold injury through no fault of their own. These injuries are entirely avoidable and in the majority of cases will end you career. 

We have a dedicated team of lawyers specialising in non-freezing cold injury compensation claims. Having acted in hundreds of such cases over the last 10 years our team have developed an unrivalled understanding of the issues which arise, both in winning and valuing such cases. 

If you have any questions about making a cold injury compensation claim, call us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case, or contact us online and we'll get back to you. We'll discuss your situation with you, and give you our expert advice on your options.



No Win No Fee*
Expert lawyers with a service background
Specialist experience of acting for Commonwealth soldiers
Recovered more than £10m across 750 cases to date

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Cold Injury Claims - More Information
    • 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.

    • 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 file.

      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.


    • 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
Ray Lowrie

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should Have Been Done To Prevent Cold Injuries?

The dangerous nature of work in the Armed Forces means that injuries do occur, but that doesn't mean the Ministry of Defence (MoD) shouldn't be taking precautions to ensure your safety as far as reasonably practicable. This includes:

  • Being aware of the risks of any environment
  • Providing the right protective clothing for working in cold and wet environments
  • Providing training so that you are aware of the risks and how to spot the onset of cold injury
  • Providing trained medics and ensuring early evacuation of suspected cold casualties  

It is perfectly possible to train properly in all weather conditions as long as proper care is taken. If you have suffered a cold injury in service it is likely that more could have been done to keep you safe. These injuries are entirely avoidable. If you have suffered a cold injury which was only properly diagnosed in the last 3 years contact us on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation.


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What's The Process For An Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claim?

To make a compensation claim for medical negligence, 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 injury and treatment, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and whether you could benefit from a No Win No Fee* arrangement.

If your claim is against an armed forces medical practitioner, we'll begin by forensically getting in your notes and records (namely your FMed4 and FMed9) to start investigating the case. We’ll also let the Ministry of Defence know that we are investigating your claim. If your injury occurred at a civilian hospital, we'll determine who you'll need to claim against.

Your claim will generally go through the following 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, plus notes from any civilian hospitals you've received treatment at. We'll also need a copy of your Armed Forces Compensation Scheme file, and your personnel file. Generally, the Ministry of Defence won’t formally investigate the claim until we have put forward a formal Letter of Claim, which is when we’ve obtained evidence in relation to establishing “negligence” (that you have suffered poor care and that it has caused you some loss).
  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. Obviously, we’ll look in detail about how you are going to be affected in the future as a result of the poor care and how this translates into financial compensation. We'll put this amount to your opponent, and they can either accept liability or contest the claim.
  4. Conclusion. If your opponent accepts blame, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, court proceedings will begin. This involves having formal documents prepared, often by a barrister. 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, witnesses 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 we agreed to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee* arrangement, then you won't have to pay anything if you are unsuccessful.

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


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How Can Irwin Mitchell Help With A Cold Injury Claim?

Our team has 25 years' experience in military claims, and have helped hundreds of ex-service personnel pursue non-freezing cold injury compensation. We've secured over £10 million in settlements for cold injuries alone in that time.

In cases where your cold injury results in medical discharge the losses it causes will often be in excess of £150,000. With awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme rarely exceeding £10,800 it is essential that you seek proper legal advice as to your options.

A number of our specialist military lawyers are former armed forces personnel themselves, giving us a unique insight into claims of this nature. We understand the concerns you might have about making a compensation claim, and will support you every step of the way.

We approach every case with care and sensitivity, putting the needs of you and your family first in every instance. If you have any questions about the claims process, or how else we can help, contact us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation.


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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 previous 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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Royal British Legion

 

We're proud to be 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).


Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

Start Your Claim Today

To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

© 2016 Irwin Mitchell LLP is Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our Regulatory Information.